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How to Catch Up When You’re Behind



Catch Up

How do you catch up with school or work when you have been away? That’s always the dilemma we face after a trip. I’m currently in that situation, so I thought I would share my thoughts on the subject.

Make a list

I love lists. How can you know what you need to do, if you don’t have a list? I suggest that you make a list of everything you need to do to be caught up through tomorrow. Do it on your computer, a notepad, or toilet paper. Whatever suits you. Once you have a list, you can begin crossing things off (that’s half the fun!).

Stop getting behind

The next step is to do whatever needs doing so you don’t fall further behind. For example, as a law student this usually means that I need to read for my next classes (thus, you need your list to include tomorrow). The idea here is that you can start to close the gap on your behind-ness by keeping the gap from getting bigger. Plus, you get to mark things off that list!

Get caught up

After you have today and tomorrow’s work done, you can start to work on past tasks. This is when you prioritize the old tasks on your list and do them in order of priority. Thus, you will be getting the most important old things done first. Be sure you don’t forget about the less important old things, but you won’t, since you have a list!

Burn the list

Once everything is marked off your list, you can revel in your new caught-up-ness. Now is the time for your ceremonious burning of the list. Ok, maybe you should just throw it away. If you need some therapy, try shredding it. Better yet, make a paper airplane or some origami. You deserve it.

Do you have a technique for catching up with work or school when you are behind? Please post a comment or drop me a line to let us know.

[tags]legal andrew, law school, catch up[/tags]

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Comments

7 Responses to “How to Catch Up When You’re Behind”

  1. [...] How to Catch Up When You’re Behind [...]

  2. Kenlie
    May 16th, 2007

    I think the best advice is to stop getting behind, I do that making lists. It’s also a good idea to set goals for the day. If you have 60 pages to read, do it when you get home instead of waiting until 9:30. That works great for me because I’m done early and can unwind before bed. No one wants to dream about tax law.

  3. Andrew Flusche
    May 16th, 2007

    Kenlie,

    Thanks for your thoughts here. You’re absolutely right about making lists. And doing things earlier in the evening is crucial as well. Very nice tips!

    Andrew

  4. [...] From Legal Andrew: [...]

  5. anon. 1L
    September 14th, 2008

    What do you do if you’ve fallen further behind than just a few days? How do you know what to prioritize?

  6. Andrew Flusche
    September 15th, 2008

    @anon. 1L – I think my list still works pretty well, even if you’re quite a bit behind. Make a list of everything that you need to do. First, do your work / reading for tomorrow, so you don’t fall further behind. And then work through your list, catching up on the past tasks. It may take you several days or even a week to catch up by doing a little every day. But you can do it. Good luck!!

  7. rachel
    September 17th, 2009

    for school i have to caught up in like a night… im in grade 10 and was sick for 4 days….. But i have the opportunity to go at lunch and after school, but i use my lunchtime to eat lunch. what can i do?

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