How to study and be more motivated

how to study japanese
Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about good ways to study and how to keep my motivation up. Lately I’ve been in a bit of a study rud where I just couldn’t seem to concentrate on one thing over an extended period of time. I’ve found myself constantly surfing the internet, hopping from one thought to the next and completely loosing focus. In the end I had the whole day but didn’t get anything done. Even a small task would become a burden and that’s when I realized that I had to strictly reduce my internet consumption. And work on a daily study routine.

I probably overexaggerated a bit but in the end it all comes down to creating a routine for yourself and limit exposure to everything that’s irritating you. Studying Japanese on a daily basis isn’t an easy task. No matter what you do, it sure can be annoying always having to squeeze in a little study time. Especially if you’re not seeing the progress you want to. Been there and maybe that’s exactly where I am currently.

If you’re struggling with your main studies the most easy thing to do is get rid up anything else that’s difficult to do. Learning Japanese sure can be fun (we all do it right)  but let’s be straight, we all bave our ups and downs. And I’m sure everybody who has been learning for an extended period of time was struggling at some point with his decision.

What I do to be more focused and get more studying and fun out of my day

Develop a study routine

I get up, make a coffee and then I start straight with my studies. Be it WaniKani, JapanesePod or iKnow, just start your day with a little bit of a Japanese routine. Gets your brain pumping and ready for the day. Especially if your main job is to study in general. A couple of years ago I did a little bit of Genki in the morning before going to work. At a time when I was still working full-time as a dental technician. It sounds a bit stressful and annoying to get up and ready everyday like that but I got down both Genki books this way.

Instead of browsing the internet I just went to doing a little iKnow each morning. It’s the first thing I do each day, coupled with a cup of coffee. This way I really won’t forget about it which can happen quite easy if you push it back into the day. If you’re already an iKnow user you probably know about their nifty little feature which marks each day you study. And will show you your current and your longest learning streak. Just because of this I really try not to miss a day which makes upholding my daily studying routine in the morning even easier to accomplish.

Habitica makes my life a little like an RPG

One of my best friends is an avid World Of Warcraft player but can sometimes be a little lazy with his studies or daily tasks. But in game I’m sure he will jump through several hoops just to get a special item or whatever drives you inside the game (which I never played actually). Habitica wants to make your own life more like an RPG. You write a to do list and for each item you mark as done you’ll get some experience points and money which will level up your character and allows you to buy some neat equipment.

I’m using this for a couple of weeks now, especially for my studies. And yes, I really get more done this way. You probably all know this, there are allows some things you have to learn which you’re trying to avoid. For getting these things done habitica is a blessing. And it’s free so just give it a try.

Always wanted to start a Japanese Tease group in habitica where we can learn Japanese together, manage daily tasks and tackle monster together. Yes, you can actually go on quests even if I still haven’t managed to try out this part of the site.


What are your tricks and methods to stay on top of your studies? Please share you experiences and tools. It’s always great to get some feedback and hear what other people are using.

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  • Cassle

    I just checked Habitica and it’s really cool! How do we join the Japanese Tease group?

    • I haven’t opened one yet because – I don’t really know how things are working :) If you want to open one, I’d be happy to join.

  • GreenTeaLeaf

    I was always wondering how come it’s fun to play video games and achieve goals there, but it’s not so much fun to do some real life activities even we can get real benefit from that (improving skills, getting promotions, etc). Your suggestion about Habitica is exactly what I need. Just setting up a schedule doesn’t work for me – I can set it up, but don’t have willpower to follow it.
    And also I completely agree with you that it’s important to remove annoying or overwhelming things to get motivation back.
    Jakob, are you still using Habitica? And if yes, did you already create the JapaneseTease group there? Would love to join you to tackle monsters together. :)

    • Tackling monsters together sounds awesome and I’m still using habitica. Just switched to Todoist the other day because of Apple watch support and the possibility to make different lists. Having one dedicated to movies to watch is really a pretty neat idea. Unfortunately I still haven’t opened up a Jtease group on habitica because frankly, I don’t really understood how this works back then :)