Now that the new academic year has started, you may find yourself struggling with multiple projects and commitments; your work and personal life, combined with your English studies, may feel overwhelming at times. So, how can you make sure you have enough time and energy for learning? Here are a few tips that may help.
1. Studying Requires a Clear Mind
Research shows our brains have a limited capacity for demanding mental work, approximately only four hours a day! Thus, when you come back home exhausted from university or work, your studying won’t be very effective. Choose a time when your mind is clear. If you are a morning person, that may be early in the morning. You can also refresh your mind by taking a nap, meditating or taking a walk. Studying over the weekend can also be a good choice. Your brain will absorb new information more easily when you are rested.
2. Take Advantage of ‘Wasted’ Time
Do you commute by bus or train? Make the most of this time by using it to consolidate your knowledge of English. You can use your smartphone or tablet to read texts, watch educational videos or listen to audio tracks. The E-planet app can help you access all these. There are also plenty of books in simplified English, which you can easily read – they’ll help expand your vocabulary in an entertaining way. A fun game, which you can play alone while commuting, is thinking of the English words for things you can see outside. Simple vocabulary like ‘car, ‘building’ and ‘tree’ may easily come to your mind, but what about ‘railway’, ‘skyscraper’ and ‘ambulance’? Challenge yourself to remember more and more words every time!
3. Practise Daily
Would it be possible for you to set aside half an hour every day to study English? It may seem like a small amount of time, but think again. Have you ever felt frustrated because you can’t remember vocabulary you’ve already learnt? When you stop practising a foreign language, even for a few days, your mind begins to forget it. By making study a part of your everyday schedule, your brain will be able to remember new vocabulary and grammar almost effortlessly. After all, practice makes perfect!
4. Use a Calendar
Technology can be an important ally when planning your schedule. You can use various apps and software, such as the Outlook or Google Calendar, to help you manage your time. Make notes about the days and times of your classes and important tests. Use these apps to remind you about the things you need to revise and ‘pencil in’ the most suitable times for studying. This will ensure you stay focused on learning English without getting distracted by your busy life.
5. Reap the Rewards
The English language can open windows to the whole world for you. Take advantage of this opportunity in ways that will be motivating and fun for you. Consider how English can help you enjoy more things: you can chat with online friends from around the world; read articles that are not available in your native language; watch films with English subtitles; sing along to popular songs, etc. Explore the different options that will help you both practise and remain motivated to continue your studies.
If you’d like to get more tips about how to make the most of your time, try our business workshop, Time Management. It will give you a host of tools and techniques you can easily apply in your everyday life!