When you look at your weekly / daily schedule do you have time available for growth and development? Is there time that you spend learning new things, using new skills or doing something new? If not, why not? Often these activities are squeezed in when there is a free block of time that feels empty unless we do something with it or they get scheduled in time to meet a performance goal requirement. Yet growth and development is a crucial part of your career and life. To move upward, or into any new job, you must have new skills so you must make the time to acquire those skills.
With all the tasks and activities that are part of your day it may seem impossible to find the time to learn something new. However, if you are committed to advancing your career it means you will need to find that time. Here are 4 tips to making time to develop new skills:
- Listen to an audio book while commuting. If you drive to work or take public transportation this can be a great time to listen to an audio book on a topic you want to learn more about.
- Read blogs / articles during lunch. With the ease of accessing the internet from smart phones or tablets taking 15 minutes during lunch to read up on new topics or trends can be a great break from your daily chores.
- Plan a lunch and learn once a month. Bring a lunch and take your lunch break to schedule a group discussion on a new topic once a month. Get others involved and spend an hour in a lively discussion with others on something that is relevant to your workplace.
- Take a class. Find a class on a topic you want to learn more on, sign up and put it on your calendar. Maybe it’s something you can do during lunch, or do online at your convenience, or it’s a class that meets once a week for several weeks. Whatever it is invest your time by getting it on your calendar and committing to completing it.
Where you go during your life and career is largely up to you. You make the decision of what to path to follow and what interests to pursue. If your goals include advancing in your current field or to enter a new field you will need new knowledge, skills and abilities. It’s up to you to get them so find the time to develop. Make it part of your daily or at least weekly routine.
When you learn a new skill, put it to use or share it with someone else. Be open to new ideas and new information. The amazing part is that you may discover a new area of interest that had been previously unknown.
The world awaits – go out and find your place in it.
photo from iStockPhoto.com