Over the last month I have been pretty busy with a number of things including the holiday season, working as a volunteer diver to remove おにひとで (devil starfish) to protect the coral, and just work in general that have kept me away from my Japanese study. It has also caused me to write less on Japanese Words. Though I hate to admit it, I have barely touched Anki in over 3 weeks (at this point I am almost afraid to look).
On the good side, this is actually a good topic on Japanese study to cover.
I have mentioned before that it is best if you can study at least a little bit every day. However, no matter how diligent I am, there are times when I tend to miss my study for one reason or another. So what should you do when you get off track?
The first step is to realize that you will get off track. Once you realize this you will be able to plan for it. Basically, create a back up plan. If you miss a day you will study an additional 10 minutes each day for a week. Or if you like, and can find the time, you could do a longer intensive session. Study an additional hour tomorrow. Just be careful not to burn yourself out.
If you are unable to study for a longer period of time, then try to substitute your regular study with something you can do. Watch movies in Japanese, read Japanese on the internet during your break, download some Japanese podcasts to play in your mp3 player or listen to them while you drive to work.
In my case, I am living in Japan and use Japanese on a daily basis. And while I prefer to study each day, I do get a lot of “Japanese time” even if I am not studying. By volunteering for the diving I have exchanged some study time for some speaking practice.
One last piece of advice is to continue to put Japanese words in Anki (or whatever you are using to learn new words) even if you don’t have the time to study. This will help make sure that you don’t forget and keep growing your list.
And of course, if you have been putting off your study, then there is no better time to start than now! I guess that goes for me too!
Let me know if you have any special methods that you use to keep yourself on track and how they work out for you.