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 something new?
If you think you are too busy to do anything, just drop the excuses and make time. Learning a new skill is easy provided you know how to work smart.
So, here are ways you can find some time to develop a new skill.
1. Check your schedule
Sleep and work takes about 16 hours of your day. Then you have to either take care of kids, visit the grocery store of go for weekly services at your church after work — that’s if you’re te religious types. When all that is done, there just few hours to do anything else.
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 graphics or a web design 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.
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. Don’t procrastinate
Ignoring your desire to do nothing at all ca 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 web design practice, you will have plenty of time to relax, watch a movie or catch up with your friends.
4. Use your commute period
If you have a long commute — one in which you’re not driving, try to learn new skills then. If you live in Lagos and you board commercial buses, the daily traffic gives you opportunity to spend time learning those skills. Many times, you’re realise that by the time you alight, you’ve gotten enough knowledge and you rest immediately you get home.
This would be possible that getting materials that are easily accessible while you’re on the goes. Download videos, podcasts, buy books and take them along with you every single day.
Which of these did you find the most useful in finding more time? What skill will you learn once you find more time in your schedule?
We’d love to hear from you below!