I got asked the following questions, and decided make a post about it with the Synergy stuff: I’ll get to those questions, but first let me talk about time in general. How much time should you study? Ideally, as much as possible while maintaining adequate attention, mental health and physical health. Here’s a sample situation. You have no other obligations during the day. You require 8 hours of sleep, and 1 hour a day of cardio vascular exercise. You also require an additional 2 hours a day for meal breaks, and a 5 min break for every hour of study at the computer. That leaves roughly 12 hours a day that you could study. If you maintain a normal level of attention, don’t feel yourself getting drowsy, and don’t harbor regrets for spending all this time studying, 12 hours a day is ok. But I think that it’s a very rare individual who can study consistently 12 hours a day. For our mental health, and to stay fresh and alert during our study hours, we normally need to spend time doing other things too. I consider myself above average regarding my ability to study a lot, and I find it hard to maintain 8 hours a day for more than a few months, and that’s with the occasional 2 or 3 hour day thrown in for mental health reasons. Another thing that’s not realistic about this situation for most is the premise of having nothing else to do in the day. Most of us have jobs and responsibilities outside of our studies, which severely limits out study time. But most people can come up with a rough idea of how much time they can spend, which is important when trying to come up with a study plan. One warning about the amount of time to study. (I’m talking about learning a language here, not maintaining it.) If you can’t devote at least, on the average, an hour a day for at least a year, you will probably never reach B1 in a language, regardless of the method. This is because you won’t be spending adequate time in the language to be able to remember enough to make steady progress. There is a sort of critical mass in languages learning, and it happens somewhere around 1 hr/day. Now I’m going to talk about time management for each step of Synergy. Pre-learning research (no fixed time). This isn’t really time critical. You can do it all in one night, or over the course of several years, discovering just how you want to tackle your next language. Step 1 – Isolated pronunciation and orthography (30 min/day minimum). I recommend working on this daily, at least 30 min/day, until you have reached the goal of this step, which is to be able to repeat isolated words correctly after hearing them, and be able to read isolated words out loud with correct pronunciation. I usually use more than 30 min a day, because it’s the only thing I’m doing at that point. You can do less if you want, as long as you reach your goal before going onto the next step. Step 2 – Sentence level pronunciation, vocabulary and listening (1 hr/day minimum). Now things get a little busier, so I will itemize them. 1) Pimsleur (primary) – 30 min. That’s the length of a lesson, so it’s fixed. If you’re not using Pimsleur, do 30 min/day of parroting your other material. 2) Listening (primary) – at least 10 min of native material. If you’re listening to podcasts that contain a lot of L1, you want to listen to enough of them so that the native material in them totals over 10 minutes. 3) Reading – at least 10 min. Usually reading your flashcards out loud will be enough to fulfill this. 4) Writing – at least 10 min. Writing out vocabulary words or flashcard sentences should be enough. 5) Vocabulary/Sentences – use your SRS to review Pimsleur as a minimum. Creating the cards will probably take you at least 10 min. The time to actually do the cards is probably accounted for in 2) and 3) above. Where to cut time for this step: Because the minimum time here is so short, and there is so much going on, it’s hard to cut. You could try to get by without SRS reviews, thus wiping out 3) thru 5), but it’s not recommended because reviews are being used for more than just helping you memorize things here. Step 3 –Grammar, reading, writing, and conversation (1¾ hr/day minimum). Unless noted, these are the minimum times per day. 1) Conversation (primary) – 30 min. 2) Reading (primary) – 15 min. 3) Writing (primary) – 15 min. 4) Grammar (primary) – 30 min. 5) Listening (primary) – 15 min. 6) SRS – no more than 60 min. Where to cut time for this step: Eliminate or greatly reduce your SRS time 6), and stick to the minimums. Step 4 – Take reading, writing, listening and conversation to C1/C2 (1¾ hr/day minimum). These are the minimum times per day. 1) Conversation (primary) – 30 min. 2) Reading (primary) – 30 min. 3) Writing (primary) – 15 min. 4) Listening (primary) – 30 min. Where to cut time for this step: I don’t recommend going below these minimums. Study more than the minimums. Remember, the above numbers are not optimal. Optimal would be the highest multiple of these numbers that you can fit in your schedule. For me, it’s probably 3 or 4 times these numbers when I’m not working. But when I am working, I use the minimums as a lower limit for my studies. It’s not necessary to do exact multiples of the minimums, or keep exact percentages. If you have extra time, I recommend working on your weaknesses, and trying to keep your skills reasonably balanced.