Procrastination is something we have all experienced in various areas of our lives, especially during the global pandemic. Procrastination is also very common when learning German, and can pose a challenge for many students learning German online.
First thing to do is to recognise that you are procrastinating when learning German, and ask yourself why. For many of us procrastinating while trying to learn something new is like a protective shield where we are scared to fail, or feel we are not good enough, so we focus on other tasks.
Procrastination is often perfectionism in disguise, and we can’t fault our students for wanting to be perfect at the German language, but we do encourage our students to take it one step at a time, and use these practical steps to stop procrastinating and start learning!
2 minute rule
Most students have language goals when learning German online with us, and sometimes these goals may seem out of reach, but we tell our students- 2 minutes at a time. Start creating a 2 minute habit everyday where you spend 2 minutes reading German, 2 minutes writing in German, 2 minutes listening to German language, and most importantly 2 minutes speaking German. We ask for daily practise when learning German, and we ask for just 2 minutes, why you may ask? It all comes down to habit, 30 minutes may seem excessive and unattainable, whereas 2 minutes is doable and slowly 2 minutes will increase to 4 to 10minutes and then the student will feel more comfortable with the language and want to do more. Start Small, Learn Big!
Create the perfect learning environment
Coinciding with the 2 minute rule, having a good study environment will allow your brain to know that when you’re in the office at 6pm for example, this is your dedicated German time. The best way to get a habit to stick is to create an environment that will motivate you. It can be during your evening walk after work, you listen to a German podcast and try to understand the words and repeat in your head, this will solidify the connection between the walk and the German language. Making connections with your learning habits and your everyday life will ensure excellent retention of the German language.
Embrace not being perfect
We all want to sound perfect speaking German in class, reading well and having excellent comprehension, however this comes with time and this should not be a barrier to learning or an opportunity to procrastinate. Often we feel embarrassed that we are less than perfect at learning German, however we need to give ourselves permission to be bad, and to lower our standards to help us reach a level of comfort. Once we forgive ourselves, we ease the pressure and get on with the job in hand! Just remember Alexander Graham Bell didn’t create the telephone on his first try, and no one became fluent in German in 6 weeks.
Nothing provides motivation like a treat after completing a task. If this tool works for you, you can set yourself weekly, monthly or 6 weekly (per course) rewards when you complete your German language goal. Perhaps you will buy some German baked goods, a new online German course, or even a slice of cake, whatever staves off procrastination, we say go for it!
We still have €50 off all beginner courses for the month of June, now is the time to book before spaces fill up! Check out when our next course starts, and don’t let procrastination get in the way between you and your German language dreams!