Hey there! This is TOP episode 80. What If I Don’t Have 10 min a Day?

My name’s Ola and I am an English teacher. My goal is to help you start speaking English with confidence and get rid of speaking barriers. I believe it is achievable for you. And it’s time you started speaking English fearlessly! Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning! 

Hello and welcome. I’m happy you’re here because I know that the worst part is often pulling yourself together, overcoming all this banter in your head telling you that you don’t feel like learning English, or I’b busy, I’ll do it tomorrow and stuff. So, I’m happy for you. You curved out this time for you and for your English. I know you’re busy, we’re all busy. I mean who the heck is not? Well, thank you for choosing this podcast and this episode. I am excited to share my thoughts on what to do if you don’t have those 10 minutes a day. I’m on the verge of resigning, what shall I do??? Shall I give up? I don’t have 10 minutes, it’s ridiculous, I’d better leave it some better ime in the future. Well, this episode is for you. What’s in it?

First of all I’m going to tell you what you should avoid at all costs! What to start with? What is the most important question to ask yourself if you want to settle a habit? What tools do you need? How long should this process take? How can Spotify help me? How to train my brain to learn English daily? Today you’ll find answers to all these questions and more. Finally, you’ll find out WHAT to DO practically. So, tangible, actionable steps. At the end I’ll give you my own private way of finding time to learn something new. Maybe it’ll inspire you. I just want to give you an example. There’s a practical part as well. It’s designed to help you remember useful sentences, so please stay with me till then and repeat these 13 sentences out loud. Very important. Out loud.

What to do if you don’t have 10 minutes a day to learn English? Please let me tell you what to avoid. There’s one thing that you might consider logical in this situation. You know what I mean. Do not quit this idea. Don’t resign from English. Don’t postpone it for later. 

I know, I understand, you might feel uneasy even admitting you have a language blockade. But trust me, the sooner you start working on it the better. Time passes by, and nothing happens, right? It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve told yourself let’s fix it, let’s learn English let’s start speaking once and for all. And then you failed. And on it goes. I’m busy, I don’t have time. Oh, my dear listener. Do you know how it sounds? It sounds like you’re making up excuses. You have time. We all have time. Think again. Please, just for a minute, do you have 10 minutes a day to start working on your language blockade? Do you have 10 minutes for yourself? For your future self? 

Now, there are two options clearly. Your answer was either YES or NOW. I’ll give you two pieces of advice. Take one, depending on what your answer was.  If you said YES, I have 10 minutes a day to start working on my problem with speaking English.  If this is your answer, I am happy for you! I know you will not regret this decision. Hold yourself accountable, take responsibility, it’s your life, it’s your time. Nobody can do it for you. I know it might sound tacky, cheesy, but is this not true? The simplicity of happiness, of growth, is mindblowing. You don’t need much, right? 

Ok. What to do now? Well, if you trust me, if you like my podcast, if you don’t know what to do I have a plan for each of those 10 minutes you are willing to devote to yourself. It’s episode number 76. The title is: ‘Buy a Notebook and Do THIS for 10 min a Day’. What you’ll find there is a clear  plan, a system I put together for you. I know it works, just give it a go. Give it a chance, give yourself a chance. Stick to the plan for at least a month, 4 weeks. You will see. 

Now. If you said NO, for goodness sake, I have no time, I don’t have even 10 minutes a day. I’m busy. I have a blockade, I have a problem with speaking English but NOW is not my time.  If this is you, that’s ok. I have an idea for you. Listen, do you have 2 minutes? I know you do. 

Ok, so now I’d like to give a few clear steps on what to do with these 2 minutes, how to start your fight with the language blockade. 

But before I share it, let’s decide on when and where you will learn for those two minutes. Maybe it could become a part of your morning routine. How about doing it with your morning coffee? Or maybe with your afternoon tea? Maybe you’d like to spend those two minutes with English in bed, right before you fall asleep? Please pick a moment in a day, preferably attach this moment to some other habit you already have in place. 

If you’ve read ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear you know it’s habit stacking. This is a method of making a new habit stick. It’ll make it easier. Pick one habit you already have established and add English to it. 

I’ll stick to this example of a morning coffee. Let’s say this sounds doable for you. 2 minutes. Instead of scrolling, instead of doom scrolling, checking the latest news, do something else. Grab your new notebook. The one you have bought specifically for English. It has to be a new, nice notebook. The one you want to open drinking your morning coffee. And take your pen. The one you like. Open the notebook and write down the date. What’s the date today? And number it. Day one. 

Do it every day, for 30 days. Then you’ll see where you are and you will know what to do next. 

This is your new routine, or rather a ritual. This ritual can be extended, maybe you want to play  some music that helps you to focus? Try it. On Spotify you will find brilliant playlists for reading, for studying, for deep work. Check if it works for you. I’ll send you my favourite playlists in the newsletter. In fact it’s already in your inbox, if you’re a member of TOPeople. If not, subscribe at teacherola.com/newsletter. 

The key my dear is you want to make ilearning English a pleasurable experience. You also want to make it a ritual, after some time, after doing it consistently for 30 days at least. You will see. Your brain will get it. It’ll go: ‘Oh, a notebook, oh a coffee, my favourite pen! Oh, the music! I should focus now, I should focus now on English. Right. Let’s do this.’ 

This is how you train your brain to focus on English at this particular time of the day. It doesn’t have to be the same time every day. I recommend it, it’ll be established faster. You can make a different statement. I will learn English tomorrow, in my living room, sitting on the sofa, at 5 pm sharp. Ok, that’s precise enough. Think about it as the central part of your day. Commit to it, don’t fail. It’s just 2 minutes. 

What to do when you finally arrive at the place and at the right time with the notebook and a pen? Write down 5 words in English that come to your mind. Look around. Where are you, in an office? In the kitchen? In your bedroom? What surrounds you? Name 5 objects. If you don’t know how to call them in English, put them down in Polish, tomorrow when you come back to your notebook you’ll check it in a dictionary. 

Read your words out loud, always. Hear yourself speaking English, train your mouth and familiarize yourself with you speaking English. By doing this you will become a person who speaks English every day, how exciting is that?! After doing that for a few days, start building sentences. Why not? Use the words you’ve already put in your notebook and built super simple sentences. Read them out loud. Read them again. Close your notebook. Your two minutes have passed. Come back tomorrow. Don’t stay any longer. Just two minutes. Finish. Come back tomorrow. 

After a month or whenever you feel the habit is strong already, maybe after 2 weeks, maybe after 8 weeks, extend it. Extend it to 10 minutes. What to do in 10 minutes? Go to episode 76 and find out. I am sure you will extend it even longer than just 10 minutes, but as for now stick to two minutes. Don’t be impatient. Take a calendar, or print out a habit tracker, or prepare it on your own. Write down numbers from 1 to 30 and cross them out every day right after you finish your session. 

Can you eliminate your fear of speaking English doing what I suggested for 2 minutes a day? Well, I don’t know, maybe yes. I doubt it, but maybe actually it is achievable. I would have to do some research, but really it doesn’t matter. Everybody’s different. 2 minutes per day is an extremely small amount of time. But you have to start somewhere. And ‘somewhere’ has to be tiny, pleasurable and rewarding. You will later build on that, but establish the habit first. It has to be easy breezy. 

Final suggestion. I hope that I managed to get my message across and you’re not confused, but let me give you one more insight. I think before you even buy this notebook, first, first and foremost sit down and think. Imagine yourself learning English, speaking English. What would have to happen, what would you need to have in order to take pleasure from the process? Maybe for you it’s something else. Perhaps it’s not a nice notebook, a pen, nor a cup of hot steaming coffee. Maybe it’s someplace nice. Park, a cafe, I don’t know, I don’t want to paint this picture for you. Well, it’s the beginning of 2021, we have pandemic and February so probably a park or a cafe is  out of reach at the moment, but that will change. 

Think on your own, and make it happen. This time is for you. It is supposed to be pleasurable. It’s not school anymore, there are no marks, your parents won’t judge you, your friends won’t comment on it. These are your rules, so make them. Follow them. 

I can tell you quickly when I find some extra time to study. Working from home with my husband, with tons of distractions, with a 5-year old son. I go to bed quite early, so my evening routine is fixed, I can’t squeeze anything there and I’m tired. But mornings. Oh, how I love mornings. I wake up at five am and I do lots of weird things, those are my rituals, but between 6-7 I study every second day. I study every day, but every second day it’s at 6 am. On the other days I study between 5:30-6:30 and then I go for a brisk morning walk.  But when I study, I do my online courses I’ve bought, I read. I study whatever I feel like I need or I want. At 7 we go for breakfast and at 7:30 my first lesson begins. 

This works for me, I like learning that early because there’s peace and quiet. But that doesn’t matter, for you it might be completely different. If you’re a night owl. for example, you’d rather stay longer out of bed. Think about your life, your situation, your preferences and find some time for your development. 

Now we will practice. Since you’re here, since you’ve curved out some time for your English stay with me, listen and repeat, out loud. Aways out loud. 

Please let me tell you what to avoid.

Don’t postpone it for later. 

I understand, you might feel uneasy even admitting you have a language blockade.

Time passes by, and nothing happens

It sounds like you’re making up excuses.

I have 10 minutes a day to start working on my problem with speaking English. 

I know you will not regret this decision. 

I know it might sound tacky, cheesy, but is this not true? 

I know it works, just give it a go. 

By doing this you will become a person who speaks English every day

Don’t be impatient.

It has to be easy breezy. 

It is supposed to be pleasurable.

Well done! Now go to your inbox if you haven’t yet and download the worksheet. Your homework. If you’re not a member of TOPeople that’s ok, just go to teacherola.com/80 and grab it. After you do that I’ll send you a few emails describing my story, my message, why I do what I do. You’ll also start receiving the worksheet so that you won’t have to search for them, they’ll be in your inbox. Have I mentioned it’s all free? Well, it is free. No excuses my dear. All you have to do is start. 

If you find this episode useful tell your friends about my podcast, share it with one person. It’ll be enough. It’ll help me grow and spread the message.

Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next Wednesday! We’re going to learn some idioms. I know you liked the episode with blue idioms so I picked another colour. What colour? Come here next Wednesday to find out.  Happy learning. Take care! Stay fearless and say it out loud! Bye!