It has been a very busy month here at Negotiation Ninja! July has been full of finalizing book edits and getting the citations done. We are almost ready to go to print, and I am very excited about it.
Over the last two weeks I have been traveling. I went to Austin to Pat O’Bryan’s “Unseminar9”. It was 3 days of learning to market on the Internet. I learned SO much in just a few days!
I also went to New Orleans and had pastries and coffee with some friends.
They were studying (cramming!) for the bar exam
There were several law students at the coffee shop studying for the bar exam on Monday, July 25, 2011. After hearing what my book was about, one gentleman asked me what helpful advice or techniques I could give just 4 days before the exam.
On the spot I showed him a technique called “noise removal breathing” that originated with Dr. Win Wenger. It goes like this:
Noise removal breathing
Deep breathing is a good way to calm the central nervous system – especially if done with closed eyes. Dr. Win Wenger’s “Noise Removal Breathing” goes a step further with visualization. Here is a short, quick version…
Close your eyes and imagine that dry leaves (metaphors for tiredness, toxins, fears, worries, and stray thoughts) have accumulated in your legs and body. Take a long, deep breath all the way from your toes, and with your breath visualize the leaves floating up… up… up with it… Exhale strongly from your mouth, blowing the leaves out like burning sparks or fireworks.
But I could have told them more…
After we left, I couldn’t stop thinking about the people studying at the coffee shop – what else could I have told them? I stopped back by on my way out of town and added to what I had told them earlier. This is what I told them after discovering that they had all been studying “full-tilt” since early spring…
- Stop cramming! At this point in the game you know all that you are likely to know, and your ability to pass the bar exam rests more on your ability to recall what you already know. You can enhance your recall by relaxing, getting good sleep, and eating well. Below are some specifics…
- Play, exercise or treat yourself. Don’t “party” but do something fun (without alcohol! More on that later.). Get a massage. Go to the movies. Go swimming with friends. Go shopping.
Do something to get your blood flowing and help you relax. Just taking a walk can drastically improve your cognition. A light workout (one that will not result in soreness) will have the same effect.
- Sleep! Sleep is one of the best ways to allow your mind to sort, file, synthesize and process learned information into something useful. Get as much as you can and…
- Get on the bar exam schedule. Today is Saturday, and if you have been staying up late studying and sleeping late, you will be dangerously out of synch with the timing of the bar exam on Monday.
In other words, if you think you can magically fall asleep early on Sunday night and awaken refreshed Monday morning, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Go to bed early tonight and wake up really, really early on Sunday so that by 8pm Sunday night, you are ready to sleep like a bear in winter.
Here are some ways to naturally enhance sleep:
- Turn the AC way down,
- Avoid caffeine after noon,
- Turn off the phone, tv, and computer at around 3pm.
- Cut down on sugar. Back off the Coke. Try to avoid candy, white bread, beer or other alcohol. If you want to have better recall and endurance, you must stabilize your blood sugar so that you do not experience “peaks and valleys” while you are taking the exam.
Instead, eat clean (unprocessed, un-prepackaged), fresh, homemade food. Nuts are a great snack to take with you for the exam. Protein bars are good, too, but check the sugar content because some of them are as bad as eating a Snickers bar. Cutting sugar also means cutting alcohol. Save it and party after the exam is over – trust me, you will!
- Drink a lot of water. Your brain will be working overtime and will need the extra hydration. In addition, if you are going to type your exam on a word processor, you will need both extra water and vitamin C. New research shows that prolonged exposure to a computer screen can cause corneal stress that can be prevented with vitamin C. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2787304/
- Be careful. This may go without saying, but take it easy this weekend and take care of yourself.
- Stay away from trying a “new” sport.
- Avoid buffets and only eat fresh food (because it would really suck to have food poisoning or even a stomach ache during the bar exam!).
- Wait until after the exam to have any sort of potentially emotionally charged “talk” with an important someone because charged emotions can disrupt sleep and concentration (among other things).
If I were taking the bar exam on Monday, I would spend the rest of this weekend in a hammock or lounge chair. I would vividly imagine the elated feeling of getting my notification of passing the bar. I would be envisioning my reward – maybe a trip to the beach or some new gadget.
Rest your brain. You have been studying all summer and know this stuff! You can do it!!!
Sending you lots of “Passing The Bar Exam” Energy,
PS – GOOD LUCK!!!