- Making Time For Language Study -
- Finding time -
First off I want you to set up right by working out how much time is realistic for you to commit to your studies and go from there. I know it's exciting in the beginning but start little and go from there. The more progress you make the more motivation you will have, and you will find yourself naturally prioritising your studies and increasing the time you invest into them as you go.
- Creating realistic goals -
It's hard not to get ahead of yourself and want to study as much as possible, that's fine and good in the beginning. Everything is new and exciting and your brain just wants to soak it all up. The problem is when you set yourself up to maintain this level of study and then when it's not met you feel like you've failed, this my friends is not fine and certainly not good in the beginning. It will make you feel like you want to quit and that it was a waste of time to start with.
Make goals that are realistic and can easily be achieved especially in the beginning. something like 10 new words a week, or if you prefer something more time based 15-20 minutes everyday. These are easy met goals and help to make you feel not overwhelmed by masses of content. Anything achieved above these goals is a bonus but you can always meet your baseline goals which makes them achievable and indirectly effects your motivation.
- Linking with daily habits -
Another good way to incorporate language learning into your daily routine is work out what is already in your daily routine and link your study/practice to activities that already exist. Shower everyday? perfect! Practice your conversational skills while you wash your hair. Having a morning coffee? why not flick through your flashcards while you sip that glorious black life juice.
Finding activities that you habitually do everyday and linking language based activities helps to train your brain into exposing/incorporating language into your life. Eventually this will turn into set aside daily time just for study but like I said earlier start small and go big.
- Being prepared -
Knowing what materials your going to use beforehand is a sure fire way to making the most of your time. It takes the guess work out of what you should do and helps your study period slot straight into your day and less likely to pushed back further and further down the list of tasks that never get done. The easiest way to do this is to use a study planner. I list my resources and the focus for that session so when it comes time to doing it I'm ready to go and less likely to procrastinate.
- Don't be too hard on yourself -
Lastly like the heading says, don't be too hard on yourself. life happens, things pop up, and time can just get away from us. This is NORMAL. I have heard a few times and I'll share it here but,
"you will always make time for things you want to".
This is true for many aspects of life; friends, family, assignments, hobbies, exercise, whatever it may be you choose to spend your time doing these things and if you truly want to learn another language you will make time for this too.
Life will happen but the game is in the long run and with the tips above hopefully they keep you on track and motivated not just for those first few days, that first week or even that first month, but years down the line cause lets be honest this is really how long it takes to learn a language.