I can read your mind.
“Oh my gosh, I only did X reps today!”. “Oh my gosh, more sentences, more sentences”. “Oh my gosh, I don’t even know how to order tempura yet!”. “Oh my gosh, I don’t know all the varieties of ramen yet”.
Chill. The heck. Out.
“Oh, Deity! Japanese has N thousand kanji, each with R number of readings!”. “By Jupiter, Cantonese has NINE tones!”. “Heavens above! Mandarin is full of homophones!”. “Ancestors, watch over me, German has CASES, just like Latin!”.
Calm. The heck. Down.
Dude. It’s not a race. Honestly, it isn’t. At least, not in the way you think it is. That crap about your statistics? The numbers are, to use a hackneyed phrase, a great servant, but a teeeeeerible master. The numbers are just a form of adjective. That is, they describe the noun that is your progress. They provide a way to explain your progress in more detail than actual adjectives (words). Nothing more.
The features of the language? Cows have four stomachs. So phorking what? Just feed them grass. Do you get what I mean? Dissecting a language into its parts and examining the results is just that — dissection. Taxonomy. Classification. It is almost completely irrelevant to acquiring the language itself. My friend, every natural language on this little blue planet works the same way — text in eyes, sounds in ear, sounds out of mouth, text out of writing implement. The end.
Don’t fall for the numbers game. Don’t fall for the classification fetish. It’s just a stinking language. People learn it all the time, without knowing what the heck they’re doing. Do you really think cows know what’s going on inside their stomachs? No, they just eat the hay, or (in much of Europe and North America) the ground-up remains of their fellow cows — *ouch* that agricultural humor stings, doesn’t it? They don’t get up in the morning and go “oh dung, are my hooves cleft or not and if so how does this affect how I should be walking? Wait, so, I’m a ruminant? How should I chew this grass? Is cud-chewing a form of vomiting, and if so, doesn’t that make me bulimic? What about, hold on, so, ‘Moo’ first tone? Where’s the accent on the moo?”.
Does this make sense? STOP ANALYZING. STOP THINKING. START DOING. No, in fact, don’t do. Don’t even do. Just BE.
Don’t “do” your language (i.e. the language you are wanting to learn). Don’t think ABOUT your language. Don’t analyze your language. Just BE it. BECOME it. Don’t…compartmentalize it and cage it and poke it and prod it and measure the pH of its saliva and kill it and stuff it. You may think you’re being smart or helping yourself, but you’re not (I know; I’ve walked that road). Don’t make it a segment of your life — make it your life. Just ENTER INTO IT. And don’t ever leave it again. Swim in it, wash in it, breathe it, eat it, sleep it. Let it take over, every day, everywhere you go, every thought you have, your memories, your friendships, important things, trivial things.
Find out what that chick is saying in that scene. Find out how to say what you want to say. What and how are now. Why is later.
Forget about how many verbs or conjugations you know. Forget about the pluperfect effing subjunctive. Forget about time. Forget about how long it’s going or not going to take. Just chill out. In the language. All the time.
You can’t analyze your way into your language. You can only analyze your way into an analysis of the language — which has very little to do with the language itself. The language is a living, breathing organism, and you need to see it alive if you’re to really learn about it. A stuffed version won’t do. A cut-away anatomical diagram will not help you. You don’t need to know the kingdom, phylum and class. You don’t need to know the pixel coordinates of your mouse; just use your eyes and click on the icon. You don’t need to calculate the force normal on your left toe to walk to the supermarket; just walk there. How much aluminium is in a 100 yen coin? Who cares!! Just use it to buy stuff!!!!!
Remember that kid who bugged you in school? Why didn’t you kill him? …What? Because it’s immoral? Because it’s illegal? No kidding, and are you a lawyer? No? Then how the heck do you know? Because common sense is your friend. You don’t need to become a grammatician or study grammar to use language grammatically any more than you need become a lawyer to obey laws, or a chemist to cook food, or a microbiologist to use handsoap.
No one is saying not to analyze, no one is saying that knowledge is a bad thing. But there’s a time and place for that kind of knowledge and analysis — not now, not here. [N.B. Learning kanji by the Heisig method is, I think, a great example of systematic analysis being used in an appropriate context].
Focus on having fun, on filling your life with fun IN the language you want to learn. And let the rest more or less take care of itself. Watch videos, listen to rap music (the only kind of music you should be listening to), surf the Internet, read books, calmly, in joy. Enjoy the process. You can look at the results later, and take them to the lab and read up on related work, but right now, just sit down and keep squeezing.