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5 Best Ways For Busy People ‘On-The-Go’ to Learn a Language

5 Best Ways For Busy People ‘On-The-Go’ to Learn a Language

Feel like you’re “too busy’ to learn a language? Think again.

All of us have the same 24 hours in the day, but how is it that some of us get 2-5x more done than others?

For most people, it means sacrificing quality of life, sleep, and relationships to get everything done. For others, it’s taking advantage of productivity hacks to help them get more done in less time.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

This is what prevents most of us from learning a new skill. We’re led to believe that we have to sacrifice something important to us in order to gain something of value, like learning a new language. But that’s usually not the case.

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For people ‘on-the-go’ reading this, we’ve compiled a list of language learning websites specifically built for busy people like you. Before we share the list, we should first define what it means for a resource to be considered ‘on-the-go’ (if you want to skip this section, just scroll down to the lists.

a. Online learning experience (Anywhere you want)

b. 30 minutes or less per session (Everyone has 30 minutes to spare!)

c. Ability to learn when you’re free (Anytime you want)

Now that we’ve defined what we mean by on-the-go, let’s get on to the list! We hope you enjoy and share it out with a friend or two!

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1. Mobile apps

Recommended: Duolingo
Time required: 15-20 minutes/day

Mobile language apps are one of the easiest (and most popular) ways to develop your language skills on-the-go. You can learn new vocabulary and grammar at a time of your convenience, or when you’re waiting in line, etc. There are several limits to this approach, as you can’t learn how to speak your target language with tools like Duolingo, but it’s a great starter for beginners.

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    2. Conversation exchanges

    Recommended: Interpals

    Conversation exchanges is an easy way to meet like-minded people that are also learning a new language. Sometimes it can just be someone who’s learning the same language as you, and finding an accountability partner. Other times, you could find someone who’s fluent in your target language that can help you out.

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      3. Language tutoring websites

      Recommended: Rype

      Language tutoring websites like Rype allow you to connect with handpicked professional language teachers to receive live 1-on-1 lessons. It’s like having your own private in-person tutor, but having the ability to learn at comforts of your own home, when you’re available, and the opportunity to meet with multiple native speakers around the world. Learn more here.

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        4. Podcasts

        Recommended: LanguagePod101

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        Podcasts are the rage today. For a good reason too. It allows you to listen to it when you’re waiting in traffic, on the train, or just walking to meet your friends. More specifically, language podcasts are perfect for anyone who’s living on-the-go. While languagepod101 is a premium service, you can also find many free podcasts that focus on specific languages for you to learn from. Check out the complete listing of free language podcasts.

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          5. Free Newsletters

          Recommended: Learn a Language Challenge (1,000 words in 100 days)

          If you’d rather have your education delivered to your inbox, this may be the route you pursue. There are multiple newsletters online that you can look into, which offers various challenges, vocabulary and grammar training, words of the day, etc. In less than 5 minutes a day, you can have your own mini-language lessons on your smartphone or at the office.

          learn-a-language

            We’d love to hear from you. Which of these on-the-go resources will you take advantage of? Please share this with one friend and encourage them to learn a language with you!

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            The Gentle Art of Saying No

            The Gentle Art of Saying No

            No!

            It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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            But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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            What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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            But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

            1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
            2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
            3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
            4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
            5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
            6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
            7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
            8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
            9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
            10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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