I have 80 Chinese characters (flashcards for children) taped to a wall of my Beijing apartment. I add about five per day. I wrote about this earlier , before starting. So far it’s working. With almost no effort, no discipline, I know what almost all of them mean. I test myself a little whenever I’m in that room. This is a vast improvement over several previous attempts to learn the characters, such as studying flashcards the usual way or using Anki , a flashcard program.
I ruefully realize this is an application of something I thought of many years ago: the forces we can turn on and off are much weaker than pre-existing forces we can only take advantage of. Burning coal is a force we can turn on and off. Solar power is a pre-existing force we can take advantage of (and which almost everyone in Beijing uses to dry clothes). The sun shines no matter what we do. Deliberate studying we can turn on and off. We can study or not. In contrast, I am inevitably going to be in that room. Taping characters to the wall takes advantage of that.