In keeping with the title of this post, I’m going to make this very short and straight to the point.
I believe what I’m about to tell you is crucially important advice.
Less time studying languages = more retention and faster learning
When you sit down to do some language study, don’t spend an hour or several hours going over new material and vocabulary.
Don’t spend huge amounts of time going over dozens or hundreds of new flashcards, trying to devour several chapters of a course book or flying through the lessons of an audio series.
Make a 10-15 minute time limit at the start of your day, focus on a maximum of 5-8 new words, 1 new aspect of grammar and some short examples.
Spend the rest of the day using these few new words and let the rest of your language learning time be spent on actually using the language, and through other fun activities like reading books and watching films.
It’s a struggle to remember 10% of 50 words, but remembering 100% of 5 words is easy!
Every time you encounter those few new words watching a movie, chatting with friends, reading a book, etc. throughout the day they will become more and more familiar to you and easier to recall.
The less time you spend trying to cram lots of information into your brain, the more you will remember (backed up by research too, btw).
You’re not the Rain Man so take your time! 🙂