In case this might be of help for other newbies out there, this is what I’m doing right now to learn with Chinese Pod:
Each day, during breakfast, I watch one of the ATWTI videos. I then go to one of the newbie lessons suggested in the practice section of that particular video, and listen to the show, plus the vocabulary audio review and the expansion, and do the exercises. This takes me about 30 minutes.
I put the ATWTI audio and the practice lesson audios (show, vocabulary and dialogue) into a playlist for that day. I make 3 copies each of the vocab and dialogue. I do not put the expansion in there since I find it too difficult right now. I also add to the playlist one lesson done at least 5 days ago, to review.
I use that playlist later that day, which takes about 40 minutes or so, during commuting or daily walks. I find using the lessons outdoors, combined with movement, somehow reinforces the learning process. And it’s helping me not procrastinating about exercising every day.
I must add that I live in a city and a neighbourhood (not in China) with a large Chinese community, and it’s somehow fun to see so many Chinese people in my local park while I’m muttering to myself Chinese words listening to my playlist. I stop listening to my mp3 and try to understand some words of what they are saying when I see Chinese people around.
Once I finish all the ATWTI lessons, which will be in a few days, I’m planning to to through the list again, this time choosing the “practice” audio lessons I didn’t pick the first time and maybe trying my luck with some of the elementary ones in the practice section as well.
I’d be interested in reading what other newbies are doing in this regard.