By DebbieH 29 Jul 2019 7 min read

How to study on a busy schedule

If you’re considering or are already working in the law, you’re likely passionate about learning and studying. The problem though, is getting the time to study alongside your busy working week. Taking on a new course can be time consuming, but provided you manage your time efficiently, it can certainly be done. 

Below, with the help of the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs, we’ve listed a few helpful tips that will help you manage your study time. Follow these tips, and in no time you’ll have achieved everything you wanted out of your career.


Set a timeframe 

The first and most important point to make, is that  you should have an end goal in mind. Courses tend to have some form of test at the end, so this provides a good idea of when your last day of studying will be. From here, work backwards – how much free time do you have throughout the week? When are you most productive during those hours? Do you have other commitments that may prevent you from studying? Then you can work out how many hours a week you can spend studying. Always give yourself a bit of leeway too, just in case something unexpected happens. Remember, it’s easier to find small portions of time in your schedule rather than long stretches. 


Be realistic

Once you’ve figured out how much time you can put away to study, the next question is to ask yourself if the time you’ve set aside is realistic. Evaluate it to make sure it’s actually doable. E.g. if the course can be completed in three months as opposed to 6 months, that’s great, but if you can’t dedicate 16 hours a week to studying for example, and you work full time, it’s not a realistic goal, and you should probably scale back on the time you wish to complete the course in. If you have a holiday, family engagement or a big work deadline that could get in the way, set time aside to accommodate them too. 


Understand the ‘type’ of student you are

We all study and learn in different ways, and different environments. Some of us can juggle other tasks around our studies, while others feel better setting aside longer periods of time to concentrate on one thing. Whatever your preference, it might take you a couple of weeks to work it out. Once you have a good idea, you can adjust your timetable to accommodate your style of learning. 


Review your timeframe

If you’re moving along with your timetable but don’t feel as though you’ve gotten to the point you should be at, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and adjust your plan. A study plan is important not just to allow you to work through your course steadily and in an organised manner, but also to give you the leeway to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. 


Don’t leave your studies until the last minute

In order for your study plan and timetable to prove effective, you have to make the time to do the work. You cannot leave your studies until the last minute – that will mean you will almost certainly have to rush them, which could hinder your ability to learn and understand the content. Rushed work is unlikely to be your best effort. Being short of time will also mean that you will not have had the opportunity to check through your work properly. If any unexpected issues occur, you will not have the leeway to work around them. For these reasons a study timetable and predetermined time frame are fantastic tools for managing your studies.


About the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs

The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs (ILSPA) is a professional body who are dedicated to your career every step of the way. Whether you would like to become a Legal Secretary or you would like to advance your Legal Secretary career, they are there to support you through your journey.  For more information please visit our website.