3 Tips for Spending 3-5+ Hours on a Weekend Building Your Language Anki Deck (+ Results for 60 Day Challenge #3: Jan-Feb, 2015)

Handy Manny vs. Bob the Builder (52/365)
I just finished another 60 day language challenge, and I have learned some things along the way. One of the things I’ve learned is the power of what I call: “Language Learning Focus Days”.

What is a Language Learning Focus Day?

You choose a certain day, such as a weekend. A Saturday is usually my Language Learning Focus Day. Then, you just crank it out with language learning, and you spend hours (in my case 3 hours+… maybe even up to 5 hours or more) just focused on growing your language skills on that particular day.

Why have these Focus Days to Learn Languages?

I’ve found that during the week, I’m faced with real life. Yes, and that means that I’m often bombarded with work, family, social events, and just random chaotic stuff that I didn’t plan for. This means that I sometimes don’t get to spend my usual 30 minutes to an hour to finish my daily language learning plan.

In my case, for the recent 60 day language challenge, that meant that there were days where I was really unable to add more language cards to my Spanish deck. More specifically, I wasn’t able to continue on with the 1000 most frequently used Spanish words, and then build an Anki flashcard for the new set of words for the day. You can see in my Anki Stats below that there were a number of days where the Added cards is 0. Nada. Zilch. I just skipped adding new cards that day.

That’s where my Focus Days come in. On those days, I get to catch up on the flashcards that I missed out on – and I’m able to add from about 50 to 100 new cards on that Saturday. After which, I feel very accomplished!

3 Tips so You Can Easily Do Your Own Language Learning Focus Day

Here are some tips that have helped me, and could help you have your own Language Learning Focus Days so you can have big leaps in progress or just catch up on what you missed out.

1) Listen to Music or Audiobooks while You Build Your Language Flashcards

Spending 3-5+ hours on building your language learning decks can be long, arduous and painful… if you only do that, and that’s all you do. I like to listen to audiobooks or to music while I build the cards. I let the card building generally run on auto-pilot in my mind, while I get entertained in the background of my mind listening to other things.

I listen to the latest music hits so I can catch up on what’s hot right now in the top 40. Or I like to listen to some entrepreneurship and business books, which as I like to read that genre.

2) Choose a Day When You Have Nothing Else Planned… so You Can Focus on Language Learning

You really need to ensure that you have a large chunk of time where you have no other large distractions or commitments.

You can just focus on the language learning at home or at an internet cafe or elsewhere you have access to internet. Saturdays tend to be my “off days” where I choose not to do any other business work, and so I can focus on my hobbies like language learning.

3) Aim for a Target Amount of Language Cards to Add

On my Language Learning Focus Days I tend to have a goal of making at least 50 cards. That’s the bare minimum. Of course, if I don’t reach the 50, then that’s OK. But at least I have a target to aim for, and I find that when I get unmotivated after building my cards for a few hours, then all I need to do is take a break. After a short break, I then remember my goal, and I just get back into it again.

I find that this pattern tends to happen, and after getting in the zone of building my Anki cards, I end up reaching 50 in no time. I even find that after doing 50, I sometimes challenge myself to do another 10 more and another 10 more if I have the time.

Check out the huge spike in the Anki stats below in the Added cards section. I was really proud of that large bump and leap forward. It really helped me to catch up on the other days previously where you can see that I had stopped adding cards for a while and was only doing it once in a while.

Results for 60 Day Challenge #3: Jan-Feb, 2015

My Anki Stats and Results for last 1 month – Spanish Deck

My Deck Life Results – Spanish Deck

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