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Singing in French & Spanish, dancing salsa & working efficiently: A day in the life of an Irish polyglot in Colombia

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Tuesday of this week I filmed a lot of what I did throughout the day, from getting up around 7:30 to coming home at 2am, so check out these videos and summaries of how a typical day for me here in Medellín went!

I start with some work and then get into the real fun! Watch me sing in French, dance some salsa, share some interesting cultural facts in Spanish and even sing Christmas songs in Spanish, all in today's videos.

Part 1: Working and time management

As said in the video, I start my day working on the most important project of that day before I even glance at distractions like e-mail and twitter. On this particular day finishing and sending the previous blog post was the priority.

While writing, I like to take a tip I got from Viperchill, which involves using a program that takes over your whole screen and only lets you write (so no distractions). Lifehacker has a great list of some programs to do it in (although the one I personally use is PyRoom as I'm on Linux)

After I have done that then I let myself into the e-mail inbox to see how much has piled up since I cleared it the day before.

I had serious problems getting some sense of control over the large amount of e-mails I have been getting since Fluent in 3 months has gotten popular, and even had a two month backlog of e-mails in my inbox at one stage! But I followed some great advice from Sid Savara about dealing with e-mail overload and now I successfully clear my inbox almost every day.

I get way more done overall by having every task time-boxed specifically using the Pomodoro technique. I use a great free program (that works on all platforms) called Pomodairo, to manage my time-boxing.

Finally, something I do that greatly increases efficiency in my work day is to have a siesta (a.k.a. a power nap) for just 15 minutes. Because of this I don't need more than five or six hours of sleep at night, and I have a great energy boost for the afternoon (I don't drink coffee other than socially). Siestas are actually more in tune with our bodies' natural rhythm and I found ways to make it work even when working in 9-6 jobs. I'll write more about siestas another time.

Since I currently choose my own hours, usually I'll follow the Spanish working time of taking several hours off for the afternoon and then working later in the evening because of this. Although this particular day I didn't work in the evening as shown below.

Part 2: Singing in French, dancing salsa and strategic consultation call

Now comes the fun videos!

Since singing is a great way to get into your languages, I like to do a little every day if I can. Today I chose “Le temps qui court” by “Les Enfoires” (you may recognise the tune of “Could it be magic”) and you can hear me sing it in this video!

Next, I recorded a little of the salsa lesson that day. If I get enough footage while in Cali, I'll make a video just about my salsa learning experience and go into that part of my time in Colombia in much more detail later.

Just after the salsa lesson I had a strategic consultation call, where I coach someone over Skype who is struggling to be able to speak a language and help them get into it with dramatic improvements.

This is my favourite part of the work I do. At the moment I only have one call a week, but I'd like to do more! If you'd like some help with learning a language, running a website or working for yourself, you can Skype me too!

Part 3: Colombian myths and legends parade explanation and singing Christmas songs (en español)

The first half of this video is in Spanish (with subtitles). I talk about the parade celebrating myths and legends of Colombia, and then I go around the town looking at the amazing Christmas decorations.

To really get into the mood, I sing bits of Christmas songs that I'm sure you know (Jingle bells and Silent night), but in Spanish!

Then I wrap up the day by going out to dance, coming home at 2am!

author headshot

Benny Lewis

Founder, Fluent in 3 Months

Fun-loving Irish guy, full-time globe trotter and international bestselling author. Benny believes the best approach to language learning is to speak from day one.

Speaks: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Esperanto, Mandarin Chinese, American Sign Language, Dutch, Irish

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