arrow-down arrow-to-left arrow-to-right arrow-up bc-left check delete download facebook google-plus home map menu print search smiling three-lines top-left twitter youtube
October 2016

How to Maintain a Study Schedule While Working Full Time

Staying focused during a busy and tiring work week

If you work full time for a living, chances are you've struggled every now and again to find time for language studies. For those of us who spend much of our brainpower in the office, it can be difficult to reserve the energy (or find the inspiration) to study after a long day of toiling. Today we'll offer some tips for maintaining a fruitful study schedule in spite of limited time and energy.

Allocate time for yourself but know your habits

Allocating time for yourself every day for language study is a good practice, but if you fail to show up for learning, it's all empty effort. Schedule your learning time based on your habits. If you know you're too tired to study after a long day of work, place your study time in the morning. While it's best to study a little every day, it may work better for you to schedule study time every other day for longer periods. The goal is to create a sustainable study schedule that becomes itself a habit that doesn't cause detriment to other aspects of your life.

Integrate learning into other aspects of your life

You may be able to save time by implementing language study into other aspects of your daily life. For example, listening to a foreign language podcast during a long commute could be an option. If available, watching the morning news in your target language rather than the local language could be helpful as well. When watching movies to unwind at the end of the day, you could opt for a foreign language film instead of your regular preferences. Fitting in language learning into activities you already engage in is a time-efficient method of study.

Turn your websites into your target language

Changing websites you often use into your target language could help you learn without you realizing it. Websites like Facebook offer the option of changing your desired language. Apps like Google Translate can be used to translate entire websites into different languages (with more or less accurate results). If you don't have time to read books on your spare time, this could be a simple way of fitting in some language practice.

Stay inspired by speaking with others

It can be easy to feel discouraged from language studies. Learning another language is a Sisyphean task that never knows completion. There are always words left to learn, grammatical structures seeking masterful perfection. Keep the inspiration alive by utilizing your language skills in the real world with people. Find a friend or language partner who speaks your target language so that you can utilize your skills. Note your improvements as much as you record your weaknesses. Be kind to yourself and focus on having a good time. Speaking with others reminds us why we learn foreign languages in the first place: to connect with others.

Change how you view study time

Studying can quickly lose its appeal when there are a million other things you'd rather be doing. But changing how you view study time can greatly affect motivation. For example, if you're generally too tired to do anything at the end of the day, consider reformatting your study regimen to resemble something akin to meditation. Turn learning into a relaxation period and you may find yourself gravitating to your study sessions as a method of escape. Indeed, learning a new language is a passageway into another world. Embrace it and you could find your great daily adventure.

What are your tips for scheduling and maintaining your study sessions during busy workdays? Leave a comment on Facebook and be sure to follow us with a “like” for more articles on language learning tips!

Picture: (c) Fotolia,