What did you do last Saturday? Did you sleep in or get a coffee and read the paper? How many TV shows did you watch Saturday night? Was it worth your time? Time is the most valuable resource you will ever have. You can get more money, another degree or even new friends. How your spend time will become your life. It will become the story you tell your kids and grand kids.
How You Spend Your Time Matters
Every day we make choices that determine the story of our life. These choices become more powerful over time. Spending your time learning Mandarin or developing stronger leadership skills will impact your life for years to come. Making the right choices about what you do with your time is key to living your dream. Even after you make the choice, following through is not easy. Work rarely stops today. It is hard to disconnect even for a vacation. How do you find time to memorize new phrases or key vocabulary words?
Master the Little Moments
This is one of the keys to your success at learning Chinese or mastering another skill, but you must be organized. What did you do the last time you sat at the DMV for 2 hours? How long did you wait for your last appointment with the doctor? Did you study Chinese or work on mastering another skill? Most people did nothing more than sit there bored. Did you?
What would it take to change this? Two things really: motivation and organization. You need to want to do something more with your life. You must understand that every second you sit waiting is wasted. You must want to do something different. Then do something different.
Develop an “On the Go Learning Plan”
- Break down the new skill into smaller steps
- Figure out what materials you need
- Develop a schedule
Breaking Down Chinese Into Steps
If you want to learn Mandarin, consider learning vocabulary and patterns. What vocabulary and patterns do you need to memorize this week? What vocabulary and patterns did you learn 4 months ago? You will probably benefit from studying those a little more.
What Materials do You Need?
Consider the materials you will need to learn Mandarin. You can purchase a flashcard app on your smart phone to help you memorize new words. Then practice these new words with the patterns you recently learned. How will you remember the patterns? Can you put them in a small notebook that you carry around with you? You may want to buy an app to help you learn to write characters or bring pen and paper to practice.
How will you spend your time this week. What appointments will offer opportunities to study while you wait? Can you study in the morning over coffee? What about while the kids are down for a nap or during lunch at work? What are your best opportunities this week and when will you practice?
How will you change your life with the new found 30 to 60 minutes you have every day? Will you study Chinese or master another skill? The real question is which choice will improve the quality of your life?