No, you’re not too busy to study Japanese

too busy

How many times, on a given day, do you find yourself saying you’re too busy? Have you ever really given it any thought? Although you’re so busy, at the end of the day what have you accomplished?

If you really enjoy doing something, then you will find time to do it, no matter how busy you are. You have to get out of that “just get through the day” mentality, and instead change to the “what can I accomplish today?” mentality. It’s all about the little things that lead up the big, ultimate accomplishment. You might not be able to do everything in one day, but I’m sure that you can do something no matter how small. You have to produce every single day. Always produce.

You’re not going to reach your goals in one session, but does that mean you shouldn’t try? You might not have enough time to devote to studying 20 kanji, but does that mean you shouldn’t study any kanji? No, it doesn’t mean that at all. Every bit of studying helps, and even if you think it’s not going to do anything, I’ll tell you one thing it will do. It will help you stay in motion, and it will keep you motivated. Staying in motion is very important, especially if you like something a lot. The less you do something, the faster you lose what initial passion you might have had for it. I’m sure you all want to master the Japanese language. To do that, and to keep your passion for it, you have to do it every single day. Try and study a bit every single day.

time management

Another reason you’re really busy and not getting much done is because you’re letting time conquer you. Don’t let time conquer you. You have to conquer time. One way to do that is to get organized. There are so many tools out there that can aid you in the process of organizing your life. Wunderlist is a fantastic task-manager application that makes writing to-do lists super simple. Evernote is an application that remembers everything so you don’t have to. Anki is a spaced repetition application that helps you memorize everything. Put all three of those apps together and it looks like you have one freakin’ awesome suite for studying Japanese.

Speaking of Spaced Repetition, don’t just use it to study Japanese! I always hear students saying they’re busy because of finals. Avoid cramming, and instead focus on long-term retention. Cramming is bad for a plethora of reasons. For one, it gives you the wrong outlook on studying. You begin to view studying as something that should be rushed and isn’t fun at all. That’s the wrong way to view it though. Studying and learning are extremely fun and should be a savoured experience. If you’re cramming you’re not only wasting money, you’re wasting your education and your brain power. It’s easier and more efficient to study for the long-term with an SRS so why not just do it?

Also, you have to remember that it takes time to get good at Japanese. As a matter of fact, it takes time to get good at anything. You have to have patience. You won’t get it all done in one session, but doing nothing at all will definitely not help you. Do as much as you can in the time you have. Even if you only have time to study one kanji, do it. Even if you only have time to do reps for five minutes, do it. You’ll be getting yourself into good habits and you will feel like you’re working hard for something you really enjoy. Your motivation will stay high, and eventually when you do have more time to spare, you will use it wisely.

Finding motivation and inspiration is very important! Whenever you are feeling down or it’s getting too difficult, try to seek out something motivational to read immediately. Sure, you can stop to soothe the pain when something gets too difficult, but in the future you will feel even worse because you realized you gave up.

What I’m basically trying to say is that if you really enjoy doing something then you will find time to do it. No matter how busy you are, you will find some time, even if just 5 minutes, to do what you love. No matter how small, anything is progress.

P.S. Too busy to read this long post? You should probably follow me on twitter here. ;-)
P.P.S.What do you guys do to stay consistent with something? Let everyone know in the comments.

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  • kanjidaisuki  On July 23, 2011 at 02:45

    One good trick, I’ve found, is to say to yourself, “just one more ___… just ten more minutes…” and variations on that phrase. You basically make yourself do one more little step and you keep doing this until you finish your goals.

    And this is a great motivational post for learners of any field really, I’m kind of surprised it isn’t more popular!

    • Prize  On July 23, 2011 at 05:05

      You’re right telling yourself just a little bit more does tend to work at times. I know because I do it a lot. I’ll tell myself I can go on for just 10 minutes longer. This usually works better if I also tell myself there will be a reward at the end. I’ll be less inclined to do something for longer if there’s no reward. The reward doesn’t have to be anything big, maybe a 10 minute video on Youtube, or even an episode of an anime will do just fine.

      Anyways, Thank you for reading and commenting!

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