For the last six months, I have been studying Chinese for two to three hours a day. However, I came to a realisation:
I have been completely stunting my growth in Chinese AND in all other areas of my life because I have been filling my plate with way too much. I have been spreading myself too thin and everything is suffering because of it.
The eight big things I was trying to do were:
- Learn Mandarin Chinese
- Run my sole proprietorship software company (I am self employed)
- Learn the programming languages required to start another website (PHP, HTML, CSS and JS)
- Do freelance for a client that hired me in January
- Work out every other day (mostly running)
- Cook and eat well for myself and my little brother (we live alone)
- Go to and participate actively in Al-Anon (a twelve step program)
- Have a social life (keep up with friends, etc.)
Living under this immense amount of work left my Chinese in a state where whenever I studied, I felt stressed because I only had a small amount of time each day to study, then I had to move on to whatever else I needed to work on. I also spent next to no time finding compelling content because I did not want to “waste” my time.
After six months of this, I was becoming completely demotivated in my Chinese because of it. I was making so little progress because my mind was in so many other places that I could not focus on my biggest goal of all: learning Mandarin Chinese.
Some days I even felt angry, resentful and rushed when eating tasty food, that’s how I knew I had a problem.
I have done a lot of soul searching over the last week and my heart brought me to this idea:
I am going to study Mandarin Chinese full-time.
Once I recognised that I might have a problem, I came very quickly to the realisation that the only way for me to make any meaningful progress for my language learning goal of reaching high B2 in Mandarin Chinese was to dedicate every day to learning Mandarin Chinese.
As a result, I am slowing down on #2, and completely cutting out #3 & #4. These time savings will allow me to study Chinese for six to eight hours a day without the massive stress of trying to run 1.5 companies at once.
I hope that this post and my future progress posts inspires others in the future to cut the crap in their life and focus on a small number of things really well instead of focusing on a tonne of things poorly.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. I will be posting progress updates on these forums once in a while on how I am doing.
If you want some motivation for yourself, this video was the final kick in the ass that made me realise that I was on the right path. Maybe it will help you too: Jordan Peterson - How To Move Forward In Life - YouTube
I look forward to sharing my progress with you guys in the future.