I Could Have Slept Instead of Studied

I write this while I am yet again tired!  Today I slept a bit more than six hours after working another long, exhausting shift at my pharmacy.  It wasn’t that the work was difficult today. Quite the opposite! However, I was tired from the day before, and, when I got off, all I wanted to do was sleep.  And I did… but not as much as I was hoping.

I did try to go back to sleep.  Maybe I could have if I had just cleared my mind a bit more.  I am not that kind of guy. Once I am awake, I am awake. Pour on the coffee and get it going.  I laid there for a solid hour, stressing over typical stresses and thought about finding the energy to study.  I didn’t think I had it in me to study today.

I won’t lie to you.  I almost decided not to study at all.  Take another day off. Polish and Portuguese can be studied tomorrow, of course.  Then, I got up and forced the LingQ app open. As I sat there, dreary-eyed and full of excuses, I went over one word at a time on a relatively simple text in Portuguese about a trip to Canada.  Only 18% of the text was brand new, according to the stats, and it was a decent piece.

I went over to Polish and found a text about two people meeting as one walks their dog.  Of course, nearly all of it was incomprehensible. The app says I only know ten words in the language, but I think it is being too kind.

After I digested the pieces, I thought next on what it takes to get started everyday.  Azren the Language Nerd, one of my favorites in the language business, wrote a decent sized piece for Facebook a while ago on what he calls ‘activation energy,’ meaning what it takes to actually begin studying everyday.  

At a certain point, things get in the way and you don’t study.  You need to be able to force yourself to do something in order to get something done.  Some people can’t force themselves to do something. Bartosz Czekala over at Universe of Memory once said in a blog post that there are so many apps out there, people will download a number of them and not have the activation energy to use any of them.  Earlier this year and last year, I was the same way. Downloading every app possible to try them all just to get burned out and never use most of them.  

Are you the same way?  Did you overcome the activation energy problem?  Have you finally mastered a language despite yourself?  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to Polish. I gotta figure out this case system.

-Mike

The Polish flag. Or a constant reminder to study now, party later.
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