Making Time to Study

If you are anything like me, you might have a hard drive full of unstudied information – most of which you want to study and recognize as being valuable and useful. The trick is, finding time to study valuable information which you can use in projects, while still having time to work on the projects […]

The Passage of Time
The Passage of Time
Image by ToniVC via Flickr

Internet Marketers and entrepreneurs are constantly presented with new information to study, techniques to learn, and great advice to follow.

If you are anything like me, you might have a hard drive full of unstudied information – most of which you want to study and recognize as being valuable and useful.  The trick is, finding time to study the valuable information which you can use in our businesses and projects, to get more done and more effective, while still having time to work on the projects themselves.

Having only so many hours in a day, it can be hard to find a proper balance.  If we spend too much time absorbing information and not enough time acting on it, we will accomplish little.  Yet, when we are untrained and uninformed on the best ways to go about things, we can lose countless hours doing things the wrong way.  Or at least – not the right way, not the fastest way, not the smartest way.

Meanwhile it is easy to overlook the most obvious solutions.  I recently came across one of those obvious solutions which I had been so obviously overlooking – and it’s called an iPod.

Retrospect

Many years ago when I was a teenager in Germany, working numerous jobs to earn money to travel to Asia and often waking up at 4 in the morning and working till late at night, I had a similar problem.  I had a lot to study and a lot to learn, and I also had a lot to do.

When I decided to learn German, I got a set of “learn German” cassette tapes and my walkman, and began to carry them around with me.  I listened to those tapes over and over and over, while I cleaned hallways and biked from job to job across Munich.  Within a few months, I spoke German well to be mistaken as a German, by a German.  (Note – that was then, this is now.)  Later on when I took a train from Prague to Beijing, I wanted to learn Chinese.  I studied my Berlitz “learn Chinese” tapes every day on the week-long train ride. and I learned Chinese.  Well, enough Chinese to survive that is – not enough to be mistaken as a Chinese person 🙂

Later on in life, when living overseas for several years in Denmark, I thought I might learn Danish.  I did not have a tape or something which I could just listen to.  I got some CDs but in order to use them I had to sit down at the computer and work on just that.  The result?  There was always something more important to do with my time.  Since I would have had to “set aside time” to study Danish, it just never happened.  If I had had lessons which I only needed to listen to, as I did in the past, I might very well have learned Danish.  As it was, I had 6 years to learn it, and I got as far as counting to 8 and reading billboards.  I never learned conversational Danish after all those years and could still speak other languages better, even for countries where I had only spent a few months.

The Point

The point is, when you set up a system for yourself where you can study and learn while doing other things at the same time, you can get a lot further.

Quite a lot of Internet Marketing data is available in MP3 format.  If you set aside a bit of time to collect it together and organize it on an iPod or MP3 player, you may find it to be very well worth it.

I have begun listening to my MP3 files during my walks.  I try to take a walk every day around a small mountain in the forest where I live.  I need to get away from the screen, get some exercise, and breathe some air.

I can also absorb quite a lot of data during that time by bringing my MP3 player with me.  And if I want a break from that as well, I can just pause it and play with stones for a bit.

Another family member of mine has learned a large amount of Internet Marketing information in a short time, in this fashion.  She simply loaded her iPod with every Mp3 file she could find, starting with the priorities of course, and began to listen to them – in the car while driving, on walks, etc.

If you start loading up your MP-3 player with information you can listen to, and get in the habit of using it, you can get through a lot of material.  You can learn a lot of very useful information which will help you succeed better with your projects and business endeavors.

There are many times you can utilize this – while driving, commuting to work, walking, exercising, washing the dishes, cleaning the house, and even (for some people) while falling asleep at night 🙂

If you start to get into this habit you might find that you do have a lot more time to study and that you can absorb all that valuable data that has been sitting in your hard drive – or at least, start to make a dent in it.

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17 Responses to “Making Time to Study”

  1. Web Career Girl
    August 4, 2009 at 5:02 am #

    I love listening to things – it truly is a great way to learn. And I’m very impressed with your language learning results! I have the same thing when it comes to just reading books for fun. I never make the time for it, so I’ve started listening to audiobooks which are just brilliant!
    .-= Web Career Girl´s last blog ..Promoting Products You’ve Never Used =-.

  2. Stefan
    August 4, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    This is actually a great advice and something similar of what I tried to tell my users with the post “how to make money while driving”. Anyway, where did you find tapes on how to learn different languages? I’ve been thinking about learning French for a long time now but never got all the way. Do you have something to recommend?
    .-= Stefan´s last blog ..Monthly Roundup – July 2009 =-.

  3. Anna
    August 4, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    @Web Career Girl – Thanks 🙂 I think a lot of it just has to do with planning. When you set up a system, you can get a lot done – study or otherwise.

  4. Anna
    August 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    I agree Stephan – it’s amazing we need to be reminded of these things, it’s so obvious! But we do. I am constantly refining my time-management systems and this is one way I can spend a little time reorganizing, to get a lot more done.

    The tapes I listened to in Germany were called “Just Listen and Learn” but I am not sure if they are still around. The trick is to find something which you can just listen to. If you have to follow along in a book or on the computer in order to learn anything, it doesn’t work as well. Sure the “listen and learn” types might have written exercises and booklets that go along with them, but I was able to skip those most of the time and I still learned a lot. You might check Berlitz as well, to see if they have something like this. It’s been a long time since I learned a language but it was always fun to do it in this way – listening while I worked.

    We could make a song – “Listen While you Work” instead of “Whistle While You Work.” Ha.

  5. Amy Rich
    August 4, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    You are quite a versatile person and i like that you know this fact very well that Learning is never ending process, there is always something new to learn in life, you just have to be ready for it. I appreciate that you found out the way and actually learned all the things:)

  6. Dave Doolin
    August 4, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    I’ve had to stop taking notes. It’s too time consuming!

    What I’m doing now is browsing, reading, listening, watching for little items of information I can immediately put to use. The rest of it provides context. I figure if I keep surrounding myself with the information, more and more will stick. I know this sounds a lot like “putting the book under your pillow at night,” but… it does seem to work better than that!

    A related problem is keeping track of all the information I have… but haven’t yet read. Actually, sometimes it’s even worse… I can’t remember what I have and haven’t read.

  7. Anna
    August 4, 2009 at 7:49 pm #

    Hi Jenny, thanks for your comment. I think all of us could benefit by using this little strategy to learn more without cutting into our production time so much.

    Regarding the language tapes, they were called “Just Listen and Learn” and I bought them in Munich, in 1992. I think the company was based in England and I have no idea if they are still around. As I mentioned to Stephan below, the key was finding any tapes/cds/mps’s which allow you to learn the language by just listening. If you have to follow along in a book or on a screen in order to understand, it’s not so effective. I haven’t really gone into this subject much lately but you might also check Berlitz to see if they have anything like this. Hope it helps! Spanish is a very easy language to learn by the way, and if you do it in this fashion I am sure you will pick it up in no time 🙂 I once spent about 4 months in South America (with a girl who spoke only Spanish) and when I came back I was basically fluent. But all I had studied was elementary school Spanish at the age of 12. It is easy to pick up if you can immerse yourself to some degree.

  8. Jenny
    August 4, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

    Anna,

    This is a great post. I set time aside to listen or read informative material everyday, however , it does dent my time in productivity.
    I listen to alot of personal development in my vehicle, perhaps I should switch gears for a bit. The ipod is a great idea all I need to do now is get a new one:)

    By the way what brand of tapes were you listening to to learn so quickly ( language I mean) I am currently trying to learn more Spanish and am having a devil of a time, any recommendations?
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..Free Blog Traffic With Blog Carnivals =-.

  9. Stefan
    August 5, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    Again, thank you Anna. I’ve never heard about Berlitz before but they seem to have a lot of different language courses. I even found one for French, which is great news for me. Thanks!
    .-= Stefan´s last blog ..Monthly Roundup – July 2009 =-.

  10. Anna
    August 6, 2009 at 2:22 am #

    @ Stephan – they do. I did Chinese with Berlitz. If you Google “Just Listen and Learn” you might find that for French as well. That was the one I was able to learn without any books. On Berlitz I am not sure, I was in a train and I think I might been following along in a book.

  11. Frank Lynch@Central PA
    August 7, 2009 at 1:32 am #

    You are really driven by the passion to study, Your are persistent enough in your approach and that’s why you are able to achieve what you want. I really appreciate your technique of learning things and making most out of every time available to you. Audio books and learning courses are such an innovations that i simply love it ,now i don’t frett that i dont get time to read some of my favourite books,its all about desiring and making it happen isn’t it?

  12. Tom
    August 16, 2009 at 6:26 am #

    Your completely right – its about making time and then actually doing it. i commute via Car and so listen to CDs to learn Thai on the way to the office. The thing motivating me to learn Thai is an upcoming trip and so I think its important that in order to study you have some kind of focus or ‘need’ otherwise your interest starts to diminish over time.
    .-= Tom@Herbal Fiberblend´s last blog ..Herbal Fiberblend – Frequently Asked Questions =-.

  13. Anna
    August 16, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    @ Tom – You are right, the need is very important, otherwise, why bother …

  14. Zurich
    October 8, 2009 at 1:24 am #

    i have read Dave’s comment. i definitely agree with you. most people are used into writing whenever they want to get the information from what they read, heard and even watched. they consume a lot of time for it. and then they will try to recall again what they’ve learned. but with your idea of having this gadgets where they can just store the information they need to have. Wow. that’s really great, isn’t it? so easy. no need for the very time consuming writings! i am not against writing ( i just want to clarify). i am just trying to emphasize the importance of your gadget. nice idea.

  15. shailesh
    October 9, 2009 at 5:38 am #

    ya i usually used to listen to alots of personal development in my vehicle, perhaps I should switch gears for a bit. The ipod is a great idea all I need to do now is get a new one

  16. Nora@stainless steel trash can
    November 29, 2009 at 10:29 am #

    I have so many ebooks around the subject of internet marketing on my hard drive and it scares the heck out of me that I’ll never have the time to actually read all of those. Not if I also want to take action. The idea of listening to some of these in mp3 format is thus appealing for me. I have to hunt down some material, see what’s available. Then I could listen to those instead of music when I drive to work and back each day.

    Nora
    .-= Nora@stainless steel trash can´s last blog ..Kitchen Trash Can =-.

  17. faisal@shiroi neko
    January 19, 2010 at 12:41 am #

    yes there are many times you can utilize this – while driving, commuting to work, walking, exercising, washing the dishes, cleaning the house. Thanks for sharing this information.

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