On the use of ‘dead time’
If you are like 99% of the population, and aren’t some sort of mutant-cyboid-productivity-machine-monster, you probably waste a fair amount of your life.
I’m not talking about time spent watching TV, or on Facebook. Activities like these, although they may be classified as procrastination, do serve some purpose – relaxation, entertainment, being social, blah blah.
I bet you take the bus. Or the train. Or, if you too live in Melbourne, a tram. You ride a bike. Wash your clothes. Hang up your clothes to dry. Go for walks. Eat lunch. You get the idea.
This is ‘dead time’ – time that serves no purpose whatsoever and is essentially sucked into the black hole of time, never to be seen again. Imagine if you harnessed the power of that time? All those forgotten minutes, maybe a half hour here and then, amount to an intense amount of time. That’s right, intense. *drools*
I would say most people have at least an hour a day in dead time they could use, but it could be as much as two or three depending on the person. Why not listen to some Chinese dialogs?
Use of such dead time ALONE is enough to get fluent in a language, assuming at some stage you stop washing the dishes and talk to people who speak Chinese or whatever to consolidate what you’ve learnt through all that input time.
Or you could just, you know, keep scrubbin’ those dishes until your hands are raw and burnt from the hot water and stinging from all the soap and you can understand Chinese like it’s no one’s business.
Just as an aside, on the value of input, I managed to get reasonably fluent in Spanish (granted, I was already fluent in French) by doing nothing other than watching every episode of the O.C. (don’t judge me), Walking Dead, and Lost, dubbed in Spanish. I couldn’t understand shit at the start, but believe me; you start to. Even though my Spanish speaking ability is lacking at present due to lack of practice/I’ve stopped watching my shows, I can still understand practically everything. What’s better is that due to my lack of grammar study, I feel the language like I do English – I know the grammar rules, I just don’t know why they are the rules.