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What Is the Best Time of Day to Focus on your English?

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Thu, Aug 09, 2012 @ 08:42 AM

focus on your English in the morningWhat is the time of day that you are most effective and efficient?

What if you could figure this out and focus on your English at that time?

Imagine how much progress you could make!

For most people, dedicating a specific amount of time in the morning for the most important tasks is the key to success.

Are you working on your English at night or in the afternoon and not succeeding? Try something different!

In today's article, find out how you can use scientific knowledge to create a study plan that actually works.


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Why study in the morning?


Did you know that self-discipline acts like a muscle?

When you go to the gym to lift weights, you feel ok for the first 10 or 15 reps, right? What happens when you try 20 or 25 reps? Your muscles begin to lose energy. They start to feel weak. You can't continue lifting.

muscleThis is exactly what happens with your self-discipline. You go through the day constantly resisting temptation. At 10 a.m., you must consciously make yourself prepare for your work presentation instead of signing onto Facebook at work. At lunch time, you order a cup of fruit for dessert when you really want chocolate cake. Guess what happens when you continue to exercise your self-discipline throughout the day? Your ability to resist temptation gets weaker.

That's why you are more likely to get in high quality time with your English if you do it every morning, preferably at the same time. If you schedule your study time in the evening, your self-discipline will already be tired from all of the decisions that you made that day. You will be more likely to spend that time on Twitter or scanning the online news rather than studying.


Like a muscle, you can also strengthen your self-discipline:

quote about self disciplineWhat happens if you go to the gym every day for a month to lift weights?

Your muscles get stronger, right?

The same thing can happen with your self-discipline if you continue to make the right choices.

When you start building good habits like studying every morning for a specific amount of time, these habits will become automatic.

You will stop needing to fight through the temptation to watch TV instead of studying.

You will simply do it. It will become automatic.

Isn't this great news!?

You do not have a set amount of self-discipline. If you think you are lazy, you can change that.



Try this plan for a month:


1. Focused, independent study in the morning:

morning English focus with coffee

Since you know that your willpower (self-discipline) is the strongest in the morning, this is the time to do your more focused, independent tasks.

Set aside one hour every morning. Pour your coffee, sit down and memorize 5 phrasal verbs, learn how to conjugate 4 or 5 different irregular verbs, listen to a podcast and take a quiz or write in your journal using new vocabulary.

Sure, the best method for language learning is immersion  and using the language with native speakers but in order to use the right vocabulary and grammar when you speak with people, you need to first sit in your chair and learn those vocabulary words and verb conjugations. That takes focused practice. Do it in the morning.


2. Spontaneous practice in the afternoon and evening:

two guys speaking EnglishArrange a language exchange for the afternoon or early evening. Go to an English language meetup.

This is the time to practice those verb conjugations that you wrote 5 times in the morning.

Have some fun! Your willpower will diminish as the day goes on so find motivation through human interaction later in the day. Let people energize you!

Get out and explore your city, speak with the local people, ask questions, ask for directions, interact, speak, enjoy!


3. Check in with a teacher or coach at least twice per week:


one to one English teacher BostonLearning a new language can be overwhelming.You don't need to do it alone!

Work with a teacher to help you set goals and define priorities and to motivate you to keep moving forward.

You might make a lot of mistakes, but a teacher will know what the most important points are for you to focus on.

If you want to maximize your study time in the morning, you should make sure that you are focusing on the right things during that time.

Your English teacher or coach can help you do that.


Figure out what works for you

 what time is best for English studyToday I am telling you that the best time for focused English study is the morning.

This is backed up by research and the most successful entrepreneurs would agree with me.

However, you should know yourself. Maybe you work better in the evening.

If that is the case, identify the time that works best for you and set that time aside every day.

The goal is consistency. If you can consistently study every day at the same time, you will see a major improvement in your English skills.

Remember, it's all about timing! Good luck!




How will you change your study schedule to build your self-discipline muscle?

What did you think about today's article? Was it helpful?

If you enjoyed this article, please tweet it to share with your friends!



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Photos:  Judy** Shane Global Language Centre   GARNET, windsordi, royalconstantinesociety, kevinschneider

Sources: Reading Willpower by Joshua Kim 

Lisa Baranik, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology, East Carolina University

Topics: Advice for English Students, How to Learn English

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