A new year is like the beginning of a journey. Make 2018 your best year yet when it comes to learning by following my 3 most prized tips.
TOP TIP #1
head straight to the hard stuff
When you know you have to tackle something, be it an upcoming exam, some tricky homework or a kitchen full of dirty dishes, I find the best way to make speedy progress is to go straight to the most difficult task (you know - the one that's putting you off starting anything at all and making the [sofa + chocolate biscuit + Netflix] look inevitable...)
Especially when it comes to studying, if you find yourself skipping over that difficult page in your grammar textbook or avoiding using that word you can't pronounce properly, that's usually a sign that it's the very thing you need to focus on.
Ironically, if you tackle it head on, it usually isn't as bad as you had imagined it would be, and the simple feeling of overcoming such a tough obstacle right away will give you a burst of satisfaction that can keep you studying for a bit longer.
TOP TIP #2
just keep going
On and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on...
Boring stuff, difficult stuff, stuff-we-all-have-to-do-but-don't-enjoy (vacuuming, learning vocabulary, cleaning out the cat litter, taking the bins out) - life is full of these things. The simple solution to getting them finished is simply to just keep going. Easier said than done though, right?
If you've got a task to complete that you really can't stand, try setting yourself a reward (a Mars bar/a banana smoothie/a trip to the cinema), or breaking it into smaller chunks followed by a #Facebook break (try the Pomodoro technique - 25 mins on, 5 mins off).
The point is, if you simply keep going, just by putting one foot in front of another, you'll eventually get it done.
TOP TIP #3
the sillier the better
I am a huge fan of silly. I just think silliness is horrendously underrated. If you find something difficult to remember, the best advice I can give is to make it really, really, REALLY silly.
For example, when I was studying Chinese and had to learn hundred of Chinese characters (which I found incredibly difficult), I used to sit in a café with my best mate (never underrate a #greatcoffee - here in New Zealand, a flat white) and we would make up ridiculously silly (or rude, which works really well too) rhymes and pictures to help us remember how to write our characters.
I find that the more ridiculous (or rude) you make something, the easier it is to remember! Using jokes, or rhymes, or drawing funny pictures can all help you to memorise new ideas or words.
So... here's to a very successful 2018! I wish you all the best with your most diffcult tasks, perseverance and plain old messing around. If you'd like some language classes to help you along your way, check out our FAQ or get in touch. Let me know how you get on!
BEFORE YOU GO... check out the English bytes from today's post:
putting [me/you/him/her/us/them] off something: to discourage you from doing something e.g. the price of that laptop is putting me off buying it / the smell of that cheese is putting me off eating it
to put [something] off: to postpone something, to reschedule it for a later date e.g. they had to put the wedding off because the groom broke his leg
[noun] looks [adjective]: to appear, you believe it to be e.g. your book looks really boring / that movie looks cool / that list of vocabulary you gave me for homework looks enormous!
the very thing: used to emphasise the exact identity of something; actual; precise e.g. if you hate the water, swimming is the very thing you need to do to overcome your fear
[to do something] head on: to do something directly i.e. you position yourself directly in front of it e.g. I'm going to face this problem head on
easier said than done: some things are easy to talk about or to analyse but much more difficult to actually do e.g. not watching the next episode of Netflix as soon as the previous episode finishes is easier said than done because it automatically loads!
[I/you/he/she/we/they] can't stand [something/doing something]: to really hate something e.g. I can't stand Mary, she just never stops talking! / My mum can't stand ironing so my dad irons his own shirts
underrated [adj.]: something is worth more than people think it is e.g. eating chips on the beach is really underrated, they taste so much better than in front of the TV
What are your #3 top tips for speedy progress in 2018? Share them with us in the comments!