What will achieve more – sawing wood for 20 hours with a blunt saw or 18 hours with a sharp saw?  Probably the latter.  From this idea flows another,  that spending time sharpening the saw isn’t spending at all, it is “investing”.  How can we invest time sharpening our saw (the process we use) for learning a language?

Here are a few relevant questions that may help:

  1. How can I make my learning environment comfortable and relaxing?
  2. How can I minimise my sense of stress and lost time?
  3. How can I remember what I learn?
  4. How can I ensure my brain is in an optimal state for learning?
  5. How can I minimise frustration?  Should I buy three text books instead of 1?
  6. Which tutor should I employ? Which course should I join? The first one I see or can I save time and misery later by finding a better one.

What proportion of your time should be learning and what proportion should be invested in learning how to learn faster, better and more comfortably? The military thinks 10% investment is a good ratio – you could start there, I suppose.

Sharpen the saw. If your time and your happiness is important to you.