Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

ibopm
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Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby ibopm » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:03 pm

Alright, so I've scoured TLS as well and I know what I need to do to study. My problem is that I seem to be only able to put in an hour a day. This is my schedule, can anyone provide any suggestions?

Weekdays (Monday to Friday):
I am currently working full-time at a location which requires a 2-hour commute one-way. I get into the office by 7:30am and I leave at 4:30pm. This means that I get home around 6:30pm. I have a subscription to The Economist and I read this on the bus the whole way back (my favourite part of the day actually). When I get home, I put everything down and I exercise and eat my dinner as fast as I can. By the time I am ready (physically and mentally) to study, it is already 8:30pm. I put in a good hour of effective studying before feeling completely burned out, and then I prep for the next day (packing lunch and other things). I head to bed at around 10:30pm in order to be able to get enough sleep and get to the office in the morning to do it all over again.

Weekends:
Friday night I give myself a break and chill out with friends, but in order to prevent wrecking my circadian rhythm I sleep before 12am midnight. I do not set an alarm for Saturday mornings because I want my body to recover from the stress of the week. I usually wake up around 10am or so. After I eat breakfast, there are usually errands I have to run. The day is a GODSEND, but amidst all the things I have to do I am only able to squeeze in 1 or 2 hours of LSAT studying before burnout. Sunday morning church, and then lunch, and then I tutor math for an hour, and then I teach piano for another. By the time that is done, it is already nearing 6pm. The end of the day draws to a close as I scramble to put in maybe half an hour of LSAT studying (if at all), while preparing to do this all over again.

I really want a high LSAT score (who doesn't?), and I thought having 4 months out from the October test would be enough. But now even that is looking grim. What can I do? How can I change my schedule, or the way I'm studying to deal with this? So far I'm just working through the Powerscore LGB and LRB; I am almost halfway through. I plan to get preptests after this.

To complicate matters, I had actually signed up for the Kaplan course (my parents forced me, I had no say). This will take out approximately 3 hours or so (plus commute time) from Monday night, Thursday night, and Saturday mornings. This will start on June 20.

Would really appreciate any advice, thanks!

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paratactical
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby paratactical » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:05 pm

Your problem is not your schedule, it's that you can't handle studying for more than a hour.

ibopm
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby ibopm » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:14 pm

paratactical wrote:Your problem is not your schedule, it's that you can't handle studying for more than a hour.


Be that as it may, any suggestions?

09042014
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:24 pm

ibopm wrote:
paratactical wrote:Your problem is not your schedule, it's that you can't handle studying for more than a hour.


Be that as it may, any suggestions?


Do powerscore bibles on the bus instead of the economist. The slight increase in reading comprehension isn't worth shit.

Second, instead of going home, go to a library and study there. Either near your work, or near your house. Or hell, just stay at your office after work and study there.

Sleep less. You can function on 5 hours fairly easily.

It's a skills test. Why do you need more than an hour a day anyway. When you are ready to start taking Practice tests, you'll have to do 2 hours, because thats how long a test is, but until then 1 hour 4 days a week and a couple on the weekend should be okay.

delusional
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby delusional » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:26 pm

ibopm wrote:
paratactical wrote:Your problem is not your schedule, it's that you can't handle studying for more than a hour.


Be that as it may, any suggestions?

If you have only an hour a day, study an hour every single day. I had similar time constraints, and I got around it by studying for six months, an hour or so (2 sections) a night 3-4 times a week, and one full test on the weekends. Then you can use the time on the bus to analyze what your tests are like, and what your mistakes are caused by.

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suspicious android
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby suspicious android » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:32 pm

Move closer to work or quit your job and find something closer to home. I imagine you "can't" because it's absolutely impossible, but recognize that it isn't. You're just decided that those other things are more important than extra prep time for the LSAT. That's fine, those are your priorities. So you can stick with one hour a day or sleep less, that's it. One hour per day for three months is actually quite a lot of prep, actually.

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bk1
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby bk1 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:32 pm

ibopm wrote:
paratactical wrote:Your problem is not your schedule, it's that you can't handle studying for more than a hour.


Be that as it may, any suggestions?


At some point you're going to need to start taking practice tests (and of course eventually the actual LSAT) which are 2+ hours. If you're barely making it to 1-2 hours of studying now, you need to find a way to make it so that you're not burning out at 1-2 hours.

Of course you can do the study at least 1 hour everyday thing for now, but eventually you are going to have to deal with this 1-2 hour burnout problem so you might as well face it now.

Total Litigator
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby Total Litigator » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:39 pm

Man up?

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby DocHawkeye » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:45 pm

ibopm wrote:Sunday morning church, and then lunch, and then I tutor math for an hour, and then I teach piano for another. By the time that is done, it is already nearing 6pm.


Church is four hours long and starts at noon?

wolfpack37
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby wolfpack37 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:21 pm

Skip church

splbagel
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby splbagel » Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:26 pm

Agree with most of the above advice, except I'd emphasize that you should NOT sacrifice sleep. Sleep is an extremely important part of memory and learning. At a certain point, spending an extra hour studying instead of sleeping is actually setting you back, since you're not remembering much of what you've learned and the lack of sleep makes it even harder for you to focus the next day.

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glitter178
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby glitter178 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:28 pm

wolfpack37 wrote:Skip church

this

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TrojanHopeful
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby TrojanHopeful » Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:35 pm

I was in a similar situation; I worked full time (minus your long commute) and attended school full time. I found some time to study; however, whenever I felt like I was making some progress, I would have to go weeks without studying due to getting very busy with work and school. I ultimately decided that if my ultimate goal is getting into the best law school possible, then the LSAT has to take priority. With that in mind, I told my employer that I would no longer be available to work a full-time job; luckily, they offered me a part-time schedule. I now have plenty of quality time to study for the LSAT.

So, either quit your job, find part-time work, or deal with the constricting amount of time that is available to study while you continue to work full time.

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mac35352
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby mac35352 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:30 pm

I'm sorry but this sounds like whining. Study on your way to and from work. Get up at 9 on Saturdays. Quit all your tutoring for now and MAKE TIME. I had to work 40+ hours a week, plus class, plus an hour long commute and I managed to put 25 hours or more a week. My weekends were totally dedicated to studying and I studied whenever possible during the week.
Grab a planner and manage your time.
Good luck

schooner
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby schooner » Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:47 pm

Not only do you seem to take abnormally long for routine activities, the way you're accounting for your time is highly suspicious. It reminded me of how some fat people complain that they're not losing any weight, despite being on a strict diet - they're just forgetting all those snacks and extra bites and underestimating the rest.

For example, the activities you listed for Sunday should all be over by 2:30-3pm, but you say you're not done by 6pm. What in god's name are you doing? (By the way, I think you should drop everything you're doing on Sunday right now and just do LSAT prep that day.) Why does it take you two freaking hours to "get ready" to study M-F night? You say you study for an hour, from 8:30pm-9:30pm. Why does it take you a whole hour to prep for the next day?

Also, you should try to build up your stamina, because taking the LSAT is arduous. If you can't tolerate more than hour of focused study at a time, heaven help you on test day.

schooner
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby schooner » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:31 pm

M-F
4:30pm-6:30pm - LSAT on bus
6:30pm-8pm - eat, exercise, shower, etc
8-10:15pm - LSAT
10:15-10:30pm - get ready for bed
every other Friday - stay in and study

Sat and Sun
10-10:15am - breakfast
until noon - errands etc
noon-6pm - LSAT
6-6:30pm - dinner
6:30-7:30pm - exercise & shower
7:30pm-10:15pm - LSAT
10:15-10:30pm - get ready for bed

There. You now have a ton of time to study for the LSAT. If you feel like you're getting burned out, substitute one of the LSAT study times for fun 1-2x a week.

By the way, I don't understand why it takes you an entire day on Saturday to do your errands. Doing the essentials (grocery shopping, paying bills) should take a few hours, at most. Drop or postpone the rest. Buy microwave meals to cut down on cooking time. (Or maybe you can get your parents to help out with some of the errands or pay for time-saving services. If your parents still feel like they're in a position to tell you how to run your life, and apparently they are, maybe they're willing to help out in that respect too.) Run around the block instead of wasting time going to/from the gym. You do what you have to do.

ibopm
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby ibopm » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:52 pm

schooner wrote:M-F
4:30pm-6:30pm - LSAT on bus
6:30pm-8pm - eat, exercise, shower, etc
8-10:15pm - LSAT
10:15-10:30pm - get ready for bed
every other Friday - stay in and study

Sat and Sun
10-10:15am - breakfast
until noon - errands etc
noon-6pm - LSAT
6-6:30pm - dinner
6:30-7:30pm - exercise & shower
7:30pm-10:15pm - LSAT
10:15-10:30pm - get ready for bed


All the replies were great and I really appreciate it. I feel more motivated thanks to how encouraging you guys are. This reply stood out and is really pragmatic. I suppose I just have to sacrifice more obligations in order to make time for the LSAT. Thanks guys! Will let you all know how it turns out.

schooner
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby schooner » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:01 am

Good luck - and remember, once you have a great score, you can sell your prep books and never have to look at another LSAT question ever again!

PS - Is there any way you can move closer to work? 2 hours commute each way = 4 hours commute per day sounds exhausting. I use the public bus system where I live, and it's very hard to concentrate on anything (let alone something like the LSAT) when I'm riding and the two people in front me are jabbering away. One thing you could do is make xerox copies of LSAT questions so you can carry just a few sheets at a time and do a few questions here and there.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:57 am

Get rid of church attendance, tutoring and hanging out with friends. On your two hour commute in the morning, study for the test. Also utilize your two hour return from work to study (ie two days a week is spent on reading The Economist, three days is spent on LSAT).

That right there gives you about an extra 10-15 hours a week to dedicate to LSAT studies.

itookashot
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby itookashot » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:56 pm

I took the Kaplan course and found it quite useful for the foundation. So i think you should go for it. Plus, you will have access to all the preptests + explanations!

About the schedule, from my experience, you def. need to devote lots of time for the prep. The first time i took the test (in December), I spent around 2,5 months preparing for it (including, taking the Kaplan course). During that time, I was struggling with my school schedule and could only practice during weekends. Bombed the test! I took it again last week. For last 4 months (from Feb to June), i worked on my own. My schedule (based on the three-month schedule I purchased from LSATblog - they also sell schedule for ppl who have a full-time job): first two months, working on each question types in LG and LR, everyday for about 2 hours then timed sections, gave myself a day off each week. Two months after that, timed prep test every two day. By the end of May, my prep score was around 165 - 172.

So my suggestion: figuring out which section you are good at/bad at -> 2 hours each day to get used to question types in each sections (there are just several of them) + Kaplan course (do all the homework!). After Kaplan course ends, weekday: timed sections; weekends: timed preptests (you should include an experimental section in any preptest you do and time youself strictly). Eat well, sleep well and exercise. One or two day off each week. Skip all "non-essential" + time-consuming chores, like math and piano tutors, church if you can.

NB: I am a foreign student (English is not my first language) + I've been here for only 8 mths + my graduate courses (on Political science - which is not my major back at undergraduate) lasted until early May. This is just to say, as long as you spend ample time preparing + stay focused, you can have a decent score 8)

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Helicio
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Re: Time-Management Issue (No time to study)

Postby Helicio » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:13 pm

The two hour commute alone would be plenty of study time if you used it. Don't read the economist on the commute but instead go through the Powerscore Bibles. I think two hours is more than enough time to study!

Good luck.




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