FLYLady has a secret tool she uses to get things done: the Control Journal.
This new year does not need to be chaotic, if you do simple daily routines. You can create a control journal for your language learning, just as FLYLady does for housework.
I will describe the Control Journal using paper, but feel free to update it to do these electronically, on your laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.
Things you need
- Binder for your control journal pages.
- Calendar to write down your schedule, projects, and activities.
- Timer. Timers keep us focused.
- Sheet protector to put your routines in.
- Dry erase marker to check off things as you accomplish them.
- Post-it notes to remind you of baby steps you are taking.
- Fun stickers to chart your progress on the calendar.
- Pen to fill in control journal.
- Find a launch pad where you can put all the things you need for the next day. Perhaps it is in a book bag or a box on your desk.
- Make a checklist of what you need. Put it in your control journal as part of your bedtime routine.
- Put a post-it note on your mirror.
- Set your alarm. Schedule when you will study on your calendar.
Do you have a bedtime? Get the rest you need to be alert and successful. The more things you do in the evening, the less you have to do in the morning. Start 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Check your calender for tomorrow’s activities.
- Clean up your desk for 5 minutes. Set a timer.
- Put your backpack on your launch pad along with anything else you need.
- Put your phone on the charger.
- Review your flashcards or listen to audio before you go to sleep. Get into a calm, relaxed state.
- Lights out at a decent hour! There is fun to be had tomorrow.
- Get up and shower.
- Check your calendar.
- Eat breakfast and clean up.
- Review your flashcards.
- How does your room/desk look? Put away 3 things. Do it now. This will take 30 seconds.
- Gather up the things on your launch pad.
- Check your list to see if you forgot anything.
- Leave by plenty of time to get there. Don’t rush!
- Get a healthy snack, some water, and sit down to do your studying.
- Set your timer for 15 minutes.
- Stay focused for the whole time and you will get to take a break for 15 minutes and play a game or listen music. You can focus better on your work and get it done faster if
you are not distracted by too many things at once. Focus makes you Fabulous.
- When the timer goes off you get to take a break. Set the timer again and
when it goes off, jump back into your studying. Keep doing this until your
studying is finished.
- Check your calendar for any projects due that you need to work on. Doing a little every day will make it much easier on you. We call this the project mode.
- Are there any jobs that are your responsibility? Use your timer to get these done too. They will not take very long to do them. Get them done and you won’t feel guilty about forgetting them.
- Clean up your desk. Just 5 minutes.
- Put a smile on your face and look in the mirror. You are a very responsible person. Tell yourself how proud you are of yourself. You always knew you could do it!
Class Schedule and Activities
Mark your wall calendar too so you will remember this schedule. Use some fun stickers to help you see your schedule.
Write out your bedtime, morning, and afternoon routines adapted for you as a checklist. Do them daily.
You may also be interested in FLYLady’s office in a bag and Office Control Journal. The concept is to gather everything you need for studying in one place. Everything I need for bill paying and budgeting, I keep in one portable place, to keep me organized. Same idea could work for language learning. Pen, highlighter, notebook, blank flashcards, bilingual dictionary, quick reference pages, vocabulary lists, calendar, cell phone, MP3 player, tablet, etc. could be kept in one student organizer.
For more information, refer to FLYLady’s Building your own control journal.