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How do you study when you are really busy? 5min a day studies


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We are talking about things you don't HAVE to necessarily learn right away, but you just want to learn them anyway. My method is 5 min a day- if you don't have time for something, 5 min is still better than nothing.

I've am one of those people that study a lot of languages at a time. So consequently when work gets busy, I leave some of them and forget about them. I left Japanese for example, about a year ago. I'd studied about half of the first level, and my schedule got busy. Japanese was the language I was learning the most "for the fun of it" and didn't even have with whom to practice, so I gave up on it.

Looking through some links here I got inspired about Japanese again, found an interesting site for learning it, and went through the first lesson(just basic greetings, few words and no grammar,9min). I figure, I can always set aside few min a day. And learning a word a day is still better then nothing, right? If you learn 1 word a day even every other day, you'd still know 100-200 words in a years time. Yes, it's not a lot...but it's more than I have learned in Japanese in the past year.

When you can give nothing more to it, I think minimalistic approach is the best. What do you think? What is your way of studying when you are really busy?

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I do this with some of my studies too. I just tell myself that if I can do 5 minutes then that is good enough. And I have to be happy with that 5 minutes. I usually end up doing a lot more. But I have to be happy with just that 5 minutes some days.

I've not thought about transferring this over to learning a language and I now think I will try out this method. As I can often lose motivation.

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I have studied when I'm really busy a few times and I so happen to get in more than 5 minutes. Sometimes when I read, I'll jot down words that I am not familiar with and research them later or if it is a foreign word I do more with it. When I am busy I will then glance at the ones that I have already prepared and try to memorize something about them. That usually gets me motivated to continue with what I am doing and at the same time I learn something with no stress at all. :cool:

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I've never seen any sites where you can get a five minute lesson, but I do like that you can take just a few minutes a day to work on a new language. For me, one of the things that I like to do is to open up a book and read aloud for 5 - 10 minutes at a time. When I come across a word that I don't know, I will look that word up.

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This sounds like a good way of doing it. I was just thinking earlier today that if I learned a couple if new verbs a day, or even a week, that'd be a heck of a lot more I'd know after even a few months than before. Then I think back on the years here and there that have passed where I could have been doing this and see all the time I've wasted.

I just spent several minutes going through a few of the verb tenses in Spanish. I know this stuff, it's just it doesn't get utilized nearly enough for it to become second nature.

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In both my jobs as an English teacher and a freelance writer, I get to learn and practice my English skills a lot everyday. I am very thankful for that since I don't have to force myself to study during a particular time. Talking to students, learning some new vocabulary words with them is in itself a daily learning experience. In my writing job, the more I get to learn about many topics as I do research first before drafting articles.

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Looking through some links here I got inspired about Japanese again, found an interesting site for learning it, and went through the first lesson(just basic greetings, few words and no grammar,9min). I figure, I can always set aside few min a day. And learning a word a day is still better then nothing, right? If you learn 1 word a day even every other day, you'd still know 100-200 words in a years time. Yes, it's not a lot...but it's more than I have learned in Japanese in the past year.

When you can give nothing more to it, I think minimalistic approach is the best. What do you think? What is your way of studying when you are really busy?

I think this is an excellent approach.  It's important to take action rather than to just think of how overwhelmed you are and that you don't have time to do something.  You're absolutely right, 5 minutes is not a huge time commitment.

I have used a similar strategy for a variety of tasks, including increasing vocabulary.  It's all cumulative, and to have the discipline to get started is an accomplishment in and of itself.  And once you get in the habit of setting aside the 5 minutes or so, it becomes easier and easier.

Great ideas.  Very motivating.  Thanks for sharing  them with us! :)

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Studying language involves listening. When I am doing something, I play in background the dialogues, so I get to familiarize myself with the sounds and the words, enunciation and pronunciation. I also dedicate minimal time for it, about half to an hour a day. I also read before I sleep for about 5 minutes. When I am not doing something important, I sneak to my materials like when I am eating, waiting, during breaks and while I am commuting.When I am taking a bath, I talk to myself in the language that I am learning. I listen also to music and pay attention to the lyrics.

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OK, 5 minutes per day it's really complicated, you can't study 5 minutes per day only. Why don't you get audio tapes for the car, or you study while walking or in the public transportations? Other options: in the bathroom, while having lunch, before going to bed. Seize the time!

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Being busy is just an excuse for everyone. You can allot one day for studying if you choose to. Time management is one of the most important qualities in order to do so, sadly not much people have it or learn it. I do my studies one day before the exam yet I get really high grades (imagine if I studied for a longer period) ^_^. Well that's for me, it really depends upon the person.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Studying language involves listening. When I am doing something, I play in background the dialogues, so I get to familiarize myself with the sounds and the words, enunciation and pronunciation. I also dedicate minimal time for it, about half to an hour a day. I also read before I sleep for about 5 minutes. When I am not doing something important, I sneak to my materials like when I am eating, waiting, during breaks and while I am commuting.When I am taking a bath, I talk to myself in the language that I am learning. I listen also to music and pay attention to the lyrics.

Those are good ideas, thanks! I have music player in the kitchen, and I usually just put CD in or connect it to my mp3...I keep forgetting that I can put the radio on and listen to the language while I am cooking, that may be useful even if I don't understand all.

A simple quick immersion. I'll just flick through a newspaper quickly then maybe jot down any unknown words. Having said that this rarely happens as I've usually got a lot of time to study when I need to, do don't have to rush.

I never buy newspapers, but that is a good point. I do have some books and magazines in the language, which I can use to improve.

Being busy is just an excuse for everyone. You can allot one day for studying if you choose to. Time management is one of the most important qualities in order to do so, sadly not much people have it or learn it. I do my studies one day before the exam yet I get really high grades (imagine if I studied for a longer period) ^_^. Well that's for me, it really depends upon the person.

I agree and disagree at the same time. Sometimes I have weeks when I work 12-14-16 hours a day, and by the time I'm done I'm too tired for anything. But at the same time now I am training a lot, which I didn't have time for before. I just had to give up doing some of the extra work hours. I've learned some time management, I guess the biggest part which I should still work through is knowing when I should give up doing something for doing something else. I have a lot of priorities and a lot of things important to me and a lot of interests...something's got to give...you can't do all at the same time. But I do agree that if the language learning is important to me I should figure out how important and fit it in the plan.

OK, 5 minutes per day it's really complicated, you can't study 5 minutes per day only. Why don't you get audio tapes for the car, or you study while walking or in the public transportations? Other options: in the bathroom, while having lunch, before going to bed. Seize the time!

Well, I actually work from home, and if I am out I am walking/training, so I need my focus on that. But some of your other ideas might be good. I guess the whole problem is that I am too overwhelmed with a lot of things, and a lot of the times setting time aside to study feels like I'm avoiding something that I should deal with(like work problem)- even though I know that I have chosen to study that language, and that it will be really useful to know it. Saying to myself that it will only be for 5 min and then I can get back to everything else relieves some of the pressure of trying to set aside time. I do usually end up doing somewhat more.

I really make an effort to have at least 30 minutes a day. I keep an good study habit ever since high school. Learning new things is fun when you keep it.

Me too, but things were a lot more simple in high school. Sometimes in the past weeks I work and train so many hours, that what I am left with might be only 1 hour for other stuff...and I have more than 1 language/subject I am trying to study.

Leave a dictionary in your bathroom. Might be helpful if you have to spend some time there.  :speechless:  :laugh:

:D Fun idea! :D

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I think that with today's technology we have our job made easy because we can record out stuff in mp3 and listen during the day, it's a good technique. :)

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I suppose five minutes a day is better than nothing, but personally, if I had learned 100-200 words in a year, I wouldn't really be happy about it, even if it was just five minutes a day.

I know I could have done more than that, time is rarely an issue for anyone to be honest. It's just a matter of sacrifising more of your free-time used for fun things, and using it on studying instead. A lot of days I don't have a single minute for fun, and most weekdays are like that. I have some time on weekends to watch anime, or do something else just for fun, but besides that: I tend to spend a lot of time trying to learn more Japanese, earn money, study school-related subjects... and so on.

I'm not saying that everyone who claims that they don't have time "does in fact have time", but rather so that... I think that many, but not all, people have more time than they think. Five minutes a day could easily be doubled to ten minutes a day, or maybe taken to 20-30 minutes a day. If you have a physical book that you use for studying, or just some printed out pages of whatever study material you have, you'll see that there are lots of "dead-moments" during your day that you can spend on studying your language. In total, you'd probably have studied for 10-40 minutes a day this way, even if it was very short moments at a time. As long as the concentration is very deep for those few minutes, it's very effective.

Personally I tend to read Japanese The Manga Way (A basic-level grammar book. Not the best out there, but I found it at the library, and it's quite good for dead-time studying) when I have a short break, I sit on the bus, or I happen to eat lunch alone. I probably spend over half an hour a day reading that book, without actually thinking that I'm spending so much time on it.

But yeah, five minutes a day is still better than nothing. Especially if you already know a lot, then you could easily have just five minutes a day to make sure that you will remember most of what you have already learned/reviewing the knowledge you already have.

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