Learning new skills is vital to your career development. That’s how you evolve, improve the way you work and boost your job performance. But, while you are well aware of the benefits of lifelong learning and how important it is to keep yourself up-to-date with current practices, it’s often difficult to find the time to do it.
The fast pace of life, everyday responsibilities and demands don’t allow you much time to yourself. In fact, it seems that twenty-four hours a day aren’t enough to do what you want. I mean how many times have you said to yourself you need to learn a new language? Or how many times have you admitted to yourself you need to learn how to dance?
If you think you are too busy to do anything, just drop the excuses and make some time. Learning a new skill is easy provided that you know how to work smart. So, here are three ways you can find some time to develop a new skill.
1. Check Your Schedule
Considering that work and sleep take up about sixteen hours of your day, you only have approximately eight out of twenty-four hours every day to run errands, go the gym and take care of the kids. So how much time do you have left to invest in learning a new skill?
The first step to making time is adjusting your schedule to your needs. Check what you are currently doing every day and find an open spot to fit in your learning activities. So let’s say you finish work at five, you can easily make room for a yoga lesson or a painting class, maybe at 5:30 to 6:30 before you go back home and start doing the housework. Alternatively, if you can’t do afternoons, you can make a good use of your lunch time. Finding a good time to practice those skills is important because you also have to think when you feel more energized and ready to work.
If you want to be good at something you have to work for it. If you can’t prioritise your daily schedule and track what you are doing, you won’t be able to get what you want. The most effective way to prioritise is by asking yourself which of your daily activities are the most urgent and important and work on those first. Likewise, you can choose to delegate some of your responsibilities to your spouse or a trusted friend who can help you out.
Prioritising is all about doing what’s important to you. So promise yourself that you won’t schedule anything else at that time of the day. Just keep that time to yourself and concentrate on what you need to do. It’s important that when you do it, you eliminate distractions so that you put your energy and focus into what you are learning.
3. Beat Procrastination
Ignoring your desire to do nothing at all can be difficult. Especially when you go back home, and you are exhausted from work, the only thing you want to do is get comfy on your couch and watch some TV or take a good nap. But while doing so is very tempting that’s when you need to get up and going. Don’t let the monster of procrastination get you until you finish what you are supposed to be doing. After you finish your violin practice, you will have plenty of time to relax, watch a movie or catch up with your friends.
If there is anything that you want to learn more about don’t put it on hold any longer. Create a list of the things that you want to become good at or start learning a new skill from scratch. Investing in your skills will more likely open up new opportunities in your career and help you get to know yourself better.
So whether you want to learn how to code, learn another language or become an expert at playing chess, there are plenty of ways to make time for that in your life. What’s important is that you make sure that you are consistent, and you practice every day even if you only got an hour.
What’s the best way to make time for your learning activities? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below…