Everyday English, every day, With English Now!

December 19 – crowd

December 19 – crowd

December 19, 2018 =========

☆  crowd  集団

============================

A crowd is a large group of people who have gathered together for some reason, for example, to watch or listen to something. For example, “A huge crowd gathered in Yoyogi park to listen to the free concert.”

However, another way to use “crowd” is to refer to a group of friends, or a group of people who have the same interests. For example, you might “catch up with the old crowd” meaning that you are meeting up with a group of friends that you used to see often, such as in high school or university, but don’t see much anymore.

Or you might ask, “Why do youRead more about December 19 – crowd[…]

December 18 – friendship

December 18 – friendship

December 18, 2018 =========

☆  friendship  友情関係

============================

Have you ever heard of Aristotle’s “three kinds of friendships”? The Greek philosopher believed there were three kinds of friendships:

Friendships of utility: a friendship between two people who each benefit in some way. For example, maybe your neighbor looks after your cat while you are on vacation, and you might water their plants when they are away.

Friendships of pleasure: these are friendships where you have something fun in common, for example, you go to the same gym class, or you always see them at the same coffee shop and chat with them.

Friendships of goodness: this is a friendship where you have similar values and you admireRead more about December 18 – friendship[…]

December 17 – romance

December 17 – romance

December 17, 2018 =========

☆  romance  恋愛

============================

In English, the word “romance” is used to mean a relationship between two people who are in love with each other but who are not married to each other! I had no idea!! So, you might say for example, “It was just a holiday romance.” Or, “We had a whirlwind romance that ended quickly.”

I checked my dictionary this morning, and it is true: “romance” is not used when talking about married people!! That could be the reason why divorce is becoming common! Everyone needs romance in their lives! But I suppose it’s important that the romance is with their partner and not a stranger!

How about theRead more about December 17 – romance[…]

December 16 – jealous

December 16 – jealous

December 16, 2018 =========

☆  jealous  うらやんで

============================

This week’s useful phrase is: “Don’t be jealous!”

When do you think you would you use this phrase? Perhaps you got a new job, but your friend is still looking for work, or hates their current job. Or maybe, your boyfriend saw you having coffee with another guy and was angry at you.

An interesting thing about feeling jealous of others is that we often forget that someone might feel jealous of us. So, instead of saying this phrase to someone else, it might be a good one to say to ourselves! If you see someone with the car or job or partner that you want, feel happyRead more about December 16 – jealous[…]

December 15 – charming

December 15 – charming

December 15, 2018 =========

☆  charming  魅力的な

============================

Did you notice yesterday that all my sentence examples were of females? “Lovely” is more commonly used to describe kind women, but it can be used for men, too. However, it’s more usual to describe a man as charming. It is quite similar in meaning: they are friendly and pleasant, and behave in a way that makes people like them.

Naturally, you can also use charming to describe a woman, but it’s more common to use charming for men, and lovely for women. One thing to remember though, is that charming can sometimes be used in a negative way. In other words, if you say that someone’sRead more about December 15 – charming[…]

December 14 – lovely

December 14 – lovely

December 14, 2018 =========

☆  lovely  素敵な

============================

You probably know this word in terms of describing someone or something that is beautiful or charming. However, you can also use it to describe a person as lovely, meaning that they are friendly, kind, or generous. For example:

Sarah is a lovely young woman.
She’s a lovely child.
Your mother is such a lovely lady.
My girlfriend is so lovely, I’m very lucky to have her.

Remember, this is stronger than just being a “nice” person. A lovely person has a good heart, and is able to empathize with other people easily. So, who do you know that you would describe as a lovely person?

Bye,

Chris

December 13: inconvenient

December 13: inconvenient

December 13, 2018 =========

☆  inconvenient   不都合な

============================

If something is inconvenient, it is troublesome, bothersome, untimely, awkward, and of course, “not convenient.” How could you use this word in a sentence when talking about family and friends? Here are some examples:

Sad: I really wanted to see her before she left Japan, but the timing was so inconvenient that we couldn’t catch up.
Mad: It was very inconvenient of you to make me wait so long!
Hopeful: I know that 10:30 is inconvenient for you, but I really want to see you, so I hope you can come.
Parent: I don’t care if it is inconvenient, you must come to dinner with your grandparents.
Shock: I can’t believeRead more about December 13: inconvenient[…]

December 12: friendly

December 12: friendly

December 12, 2018 =========

☆  friendly   優しい

============================

This week’s useful phrase is, “She was so friendly.” In other words, she was pleasant and kind, and nice to be with. This is the kind of sentence that could be fun to practice different intonation with. Have you ever looked at a sentence with different emphasis or intonation on certain words, to see how it changes the meaning? Let’s try…

SHE was so friendly. (But the other people weren’t.)
She WAS so friendly. (But she isn’t friendly anymore, maybe you had a friend and are not friends anymore.)
She was SO friendly. (Maybe she seemed a little too friendly, like she wasn’t sincere. Or maybe she was reallyRead more about December 12: friendly[…]

December 11: superb

December 11: superb

December 11, 2018 =========

☆  superb  最高の

============================

Something that is superb, is very good. Have you ever used this word? You could use it to thank a friend who made you dinner: Thank you for dinner, it was superb! Or to recommend something: You really should see the Tokyo orchestra concert, it is superb.

Or if you want to write a review about a restaurant or a hotel or location:
The food was superb!
The surprised by the service, it was really superb!
The water at hotel’s private beach is crystal clear and is superb for swimming and snorkeling.
Do you play golf? There is a superb 18-hole golf course not far from here.

When was the last timeRead more about December 11: superb[…]

December 10: obvious

December 10: obvious

December 10, 2018    =========

☆  obvious   明らかな

============================

If something is obvious, it is easy to see or understand. For example, in relationships you might say some of the following things:

It’s obvious he likes you!
It’s obvious you are angry at me, but I don’t know why.
It’s obvious you don’t want to go to the party, so why not just say you are busy?
If you want a raise at work, it’s obvious you are going to have to talk to your boss, rather than wait for him to talk to you.

And one that many people might say, or at least think, “If you want something done properly, it’s obvious you have to do itRead more about December 10: obvious[…]

December 9: complication

December 9: complication

December 9, 2018   =========

☆  complication  複雑さ

============================

A complication is a problem or difficult that makes a situation harder to deal with. I suppose Serena Williams might consider playing against her sister in an important tennis competition, a small complication! Tennis cannot be a draw, so one of them has to lose! Just a “minor complication” to their friendship!

Other complications that you might experience with family and friends could be working hours or the distance between you. For example, “He job is so busy, so that’s a complication for when we are trying to go out on a weeknight. Or even the age difference between you and your partner might be aRead more about December 9: complication[…]

December 8: perspective

December 8: perspective

December 8, 2018      =========

☆  perspective 全体像

============================

Perspective is the big picture, and when you keep something in perspective, it means that you judge its real importance by considering it in relation to everything else. If something is out of perspective for you, it means that you have failed to judge its real importance in relation to everything else. For example, as a parent, if I feel that I need to read an article on Facebook rather than listen to my child talk about their day at school, then obviously I have gotten things out of perspective.

The quote for this week is by Serena Williams, and she says, “Tennis is just aRead more about December 8: perspective[…]

December 7: lifetime

December 7: lifetime

December 7, 2018 =========

☆  lifetime   一生涯

============================

A lifetime is the length of time that someone is alive. For example, “Dr. Kurata had an extraordinary lifetime of achievement.” Or, “I’ve lived in a lot of places during my lifetime.” And, of course, talking about family and friends, and relationships, you might meet your true love and say that your love will last a lifetime.

One other way to use this word is in a phrase, “the chance of a lifetime” or “the experience of a lifetime” meaning that the chance or experience is the best or most important chance that you are likely to have. For me, doing the short homestay in OkayamaRead more about December 7: lifetime[…]

December 6: true love

December 6: true love

December 6, 2018 =========

☆  true love  真実の愛

============================

You can use “true love” to refer to the person that you love, for example, “He is my true love.” However, today’s word, true love, means the feeling created when two people are drawn together in life and the feeling between them is so strong and beautiful that it cannot be broken, and other people envy it.

One of my favorite movie’s is The Princess Bride (1987) and it is the story of true love, and there are a few good quotes about it:

“Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.”
“This is true love. Do you think this happensRead more about December 6: true love[…]

December 5: agony

December 5: agony

December 5, 2018 =========

☆  agony  激しい苦痛

============================

Agony is great physical or mental pain. For example, if a relationship ends you might feel agony, which would be mental or emotional pain. In other words, it doesn’t have to be actual physical pain, it might be the agony of heartache that you feel.

In Japanese magazines or newspapers (or even the internet) do you have “Advice columns” where you write in about your problem and ask for advice? What is the person who writes the replies called? In England and Australia, the person who writes the response is called an “Agony Aunt.” An agony aunt is like an aunt or old friend who cares aboutRead more about December 5: agony[…]

December 4: relationship

December 4: relationship

December 4, 2018 =========

☆  relationship 関係

============================

The word relationship can have a few meanings. Here are the most common two:

A relationship is a close friendship between two people, and is used to describe a romantic situation, too. For example, “We have been in a relationship for three years now, but neither of us wants to get married.”

It can also mean the relationship between people or groups and the way they feel or behave toward each other. For example, “America is trying to maintain a friendly relationship with China.” Or, “Money can be a cause of stress in close family relationships.”

Can you use relationship in a sentence?

Bye,

Chris

December 3: agenda

December 3: agenda

December 3, 2018      =========

☆  agenda  予定

============================

An agenda is usually a list of items to be discussed at a meeting. It’s most often used in business situations, but you can use it in personal situations too. For example, if you were catching up with friends for a day or a weekend you might ask, “So, what’s on the agenda?” This would basically mean, what are we planning to do when we catch up.

You can also simply ask a friend, “What’s on your agenda for the weekend?” meaning, what are your plans for the weekend? Or “What’s on the agenda for tonight?” When you ask this kind of question, it generally meansRead more about December 3: agenda[…]

December 2: turn down

December 2: turn down

December 2, 2018      =========

☆  turn down 断る

============================

If you turn down something or someone, you refuse that thing or the person’s request or offer. For example, “I thanked him for the offer, but turned it down.” Or like the useful phrase this week: I had to turn the job down.

Why do you think someone would need to turn a job down? If we’re talking about family and friends it might be because the job was in a location far from family, and so they had to say no. Or they might have to turn down the job because the hours they would have to work might be too long or clashRead more about December 2: turn down[…]

December 1: realize

December 1: realize

December 1, 2018     =========

☆  realize  気づく

============================

This month, we are talking about family and friends. A great topic to end the year on!

So, then today’s word, when you realize something is true, you become aware of that fact, or you understand it. For example, you might say that you realized who your true friends were when you had some trouble and needed help. Your true friends helped you out in your time of need.

Many older people say that when they are close to death, they realize how important friends and family are. The famous phrase of course is that “Nobody on their deathbed has ever said “I wish I had spentRead more about December 1: realize[…]

Today’s Word: energetic

Today’s Word: energetic

November 29, 2018   =========

☆  energetic  エネルギッシュな

============================

Do you feel more energetic at different times of the day? I feel most energetic in the morning, so that is when I try to work on my important tasks. However, these days, getting things done in the morning is quite difficult, because we are busy with getting ready for school and caring for the baby. This means I need to do most of my work when I am much less energetic, after lunch…

A good time management strategy is to time your tasks to your mood. For example, if you are feeling energetic and focused, then work on a task that requires your energy andRead more about Today’s Word: energetic[…]

Today’s Word: patient

Today’s Word: patient

November 28, 2018    =========

☆  patient  忍耐力のある

============================

A patient is someone at a hospital getting treatment… just kidding! Today’s word is the adjective, not the noun! If you are patient, you stay calm and do not get annoyed when something takes too long or someone is not doing what you want them to do. Hmm… I wonder if the adjective is related to the noun?? If you A patient at the hospital, you have to BE patient, because generally everything takes SO long at hospitals. 😀 Ha ha…

So, this made me think, I wonder if anyone else thinks it’s strange to call someone at the hospital a patient… and I found aRead more about Today’s Word: patient[…]

Today’s Word: proficient

Today’s Word: proficient

November 27, 2018   =========

☆  proficient  熟練した

============================

If you are proficient at something, you can do it well. Some other words with a similar meaning are: skilled, able, adept, competent, and skillful. Being proficient at something can really help with time management, right? Yesterday I mentioned David Allen, do you know what he said it was important to become proficient at? List making?? Ha ha… yes, of course.

However, more important than list making, he says it is important to be proficient at typing. I totally agree with this. I do a lot of work on computers, and if I were only able to type using two fingers, it would take a veryRead more about Today’s Word: proficient[…]

Today’s Word: thorough

Today’s Word: thorough

November 26, 2018    =========

☆  thorough 綿密な

============================

A thorough action or activity is one that is done in a very careful and detailed way so that nothing is forgotten. This month’s Question is “How do you beat procrastination?” and one of the example answers is: “I make a thorough To Do list and work through it.” Does this sound like a good idea? Would it help you beat procrastination?

One of my favorite authors on time management is David Allen, who wrote Getting Things Done. He says that one of the biggest reasons we are tired, and busy, and stressed is because we never really make a thorough list of ALL that weRead more about Today’s Word: thorough[…]

Today’s Word: consequence

Today’s Word: consequence

November 25, 2018    =========

☆  consequence  結果

============================

The consequences of something are the results or effects of it. The consequence of having good time management is that everything that is important to you gets done. The consequence of poor time management is that you have to work overtime and still don’t manage to finish everything you need to.

Negative consequences can be good motivation to avoid procrastination. My son is learning cello at school, and his teacher says he is good at it, and would be much better if he practiced more. Unfortunately, he never wants to practice. So, I told him that the consequence of not practicing would be that he wouldn’tRead more about Today’s Word: consequence[…]

Today’s Word: failure

Today’s Word: failure

November 24, 2018    =========

☆  failure  落伍者

============================

Today’s word, failure, refers to a person who has not succeeded at something, or who is unsuccessful at everything they do. Unfortunately, this kind of use of the word makes people feel terrible and lose self-esteem. They might say something like the phrase for this week, “I feel like a failure.”

Famous motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, actually said this, “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” I think this is one of the most important things to remember about failure. It’s just a learning experience, right? It’s not who you are. So many successful people had a lot of failures along the road toRead more about Today’s Word: failure[…]

Today’s Word: habit

Today’s Word: habit

November 23, 2018    =========

☆  habit  習慣

============================

Speaking of procrastination, do you think it is a bad habit, or is it actually part of our personality? I know a lot of people who don’t have a problem with procrastination. They just get on with whatever it is that they need to get on with. So, do they just have good habits or is it something in their DNA? Obviously, I hope that it’s a habit, and not my DNA!

Assuming it is a habit, research says that the best way to start overcoming it is to become aware of any internal excuses you have. More practical ideas are to break up difficult tasksRead more about Today’s Word: habit[…]

Today’s Word: procrastination

Today’s Word: procrastination

November 22, 2018   =========

☆  procrastination  先延ばし

============================

Ah, procrastination… the art of delaying things until later that you really should do now. I’m good at this… in fact, I’m so good at procrastination, I think it might be my super power! Ha ha…

For example, part way through typing this to you this morning, I needed to go the toilet. So, I just went – and instead of coming straight back to continue writing to you… I cleaned the toilet!! Yep! I am so good at procrastination, I will clean the toilet instead of doing work!! I guess at least the toilet is clean now, so I don’t have to do it later.Read more about Today’s Word: procrastination[…]

Today’s Word: constraint

Today’s Word: constraint

November 21, 2018   =========

☆  constraint  制約

============================

A constraint is something limits or controls what you can do. Sometimes having constraints can actually really help us reach our goals. Do you know Dr. Seuss? He is most famous for his Cat in the Hat books. His editor challenged him to write a book with the constraint of only using 50 words. If you read his book, Green Eggs and Ham, you’ll see that he only used 50 different words!

So, while we tend to think that constraints are limiting and negative, they can actually be extremely helpful! Putting constraints on your To Do list, or the individual tasks on your list can helpRead more about Today’s Word: constraint[…]

Today’s Word: discipline

Today’s Word: discipline

November 20, 2018    =========

☆  discipline  自制

============================

Discipline is quality of being able to work in a controlled way and obeying rules or standards. Another word for discipline is self-control. Getting things done at work or home requires discipline to ignore all the interruptions we talked about yesterday and continue on with the work that you need to do.

One thing that strangely requires me to have discipline is reading! I love reading, but I am easily distracted if I am using the Kindle app on my phone. I “quickly” check something, or type a note to remember something, and suddenly, I’m not reading anymore, I’m working or worse, looking at social networkRead more about Today’s Word: discipline[…]

Today’s Word: interruption

Today’s Word: interruption

November 19, 2018     =========

☆  interruption  中断

============================

An interruption is a disruption, a disturbance, an intrusion – anything that means you have to stop what you are doing. For example, something like a phone call while you are at work would be an interruption. If you have email notifications on your phone or desktop, then each time an email arrives and you hear the “ping” that is an interruption.

For me, my office is at home at the moment, so my day is full of interruptions! A baby crying, a dog that wants to go outside or come inside, or wants water or food. The doorbell, the phone, the delivery man… so manyRead more about Today’s Word: interruption[…]

Today’s Word: achieve

Today’s Word: achieve

November 18, 2018    =========

☆  achieve  達成する

============================

The other day, I mentioned eliminating projects from your To Do list. This is an idea from GTD, Getting Things Done, but David Allen. He says that we need to keep a Projects list. Then for each project on the list, we need to decide what we want to achieve and by when we want to achieve it.

If you can decide what you want to achieve, then it should be easier to decide what tasks you need to do, in order to achieve it right? And if you know by when you want to achieve it, then you can set a deadline for your tasks,Read more about Today’s Word: achieve[…]

Today’s Word: schedule a block of time

Today’s Word: schedule a block of time

November 17, 2018    =========

☆  schedule a block of time  一定の時間を予定する

============================

When you plan your day or your To Do list, do you schedule a block of time for each task or project? I think scheduling a block of time to work on something is a great idea, but I’m not very good at doing it consistently! Sometimes, when I think I have a busy week, I’ll schedule a block of time for the things I know must get done.

I also try to schedule a block of time a few times a week for exercising. Keeping healthy is so important right? Have you ever tried scheduling blocks of time for work orRead more about Today’s Word: schedule a block of time[…]

Today’s Word: assign

Today’s Word: assign

November 16, 2018    =========

☆  assign  任命する

============================

If you assign a piece of work to another person, you give them that work to do. This is probably the best time management “trick” of all, right? Imagine if you could assign all your boring tasks, or low value tasks to someone else? You’d be so productive! Ha ha, so long as you were the boss and the other people had to do the work you assigned them! If you’re a coworker or a subordinate, you probably don’t get to assign your tasks to someone else, right?

However, assigning tasks to someone else can be really useful. Each of us has certain skills, and certainRead more about Today’s Word: assign[…]

Today’s Word: eliminate

Today’s Word: eliminate

November 15, 2018    =========

☆  eliminate  取り除く

============================

It’s a fact of life, that we can rarely do everything on our To Do list. Once you prioritize your tasks, plan how long each will take, your day will probably be full, before you have allocated time for each task. So, what do you do? We eliminate! Yes, eliminate or cut the tasks from your list, and focus just on the remaining tasks.

One way to eliminate tasks from your list, is to remove anything that isn’t actually a task. An “idea” is not a task – eliminate it from your list. Instead, keep an “Ideas” list, where you can store your ideas until youRead more about Today’s Word: eliminate[…]

Today’s Word: drag on

Today’s Word: drag on

November 14, 2018    =========

☆  drag on  時間がかかる

============================

If something drags on, it takes longer than necessary. Things on your To Do list can drag on, causing you to get behind in the tasks that you need to finish. However, it’s not just work-related things that drag on – it can be personal things too.

A few months ago, my son had a school dance performance. It was Years 4 to Year 7, and it was starting at 9am. I had a Pilates class to go to, at 9:15am, and the location was just a couple of minutes away from the school. So naturally, I thought, his year would go first (year 4)Read more about Today’s Word: drag on[…]

Today’s Word: prioritize

Today’s Word: prioritize

November 13, 2018     =========

☆  prioritize  優先順位をつける

============================

So, the big question! How do you prioritize when everything is important?! I use a paper-based planner for work, and the Eigo Techo for personal. In my work diary, it has two sections for your To Do list. One section says, “Top Priority” and the other section says, “Priority” ha ha… it’s a bit silly really! When everything is prioritized as a “Top Priority” then in reality, nothing is a top priority!

I think the key to being able to prioritize your tasks is knowing the value they bring to your work or life. And, also being able to accurately estimate how much time you willRead more about Today’s Word: prioritize[…]

Today’s Word: plan

Today’s Word: plan

November 12, 2018    =========

☆  plan  計画する

============================

When planning your day, do you think about how long tasks will take you? As I said earlier this month, it’s not really possible for me to plan my day in detail, so instead, I list up the tasks I’m working on. I also try to plan how much time I think they will take. This is important, because it helps me be decisive and make a choice of what to do, when I have a little or a lot of time.

When I plan how much time I think I need to spend on a task in order to finish it, I also look atRead more about Today’s Word: plan[…]

Today’s Word: decisive

Today’s Word: decisive

November 11, 2018=========

☆  decisive  明白な

============================

If someone is decisive, it means that they have the ability to make quick decisions, in a difficult or complicated situation. Having too many options is usually one of the things that makes time management difficult. We need to be decisive and make the decision quickly, so that we can actually get on with taking action.

Most people are not decisive, and instead spend so long thing about what to decide, that they never actually make a decision! But, worse than that, is by not being decisive, they never get on with the work they need to do. For me, it’s really tough with a young baby,Read more about Today’s Word: decisive[…]

Today’s Word: boring

Today’s Word: boring

November 10, 2018   =========

☆  boring  退屈な

============================

When something is boring, it is uninteresting and dull or tedious. Boring tasks are usually the ones on our list that we don’t want to do, but must do. When my kids come to me and say they have nothing to do, “What can we do???” I make some suggestions: Why don’t you…

clean your room?
do you washing?
do your homework?
practice your music?
practice your Soroban?

Of course, I’m sure you can guess their answer to each suggestion…”That’s boring.” So, I reply, “Yep. I know those tasks are boring, but they still need to be done! So, if you’ve got nothing to do, that’s perfect timing!” Interestingly, they disappearRead more about Today’s Word: boring[…]

Today’s Word: important

Today’s Word: important

November 9, 2018  =========

☆  important  重要な

============================

Something that is important is very significant or necessary. When you make a list of the things you have to do, do you take time to decide which is most important? This is another good way to work out what to do right? If you have a list of many things to do, then how do you know which to do first? If you decide what is most important, and do that first, then at least you know you are getting the important tasks done each day.

The problem I have, is that everything that I write on my To Do list is important! If itRead more about Today’s Word: important[…]

Today’s Word: instantly

Today’s Word: instantly

November 8, 2018     =========

☆  instantly   すぐに

============================

One of my clients told me his way of being more productive a few years ago. Whenever he got a new book or a new program, or a new project, he would instantly spend 15 minutes on it. In other words, if a new book arrived from Amazon, he would open it instantly, and read or look over it for 15 minutes. He also did this with new study programs. In the past, you had to wait for the DVD to arrive, rather than download it instantly, so, when the DVD arrived, he would look at the contents for 15 minutes. If he decided toRead more about Today’s Word: instantly[…]

Today’s Word: unproductive

Today’s Word: unproductive

November 7, 2018    =========

☆  unproductive  非生産的な

============================

This week’s useful phrase is, “I am always unproductive after a big lunch!” This is true for me, I always feel so sleepy! Luckily, I usually feel more awake after a coffee though. How about you? When do you feel unproductive?

I’m feeling unproductive, so just a short mail today!!

This is another phrase that you can change around, and to talk about other topics. For example: I am always XX after YY.

I am always productive in the morning.
I am always happy after dinner with friends.
I am always late to work on Mondays.

Can you make a sentence in this way?

Bye,

Chris

Today’s Word: paper-based

Today’s Word: paper-based

November 6, 2018    =========

☆  paper-based  紙の

============================

What kind of calendar and diary do you use? Well, I suppose that might be a silly question!! Hopefully if you are reading this email it’s because you use the Eigo Techo as your calendar and diary! Ha ha! I hope so.

However, many people have more than one calendar, so just wondering do you use a paper-based system only, or do you use an electronic one too? For me, I used to try to combine both paper-based and an electronic calendar, but in the end, it was too hard. So, now I am using a purely paper-based system. And, that is improving my efficiency andRead more about Today’s Word: paper-based[…]

Today’s Word: electronic

Today’s Word: electronic

November 5, 2018   =========

☆  electronic  電子の

============================

These days, there is a lot of choice in the way that we do things. We can use an electronic device to help with most things. In fact, these days, most electronic devices like smartphones and tablets are almost more powerful than laptops. My kids are learning to use electronic things at school, such as laptops, desktops, and iPads.

Sometimes I wonder if they will be able to write well or not! They are so used to just typing on a device. They use Google to research their school projects. When I was in school, we had computers, but we weren’t allowed to use electronic devicesRead more about Today’s Word: electronic[…]

Today’s Word: app

Today’s Word: app

November 4, 2018   =========

☆  app アプリ

============================

Happy birthday to me! I hope I have a good day! Ha ha!

Another useful phrase for the week, “This app is really useful for time management.” Do you have any apps that are good for time management? I have the Pomodoro app, that times my 25-5-minute work and break intervals, it’s very handy. I also have all my banking and PayPal apps on my iPhone, which helps not waste time on the computer.

By the way, you can use this useful phrase to talk about other things, but changing the last words. “This app is really useful for XX” for example:

This app is really useful forRead more about Today’s Word: app[…]

Today’s Word: productivity

Today’s Word: productivity

November 3, 2018      =========

☆  productivity  生産性

============================

Productivity used to be just about the time it took for companies to produce things. For example, the productivity rate of the Toyota factory when they produce cars. However, these days, if someone it talking about productivity, it’s usually about the rate at which they get their own work done.

Just like yesterday, everyone is always thinking about ways to increase their productivity (and efficiency). The useful phrase this week is, “Planning my day has increased my productivity.” Nowadays, with a young baby, planning my day is pretty much impossible! However, a little planning definitely helps with my productivity. So, each night, I email myself aRead more about Today’s Word: productivity[…]

Today’s Word: efficiency

Today’s Word: efficiency

November 2, 2018     =========

☆  efficiency  能率

============================

Efficiency is the quality of being able to do a task successfully, without wasting time or energy. One of the best ways to get more done is to improve our efficiency, right? But how do you improve your efficiency?? One of the best ways is to take regular breaks! It seems kind of ironic that the best way to improve your productivity and efficiency is to work less!

I like the Pomodoro technique for making sure I take regular breaks. Have you heard of it? It’s super simple. You work for 25 minutes on a task, and then take a 5-minute break. Then after 4 setsRead more about Today’s Word: efficiency[…]

Today’s Word: effectiveness

Today’s Word: effectiveness

November 1, 2018    =========

☆  effectiveness  有効性

============================

Hello! Welcome to November. This month, we’re talking about the subject of time management. Let’s not waste any time and get started on today’s word straight away!

The effectiveness of something is the degree to which that thing is successful in producing the result you want. So, for example, you might talk about the effectiveness of using a timer when you want to get work done. Or you might learn some new time management strategies after reading a book and want to test out their effectiveness at work.

So, this month, get ready to talk about the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness!) of time management techniques. If you knowRead more about Today’s Word: effectiveness[…]

Today’s Word: discretionary

Today’s Word: discretionary

October 31, 2018 =========

☆  discretionary  自分で使える

============================

Happy Halloween! Is Halloween becoming more popular in Japan? It is becoming very popular in Australia – but it’s really just a marketing trick to get people to spend their discretionary income! Any money that you spend on things other than the necessary items of shelter, food, and clothing, is your discretionary spending. So, buying chocolate and decorations for Halloween? Definitely discretionary spending!

Hobbies, travel, luxuries, entertainment, these categories of spending are all discretionary, too. If you have a budget, then it’s important to have these discretionary categories, too, right? Otherwise, you’ll be saving a lot of money, but you’ll probably feel really restricted and unhappy. FindingRead more about Today’s Word: discretionary[…]

Today’s Word: mindless

Today’s Word: mindless

October 30, 2018 =========

☆  mindless  思慮のない

============================

The Q&A for this month is, “Do you have a budget?” and one answer is, “Yes, this way I avoid mindless spending.” Mindless spending is where you really don’t think about what you are buying and why you are buying it, you just want to buy it. Remember my son, that is an expert in whining? He’s also an expert in mindless spending! Oh dear!

He’s too young for a budget, of course, however, I think it is time to teach him about working for money. Maybe if he earns his own money by doing jobs like gardening and cleaning the car for me, then he mightRead more about Today’s Word: mindless[…]