Language is a huge part of the way we present ourselves to the world and experience culture. It may not be easy, but the outcome can be life-changing.

That said, sometimes it’s just one more thing on your never-ending to-do list! So we’re here with tips for fitting Portuguese into your busy schedule.

Get Comfortable in Maintenance Mode

Remember that learning is not all or nothing! You don’t absolutely need full immersion or hours of daily practice to get started. Instead, work on gradually building and maintaining a foundation of vocabulary, grammar basics, and simple phrases. Then, let spaced repetition do the heavy lifting when it comes to reviewing efficiently. Sure, you’ll have to ramp it up at some point to reach fluency, but it’s okay to stay in maintenance mode for a while when you have a lot on your plate. Which leads us to our next point…

Don’t Lose Your Habits

When life gets busy, focus on keeping your habits, rather than how long or successful your study sessions are. Do 5 minutes per day, even if it’s not helping much. Later, once you DO have more time, the habit is already there. You can just increase the time and intensity instead of starting from square one. Consider setting a “bare minimum” for yourself, enough for you to feel like Portuguese is still active in your mind. Even if it’s just listening to a 2-minute Portuguese dialogue every day, that’s better than nothing.

If you have other habits or hobbies that are already established, coast on that existing structure by incorporating Portuguese. For example, every time you brush your teeth, do a quick lesson on your phone right after, or turn on a Portuguese podcast whenever you start your car.

Make it Easier to Get Started

Sometimes we want to study, but just don’t have the energy to take the first step. Set your future self up for success by removing barriers whenever possible. Keep a designated study area clear to avoid unnecessary prep work. Set a bookmark for, or download the mobile app, so that a lesson is just a few taps away. For a quick on-the-go option, focus on Smart Review flashcards, which involve less reading and no typing.