There comes a point in your Japanese journey in which you come across a rapid river of presentations, papers, exams and deadlines that you somehow have to wade through and still catch that giant Japanese catfish in order to level up. At this point, it becomes a question of sacrificing the work in which your future depends on or being taken by the river and sacrificing Japanese.
If you know a river like this is coming up, preparing for it can lead to taking down both that fish and river, leading to success in both your work life and Japanese. Neither has to be sacrificed.
Set a goal, now!
What skills are you aiming for in the near future with your Japanese? Figure that out and what you can do in order to get there. Then, think of how you can narrow that path down to one specific goal just for this busy period.
Take for instance reading. If you are looking to improve your novel reading skills, think of one book you want to have read by the end of it. It’s important not to set too many goals when you’re busy, because you’ll most likely get overwhelmed and not accomplish anything. Having one attainable goal will help you overcome business, because picturing that goal will be your motivation.
Make Japanese follow you
No one ever has to give up Japanese completely when they think they’ll be too busy. A safety net can keep you from being carried by that river of deadlines away from your goal.
If you drive to work, your car must become your Japanese retreat. You’ll be limited to audio. If your goal is related to reading, use this as a chance to listen to material related to the book you are reading. So many books out there are accompanied by a movie, drama, anime and/or drama cd.
If you take the train, you’ll have a little bit more flexibility because you can actually read on the train, and with a mobile device you can use Anki and watch videos. Your commute time must be designated as your Japanese time, which means you cannot use it to study for exams or to do homework. Designate other times for those activities.
Always carry one. You can take this out in moments when you have to wait somewhere or even in the bathroom. If you’re going to read in the bathroom, make sure to set a limit on how many pages, so that you don’t spend too much time angering family or roommates.
Listen to your Mp3 player when you walk around. You can rarely ever get work done while walking, but you can immerse yourself in Japanese with ease.
Find More People
It can be hard to go at it alone. Finding partners to continue with even during the most stressful of times, will mean a constant source of encouragement.
How have you solved the “Busy Struggle?”
What has helped your Japanese study thrive when you’re at your busiest? What are your techniques and strategy?
Writer and Educator. Learning Japanese using immersion, currently soaking up as many novels and manga as possible in hopes of one day writing her own novel in Japanese. Also because she loves Japanese books.