Word of the day – timeboxing
I came across the term timeboxing today on this blog. When I first read it, it conjured up images of someone boxing with a clock. Now I know that it’s a technique for managing your time that’s often used for software development projects. It involves setting yourself set ‘boxes’ of time to do things, but not worrying about completing them. Instead you just do as much as you can as well as you can in the time available. Then you use as many more timeboxes as you need to complete the tasks. The aim is to curb perfectionist tendencies by setting a time limit and to avoid overcommiting to a task.
The author of the blog post mentions that he finds it easier to make a start on tedious tasks because he has decided in advance that he’ll stop after a set time. Once he’s conquered the initial inertia of getting started and becomes more focused and interested in the tasks, he might spend longer than originally intended working on them.
This technique could be applied to language learning. You could set yourself a box or boxes of time each day when you’ll study, and study as much as you can manage in that/those time(s). While you might find it difficult to study a whole lesson in the time available, studying part of a lesson is still a useful thing to do.
One of the commenters on the post mentions that he rewards himself each time he completes a period of study. He finds that he rewarding himself in small doses at regular intervals helps him get a lot more done. This idea could be applied to language learning as well – the rewards could be doing something you really enjoy in the language, such as listening to or singing a song or watching a video.