A Little Refinement

In preparation for my next project, which will be something done monthly, I’m looking to refine my habits, and my environment. What this means for me is less English and more Japanese. For it to work, this should be long term, sustainable changes that can keep me on track.

Growth is in your hands.

Growth is in your hands.

Following my personal guideline of always having something to listen to, watch, play, read, and study, here are some specifics I have lined up. I want to do more

  • Listening to comprehensible and familiar audio, like audio tracks to graded readers, or rips from movies I’ve seen with Japanese subs. Speaking of which…
  • Watching TV with Japanese subs. Having audio and text with kanji at the same time with the video for cues is far too useful not to use!
  • Playing more video games, especially ones that have a lot of text. Sometimes I get so caught up in other parts of learning Japanese, that I forget one of the best of all!
  • Reading manga and other texts on paper at the end of the day. Winding down with some manga or graded readers is a great way to top things off!
  • Studying using Anki and Learning With Texts with a monolingual dictionary, and aiming to reach my goal for new cards and reviews each and every day.
My point exactly!

My point exactly!

So that’s all well and good, but what about cutting out distractions? After all, there’s nothing more detrimental to your language learning than coming home from your day job only to spend hours with your favorite English time-sucking vampire. I’m going to be quite personal and specific in this section, so hopefully you can look at my changes and make equally specific adjustments in your own environment. In order to improve myself, I want to limit…

  • Visiting my Facebook news feed and notifications page. I’m sure for many of you, this is a huge and frequent distraction. This will be for Saturday mornings only.
  • Watching English TV isn’t something that I do a lot of. Usually just on Saturday nights when friends are over, so looks like it will be limited to then.
  • I still want to check Gmail, Facebook Messenger, and text messages, because if I don’t, honestly I will fall off the face of the planet. Instead of checking it compulsively, I’ll do so at a more convenient and regular opportunity, such as at every meal time. A good chance to take a break from whatever I’m doing, and catch up with friends and family.
  • I spend a lot of time searching for media to use in my environment, not to mention converting, sorting, and that sort of thing. To avoid spending more time looking for media than using it, I’ll only be on the search on Friday nights, when the whole weekend is still ahead of me.
  • Even blogging, which is an enjoyable and fulfilling activity, is of course also done in English. To ensure it’s done at a time where I can use it to get all pumped up for great Japanese learning to its fullest potential, I’ll also be doing this on Friday nights.

There we go—that’s 5 things to add and 5 to limit! To keep things on track, besides the site-blocking plugins that I’ve mentioned before, I’ve become a big fan of e.ggtimer.com for timeboxing. You can bookmark custom URLs for certain times, and even though it’s browser based, there is a sound effect and a popup to altert you when it’s time to switch tasks. Use it and watch your efficiency fly!


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  • Read More or Die! 2011

    _2011 End Results_
    Total read for Tadoku:
    __433.3 pages!__
    Placement: 115/188
    October 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 97/120
    End Tally: 59.2
    July 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 86/142
    End Tally: 195.6
    April 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 62/106
    End Tally: 154.5
    January 2011 Contest:
    Placement: 84/99
    End Tally: 24
    August 2010 Contest:
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    End Tally: 160

  • Read Or Die 2013

    Goal: 600
    Total: 906.26
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    March 2-Week:
    Goal: 125

    Goal: 250
    Total: 314

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