My Italian Study Routine When I’m Super Busy

Italian Study Routine  for when You're Super Busy

Redefining my Current Italian Goals

Let’s face it – sometimes even if you have a burning desire to learn a language, it just can’t be your priority at the moment.

However, I realized that if I want to keep up my Italian, especially as the travel ban imposed exile stretches on, I need to do something, anything. I’ve finally gotten to a level where I feel comfortably communicative, and I want to maintain that, especially since I plan to go back to Italy as soon as possible.

My goal at this point is to maintain exposure to Italian. Therefore, during this busy period, I plan to spend zero hours focused only on Italian study.

Here’s the greatest language learning myth of all time: you don’t need to MAKE time to learn a language. You simply live your life IN the language as much as possible.

The secret is not to spend time “studying.” Instead, do as many everyday tasks as you can in Italian. Do things that you would normally do, but in Italian.

Don’t add studying to your to do list. Make it part of what you ALREADY do!

Some caveats:

  • This is a temporary period of passive learning. Once I have achieved my goals in other areas requiring my immediate attention, I will make active Italian study a priority again.
  • Passive learning alone is not a method to become fluent. My goal at this point is to maintain exposure to Italian.
  • I believe this method of passive input would work best for those who are already at an intermediate level. We don’t want the language just to be background noise; it should be comprehensible input.

I’ve divided up my passive learning plan into two main categories: daily activities and passive listening.

Daily Activities

This is a list of all the activities that I do daily that I can do in Italian instead.


There’s a great fitness channel on YouTube called FixFit. I activated the bell to get notifications when a new video comes out, and let me tell you, this is the most consistent channel I’ve ever seen. Every day at midnight Pacific Standard Time / 9 am Italian time, without fail there’s a new video. Serious kudos to them for producing consistent quality content!


I always make my grocery lists in Italian and use Italian recipes. Everybody’s gotta eat! And if you’re like me, you love the act of cooking too!

Thinking in Italian

Thinking in Italian is definitely something I could be more conscious of doing. It definitely takes practice to make it a habit, but it’s worth persisting!

Lists / Journaling

If you have a daily planner, gratitude journal, or any sort of to do list, etc., these are easy ways to sneak in a little more Italian!


Put your phone in Italian! This is one of the easiest changes I’ve made that gives me instant exposure to Italian. The icing on the cake is listening to directions in Italian with English street names! It’s sure to make you smile.

Passive Listening

Listening is a great activity to incorporate while commuting, taking a walk, or cleaning, etc. I find music and podcasts the best way to get in some Italian listening on the go while I am doing another otherwise mundane task. I do find it helpful to wear headphones to get the most benefit.


There are tons of Italian song playlists on Spotify or YouTube, such as this one of Italian love songs. You could also make your own playlist of your favorite songs. Bonus points if you sing out loud!


My favorite podcast of the moment is DiWine Taste. I get to learn about wine in Italian, win win!

I’ve also been enjoying Podcast Italiano. I absolutely love the corresponding YouTube channel as well.

BONUS: Get in some speaking practice by leaving voice notes with an Italian exchange partner, or if you don’t have one, why not make voice notes to yourself? That way you can even track your progress and hear how far you’ve come!

How do you keep your Italian studies going when you’re just too busy? What are your favorite songs or podcasts? Please do share your ideas in the comments!

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LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia

I completely agree with this. You can do all the grammar exercises in the world but that doesn’t mean you’ll “learn” the language. It’s so important to try and work the language into your daily life and tasks! 

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