If you aspire to grow within your own career, complacency is not an option. Your position, your role, and your career are all direct reflections of the hard work that you’ve put into your education and skill set over time.
Where do you want to be tomorrow? What goals do you have for the future?
Thinking about the future can be fun, but honestly, it’s the work you do today that continues to develop your next steps, and continuous learning is a huge part of this. As Joyce A.E. Russell once wrote in The Washington Post:
“With today’s more complex business environment, learning is not just a nice thing to do–it is essential for staying on top of things… None of us can afford to remain stagnant in our knowledge.”
So how do you incorporate learning into your everyday life? Most likely, you’re overloaded at work – and it doesn’t seem to alleviate once you step into the door at home.
If you could spare ten minutes tomorrow, what would you do with it?
Here are five ways that you can intentionally add learning to ten minutes (or more) of your tomorrow:
1. Find a Medium That Works for You
Learning doesn’t have to happen within a classroom. There are many learning platforms that maximize small chunks of time to help your knowledge grow: Online training libraries such Udemy, PluralSight and others offer easily-accessible learning, all from your mobile device. In addition, spend a bit of time researching blogs or podcasts that speak directly to your line of work. Referring to these regularly can help incorporate learning into your everyday life.
2. Redeem Your Commute
The average one-way commute in the United States is 25.4 minutes. Given that, you will spend nearly 212 hours of your year in your car just going to and from work. With most audiobooks ranging from five to ten hours each, if you invested your yearly commute to “reading,” you would finish nearly 30 books in one year. If your entire commute is too lofty of a goal, listening during your morning or evening time could help you “read” 15 books by the end of 2016.
3. Bulk Up Your Brain…and Your Biceps
Commutes are not the only thing that can be redeemed. Why not boost your brain while bulking up your biceps at the gym? By reserving your treadmill time for webinars, podcasts, audio courses and more, you can exercise far more than just muscle.
4. Repurpose Downtime
How much time each week do you spend in line at the grocery store, post office, airport or kid’s soccer practice? The list is endless. Are you maximizing those ten minutes here and there with learning? Depending on the medium that works for you, keep a book on hand to read at soccer practice or listen to bits of a podcast while in line at the post office. Small chunks of learning can be great to double-dip on your downtime.
5. Share the Wealth
Host a lunch-n-learn. Lead a webinar or train a colleague. By teaching a concept, even if you are not an expert on it, you increase your knowledge and understanding of the topic. As you present the material, you’re also transferring the learning deeper into your long-term memory while helping somebody else to learn!
Adding learning into your everyday life is an active approach to growing your career. As you grow your knowledge within your field or an area of interest, you play an intentional and active part of developing yourself as a leader for tomorrow. It just takes ten minutes a day and the decision not to be complacent.
Turn yourself into a lifelong learner!