There are only 24 hours in every day and if you decide to do something new with some of your time, you have do also decide what to stop doing.
Fortunately it’s easy to find time to learn a new language if you…
…simply quit watching TV news, listening to radio news, and reading newspapers and magazines.
Wow, that sounds like a radical suggestion, but it’s what I did and it really worked. Not only did I have time to study Russian, I also had a clearer mind that I could apply to my job, so I got more done and made more money.
But you are saying, “Won’t I be uninformed?” Well no not really. Here’s how it works. The news doesn’t tell you what to think, but it does an incredibly good job of telling you what to think about. In other words, the news sets your mental agenda. Usually this doesn’t help you live the kind of life you want to live.
Do you really need to know the latest murder of the day? If you didn’t do it, then it’s not your fault. You can’t possibly stop all the injustice in the world and it does you very little good to think about it every day. If you didn’t do it, then you aren’t responsible for it and why should you feel bad about it?
If you quit watching and listening to the news, you will also will miss out on the latest sex scandal of the day. If that bothers you, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Politicians and high political officials have been putting their… in places where they didn’t have the proper paperwork to put it for a very long time. It will keep happening in the future, and unless you are one of the people involved, you can’t do anything about it. Don’t worry about it.
If something is really important someone will call you up and let you know.
How can you study a foreign language effectively if the first thing you do is every morning is to swallow a daily dose of the problems of the world. You didn’t make those problems and you shouldn’t feel obliged to feel rotten over them. Do what you can to make your part of the world a better place and that’s enough.
If you still feel compelled to watch the news, then at least switch to watching or reading foreign language news. Watching foreign language TV and news won’t by itself be enough to let you learn the language (without additional study) but it is a lot of fun to start picking out words that you can understand and then noticing more of them as your vocabulary grows.
Try cutting out all news for a couple of weeks and see how much better you feel. Don’t watch TV news, listen to radio news, and quit reading all prepared news on the internet or in newspapers and magazines.
I think you will find the experiment exciting and refreshing. Not only will you have time to study a foreign language, but you will feel more relaxed, less stressed, and more productive in everything you do.
Last Updated – August 26, 2012