From the beginning, we should be aware that learning a new language requires consistent practice. And lots of practice. You may be thinking, “Yes, I know that.” However, what happens when you sit down and open your Portuguese book to do your homework? Do you wonder how you can improve language learning?
Often times when we sit to work on a task that seems challenging and/or boring, our brain feels as if it is in pain. This pain can go away in two different manners: we can walk away from the task or we can engage in doing something more pleasant. Do you recognize yourself in these situations when you sit down to study Portuguese?
Don´t feel guilty. This is procrastination, and it is more common than you can imagine. However, you can beat procrastination and improve your language learning with simple yet successful techniques .
1. Take a short period of the day to study – wherever you are
If you are a busy person, like our clients are, the idea of spending several hours a day practicing Portuguese is not practical. Set short periods of time to study and practice Portuguese two or three times a week. It is important to be consistent so you can create a habit. But you do not need to dedicate many hours at once.
For example, get 30 minutes off your normal activities and work on assignments, or have a regular schedule of meetings with your Portuguese teacher.
Doing a little bit every day is an efficient method to get around lack of motivation and/or time to study for many hours. Seja persistente.
2. Getting sleepy on the couch? Get out of the house
Choose a local library, a quiet cafeteria, or any other place that offers a positive atmosphere for you to focus and study. The important thing is to choose a place that, unlike your home, offers no temptations or distractions that invite you to, for example, organize stuff, watch TV or take a nap. Some people work better out of their home, some like to change from place to place every week. Find out what works for you.
3. Avoid social media distractions
Yes, we are addicted to and dependent on social media. Most procrastinators complain that social media disrupts concentration and prevents them from getting more done. If you receive notifications from social media (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.) all the time, just turn them off temporarily so you can focus on what you are doing. This is as easy as temporarily putting your phone in silent mode. You will get more done this way.
4. Use the Pomodoro technique
This is one of the most famous techniques to improve our concentration on tasks, and it is very easy to use.
The Pomodoro Technique is a patented method of time management and its goals are to increase concentration and productivity, minimize disruptions, and create habits.
The technique stimulates us to work in blocks of time. Typically people work with blocks of 25 minutes. During that time, you turn off any distractions and focus on your task. You can adjust the time to fit your rhythm. Some people prefer to work with longer periods of time to ensure that they get in a good flow.
Define how many blocks of Pomodoro you want to have in a given day. Take breaks between them. Some people like to alternate tasks between blocks. If you decide to do one Pomodoro per day, that´s fine. Watch this interesting video talking about the Pomodoro Technique: