How to Manage Your Time to Learn a New Skill

The workplace is a dynamic environment that demands new skills every other day. The company may have installed new systems that require new practical skills or you could be on a new job that demands an entirely different skillset from your previous gig. As a professional looking to maintain your competitive edge, you must devote some of your time to learning new skills. However, with tasks flooding your to-do folder, it can be difficult to find sufficient time to finally develop and perfect new skills.

Here is how to squeeze time of out of your busy schedule.

Create a Comprehensive to-do List

During the weekend, it is wise to sit down and plan your upcoming week. Look at the week’s tasks and determine the ones that can be pushed to the following week. Also, identify tasks that can be completed within a shorter time. For example, if it usually takes you 50 minutes to compile a report, up your game and do it in 40 minutes. This way, you will be able to complete your schedule ahead of time and dedicate the rest of the day to learning the new skill.

Slash on Breaks

Are you the type of person who can’t wait for lunch break? It is high time you had shorter breaks if your plan of learning a new skill is to be realized. Because developing a new skills is not a lifetime process, there will be no harm foregoing some breaks.

Minimize Distractions

Minimizing workplace distractions helps you to concentrate on the task at hand. The time you take to post messages to your social media accounts could be devoted to learning the new skill. Some distractions are, however, beneficial. For example, if you are learning to multitask, office distractions can be a good way to measure your progress. If you are distracted easily, then you have a long way to go.

Be Clever

Unless you are a high education lecturer trying to learn customer-service skills, or sales manager learning to be empathetic, it’s highly likely some of your day-to-day activities will help you develop the new skill. Your job is to identify these activities. If you are an intern trying to develop the ability to work under pressure, don’t you hate the pressure that comes with exams? Use the period preceding your exams to perfect your ability to cope with pressure situations!

Take Advantage of Weekends

For most workers, the weekend means endless fun. But with a new skill to lean, this must change. This is especially crucial if your objective involves attending training workshops that are held over the weekend. If you have to consult a colleague, make plans during the week on when and where to meet during the weekend. Do not expect him to fit into your schedule without consulting. If you plan efficiently, then weekends offer the perfect opportunity to learn new skills.

Home, Sweet Home

You may never admit it, but your home presents one of the best opportunities to acquire new skills. Look at it this way, you are a newly-qualified fitness instructor looking to develop patience. Go home to your family and supervise the kids as they complete their homework. Are you patient enough to watch them complete their work? Do this repeatedly and patience will come your way!

Learning a new skill while on the job is no walk in the park, but it always pays in the end. So learn that new skill. It just might be what you need to earn the promotion you have been yearning for.

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