Setting up Optimal Conditions for Instant Studying — 7 Comments

  1. This is very very true. The biggest problem that I have with keeping myself immersed in Russian is the fact that I have lots of English materials still lying about, that I invariably fall back to because they’re easier. I have been thinking a lot about this in the past weeks, mainly because right now I am at a very solid, very comfortable intermediate level, but I want to get myself into the advanced levels. That can’t happen if I’m spending more time reading and listening to English. I think I will take the article as a nudge so to speak to create my optimal study conditions! Thank you!

    • The easiest thing you can do is start moving those English materials further away. Make Russian more convenient to access and English more difficult.

      A previous author on this site Rachel wrote about blocking out distractions on the internet ( Just making it harder to access English sites over Russian sites can make the difference on what you choose to do.

  2. For me, the biggest change that needs to happen is getting a better smartphone. I tend naturally to gravitate towards things like manga, books, and retro video games that don’t have audio rather than TV and movies, leaving me with a better Japanese reading ability than listening ability. To address this, I am trying to spend more time listening to audio during times like my morning/evening routine or while driving, but the smartphone that I have is the cheapest and most basic smartphone on the market at the time when I bought it, which I suspect might be the reason why when I try to stream a podcast or Japanese radio, it often takes a few minutes to connect and start streaming. (Sometimes I’m not able to get a connection at all.) Similarly, if I am standing in line at the supermarket and think “I’ll do some Anki while I wait,” the amount of time it takes to sync before starting up eats up a significant chunk of precious review time.

    It would probably also be helpful to get back into the habit of keeping tabs open to websites I either use or want to use for Japanese study, for example, Renshuu, which I sometimes use for kanji practice. If I have that open and am already signed in, that makes it much easier for me to spend a few minutes practicing, whereas when I don’t have a tab open to that page, it is an “out of sight, out of mind” sort of thing.

    On the other hand, I do have a lot of physical copies of Japanese books, manga and video games lying around, so I don’t ever have to spend time searching for those.

    • Yes, please do upgrade your smartphone. For the small investment (several hundred dollars) the study rewards are endless. If you are going to spend money anywhere, that’s the place you should do it.

      And I like the idea of having tabs already open and signed in. That’s great to always keep it in sight.

    • Two things:
      1. Don’t rely on streaming a podcast – download it to your device beforehand on wifi. All good podcast apps have this function (assuming you’re on Android, Podcast Addict is a good option)
      2. Disable auto-sync for Anki in options. (With Ankidroid at least) You can then sync manually by dragging down on the deck screen.

      Or maybe get a new device :)

      • Thanks for the tips! I’m sure those will come in handy.

        Getting a new device is on the to-do list, though. :)

  3. I’m using Tasker and the AutoInput plugin to open Anki and go directly to my deck (single deck for all cards) as soon as I unlock my screen. I’ll generally never study for more than 2 minutes at a time as any longer than this and it starts to feel like a hassle. At least that’s what’s working well for me at the moment.

    Also on my lock screen I’ve added a button which will play my audio player even if it’s not already open. I’m generally only listening to my immersion playlist anyway, so haven’t needed to add in a function to automatically load a playlist, but that’s definitely possible (immersion playlist is SRS style! See my comments in Future of Jalup article)

    If anyone is interested in automating tasks on Android I highly recommend Tasker (and especially the plugin AutoInput).

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