“I would like to learn English more often, but I don’t have time for it.”
Or, “I’m studying English twice a week – I don’t have time to study it more often.”
Obviously, studying it twice a week is already something! But if you are here reading this article, presumably you want to confirm if your study routine is enough, or maybe you are at the point of changing it. Time is seen as something that is never enough, but there is one thing everyone seems to forget – we all have got the same amount of time during the day. Each of us is responsible for their own time management.
So how is it possible that some people seem to be doing zillions of tasks every day and squeeze in some time to learn a language, while other people can’t find even 10 minutes daily to revise? Usually, it’s not the matter of being busy and busier – it all comes down to the right time management. If you belong to the second group, which cannot seem to find even a short period of time to study – that’s not the end of the world! First, try to find some time to sit and think – how can I study English as much as possible in my busy schedule. Here are 5 tips that might help you!
Know yourself and your limits
Each of us is different – some prefer to study in short blocks but for an overall longer amount of time, the others prefer to study long blocks and finish quicker. Which one sounds better to you? The thought of studying 2 hours sounds too overwhelming? That’s totally fine – maybe you need to study only 30 minutes daily? Maybe you can’t focus if you study for over an hour? It’s best to know yourself, your learning abilities and for how long you can concentrate. This way, you will be able to come up with studying time best suited for yourself. It’s important, because an appropriate studying time will not discourage you from actually starting – and that’s what you want to do.
Establish a routine to study English more
If you put an effort into establishing a study routine, it will pay off. First, you won’t have dilemmas like “Should I study now or later?”, “Should I even study today? Nah, maybe tomorrow.” Once you know you need to study English today – you will study. Plus, if you decide that English study sessions are your priority, you will be able to organize your day or week in much effective manner. For some people, “study routine” sounds like a huge burden, while it is the complete opposite. Even a 30-minutes daily study routine makes your learning much more fruitful, making you less calm and less guilty about not studying. If you are really short on time, for starters, you might want to study for 10 minutes daily – it all comes down to establishing that routine.
Try to seize every opportunity to study
Have you ever thought about how much time you might have been losing during the day? When you commute to work, when you are standing in a line, when you are cleaning – all these actions are automatic actions which usually do not require a lot of concentration and brain work. In such cases, you might want to use that time to revise or to learn English. What could work best is an app for studying English on your phone – something you can use anytime and anywhere. You can also try downloading podcasts or audiobooks and listen to them in your car or on a bus. Depending on how long it takes you to commute to work and back, it might turn out you immerse yourself in the language for an hour daily!
Adjust your surroundings
Sometimes you just have to learn some tedious grammar or do some mildly-interesting exercises – that’s the way studying works. Instead of skipping the less attractive parts or doing them as quickly as possible without even thinking, try to do something else. Try to organize your desk and your surroundings the way you think it might be helpful for your studying. If you enjoy the thought of studying in a café, make yourself a coffee and put on some jazz music and coffee shop background noise. Maybe you prefer a cozy home study session? Put on a nice sweater, get a blanket and as background music put on fireplace/rain sounds. If the atmosphere is right, you will be looking forward to each study session!
Relax with English
At least once a week, try to find some time to relax with English. What does it mean? It means rewatching your favorite movie in English, or discovering a brand new English movie. Put the subtitles on – you are supposed to unwind, not to study. If you are a books geek and an intermediate/advanced student, try to read a book you like, or you think you might like – also in English. Don’t look up every new word, don’t think about grammar patterns – just read it and try to grasp the meaning, the atmosphere, imagine what the characters look like based on their description. If you are into music, sing your heart out – English songs only! The point of that is to find enjoyment in English and let it inspire you. If you focus only on studying, you might burn out very quickly, as there will be motivation to keep your interest alive.
If you are looking for further ways to be inspired to study more English, how about trying a trial, one-on-one lesson with one of italki’s English teachers? Booking a trial class is a great solution to study English online at bargain price with professional, experienced teachers from all over the world. A suitable English teacher is able to take your language skills to the next level, making your study sessions effective, interesting and relevant.