I recently felt quite demotivated with language learning this year, until I changed up my study routine and now I feel re-energised and happy to study! I had to come to terms with the reality of my situation. Let’s look at what happened and how this could help you too.
My Study Routine
1. Study Anki deck flashcards (mostly full sentences)
2. Listening practice while having breakfast
3. 15 minutes reading a blog post that I find interesting (any new words from this can be added to Anki along with examples sentences from a dictionary)
1. Write a story or diary using the new words I learnt in the week
2. Get them corrected and reviewed by a native speaker (I use Lang-8)
Twice a week:
A 30-minute italki lesson to practice conversation and new words. (new words I learn with my teacher can be added to Anki too)
How to Make a Kick-Ass Routine
1. First of all, a routine should be specific to a person and their reasons for studying.
An obvious example: if you are learning English only for the purpose of travel and nothing else, then you probably don’t need to practice writing.
2. Don’t make a routine you won’t stick to. Keep it really simple!
Maybe you’re envious of my 1+ hours a day and want to try, but you’re not sure you can do it. It’s much better to start off small and gradually give it more time as it becomes a habit. If you start it too big you’re likely to give up.
3. Focus on all the key skills you need for your goals.
Don’t do what I did with Japanese. I spent 3 years studying how to write characters but never asked myself why! I didn’t need to know how to write at all so it was just wasted time.
4. Be consistent and find time in your day.
It’s really important that it’s a consistent daily habit for you. That’s much more important than the length. Try to find a time of day that is never disturbed by other tasks. I don’t study at lunchtime because my lunchtimes change every day depending on work and other responsibilities.
5. Have the mindset that you will focus 100%.
I often get up and study but my mind isn’t really in the moment. I’m thinking about something else or I’m not really absorbing what I’m studying. This really isn’t that beneficial. I found it’s 100x better when I turn off all notifications and distractions and get my complete attention to my studies. Have the mindset that you will take it seriously and it will be more enjoyable.