W A R N I N G: long post ahead March ReviewTarget hours:
Top categories this month: TV/Film, writing, and reading. Apps were a little over 10% of my total time spend - but I added a lot
of audio as a catch-up this month, and refined my workflow for this a bit in the process.
I'm still up-to-date with my 365-day language challenge targets, and this month I read:
- 425 pages in German.
- 16 pages in Mandarin.
- 83 pages in Spanish.
Obviously, I watched a lot of TV as well, but I'll get onto that in a minute.March 2021 Goals:
I did actually set goals last month - most of which I then promptly ignored, but I think I did achieve one or two!
- 20 hours of Arabic. - Nope. (See above.)
- One film in German a night until caught up for SC. - No, didn't do this; all the writing skewed German heavily this month, so I didn't really want to add this on.
Keep a streak on r/WriteStreakGerman. - Yep, got a 31-day streak! And I can feel the difference already.
- One film in Spanish a night (after caught up from German.) - No, but I did start watching Las chicas de cable.
- One episode in Mandarin per day. - No; started watching 梦回 towards the end of the month (I'm six eps in).
One episode in Korean per week. - Although it wasn't one per week, I'm counting this as done because I've watched 10 episodes of Crash Landing on You. Yay!
- Fitness challenge - strength workouts / splits training. - No, didn't do any of this; have started doing 45-min walks at lunch, though.
It's been three months (+ a year's worth of tracking before that), so it's time to take a look at what has and hasn't worked before I make any goals for April.
So, March was best for hours by a long shot - and a lot of that was down to changing my routine. I've started returning to my office area after tea, which gives me more of a chance to study, but also to watch TV, which was a big factor in that boost. I'm always leery of watching too much at the expense of not progressing, but I think as long as I stay aware of that (which my spreadsheet is good for), then I should keep going. Plus, like I said in my earlier post, watching TV is making me want
to study more - so let's hope it keeps that up!
I did set myself some goals at the beginning of the year for things I want to complete; here's how I'm doing on those (and on my courses in general):
I've done a great job on pulling some of those up (looking at you, Spanish), but for the SC especially, I've got a lot to catch up on. Reasonably, I think I can finish the whole thing for German - and maybe for Spanish, and the films for everything except Scottish Gaelic. Honestly, that was a tricky one from the get-go, but I'll just keep it there as a space to track for now.
And for anyone who's curious, this is what March looked like day-by-day (wrt overall time). I've started tracking weekly numbers too in the very right hand column (it goes: minutes, hours, weekly hours) and uh it's really obvious where I started adding in TV again!
The lowest day this year was still around 45 minutes; I have a higher average in March because I added in that daily task of writing in German, which usually took 30 mins - one hour.
(Oh, and here's my 2021 Google Sheets 'dashboard'; with lots of data that probably isn't even relevant or useful but I like to keep track of - and it takes, now, probably 1% of my time to update, if that. I stole the very top right table from someone on this forum but can't remember who
but it's a nice way to visualise long-term plans, which is an area I struggle in a lot.)Q2 / April Goals
So, there are a couple of things that have become apparent to me throughout last year and the beginning of this one:
- I'm looking for some kind of challenge.
- I'm finally finding methods that work for me.
By 'looking for some kind of challenge', what I mean is, that for a solid month or two last summer, I seriously considered applying to do a PhD. I mean, it's not off the table - I'm just very aware of the fact it'll be a lot of work (even before I apply, if I do!) and I don't want to set aside the time for that right now.
But I want to work toward
something, I guess, and since I'm not going to be travelling anywhere until next year at the earliest, preparing for a trip is out. So, what I'm thinking about, is preparing for the German C2 exam. I've been learning German for a really long time now and although my degree is in it, 1) I've been graduated seven years now, so who cares, and 2) if people know anything about languages (a.k.a. they're not from the UK in my experience lol), then they know it doesn't mean anything for my language ability.
I'm going to do a bit of research, take a look around, and see how I feel about this as a goal. There's no rush, of course; the earliest I'd be looking at taking it would be next year, but it seems like something I'd like working towards and it'd be nice to finally have a certificate showing what I can do.
As for the second one - well, it's just like finally I'm really starting to understand more about how I learn. I think this is as much down to the extra time I've had as it is due to consistent study, but having all this data I've been collecting has helped. I can see how long it takes to do something (important as I am terrible at estimating time
), how much I've understood, what I've enjoyed... It's useful, for me at least; and I've also learnt how to not let all this data get in the way
of my learning (a.k.a procrasti-planning or data collection instead of working).
So, by the end of June
, I'd really like to have my German and Spanish SCs back on track. Again, for reading, I'm tracking how long it should take - if I can put in the hours, I'll eventually get there and I don't think (???) I can make negative progress re: understanding, so I'll still be learning! Those courses I've listed are also ones I want to finish by the end of 2021, so I'd like to be halfway through at least one for each language by then. (Arabic will be a s t r e t c h.)
But, for April:
- German: keep up my r/WriteStreakGerman streak.
- Mandarin: get at least halfway through 梦回.
- Spanish: read at least 15/30 days.
- Korean: find a new drama to start! (After finishing CLoY, ofc.)
- Scottish Gaelic: start watching Speaking Our Language.
- Arabic: finish at least DLI Vol. 1.
I'm also taking part in #40h7dLC from Monday - I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't hit that target, but it's going to be a fun experiment in a busy, busy month!