CONSISTENCY IN LEARNING CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

How Consistently Learn For 20 Hours a Week

Tactics to understand what you should learn, from which sources and how to find regular time

If you’re reading this article, you are then interested in learning.

But how much? Do you fight to find the time to learn consistently? Or you feel stuck due to work/home routine, which leaves no room for your interests?

This article will go through tactics to focus on what you should learn, learning sources, and how to build the room for your learning.

But none of the above will bring substantial improvement: you need consistency, which will help you along the way as you’ll “learn how to learn”. Efficiently and effectively.

Do You Know What You Should Learn?

It’s a crucial question, deeply connected to your present needs and future goals.

More straightforward cases might be:

  • you realize you’re not keeping up with the knowledge progress in your area of interest or profession
  • you don’t know where to start: take coding, for instance, where you can find tons of free information about all programming languages, frameworks, cloud implementations
  • you know a topic already, but you wish to improve.

But how can we define what we need to learn?

To find answers, use questions. Start with:

  • what am I not doing well at work? What would I like to achieve?
  • where do I want to be professionally in 5 years, and which skills do I need to learn/strengthen?
  • what would I like to do as a personal project after work, but I don’t know how?
  • should I invest in education? Take a professional certification?
  • what do I like, what could I do for hours without even realizing time passes?

Experiment when you don’t know the answers, and define plans. If you don’t know where to go, how can you learn what it needs to reach your destination?

Check out my article on how to manage your plans with GTD®, a robust methodology to accomplish your tasks and improve your productivity.

Where Can I Find The Right Learning Sources?

Twenty years ago, learning was challenging: books (paper-based), training classes (in presence) were the only choices.

Today, we’ve got an incredible variety of sources to learn. Let’s dig a bit, but we’re only scraping the surface here.

Free Content

  • University courses: edx, openculture, Harvard University, OpenLearn, Coursera
  • podcasts: Apple Podcasts List, Google Podcasts List
  • articles from blogs (Medium, individual blogs), printed or online magazines
  • interesting articles and links can be captured in apps like Pocket or Feedly to have them at hands
  • social media posts: follow people or organizations in your learning area
  • Youtube videos: follow or search training videos on literally anything
  • mentors: look at your network, as you might know someone who could happily support you, and maybe you can return it
  • writing with purpose: this might sound a bit weird, but writing a blog article or a post on social media about the contents you’re learning, will strengthen your skills, as you’ll probably need some research and need to organize your content.

Paid Contents

Learning costs continuously decrease, making it more affordable, while technology enables us to consume it in many more circumstances. Also, the Covid emergency pushed the online offering tremendously.

How Can You Find Time For Learning Consistently?

When you know what you need to learn and which sources could help you (this is an ever-ending discovery, though), how do you find the time?

Here’s what helped me:

  • track what you do on weekdays and during weekends: everything; you can use time tracking apps
  • look for entries like sport, bathroom, driving, commuting, breakfast, lunch, dinner, TV, reading, workday agenda unallocated slots
  • for each of the above, choose which type of training you could match: audio, video, reading, practicing. For instance, I start learning right after waking up in the morning, while exercising, and during breakfast with audio learning (podcast or online audio training)
  • choose which learning topics you wish to consume on each slot
  • set a weekly learning schedule to get an overall view, balance, and prioritize according to your plans
  • review your schedule regularly.

Conclusions

Thanks to the above approach, I can usually learn for at least 20 hours a week while working much beyond the 9–18 routine and enjoying my family.

My continuous learning brought me my degree while working full time, several professional certifications, leadership, mentorship specializations, enabled my professional career, made me a better leader, and moved me to start several side projects, including this blog.

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” — Leonardo da Vinci

With consistency, you “learn to learn faster” and become more curious, open, confident at work and in your daily life, enabling unforeseen opportunities to become achievable.

Keep learning!

Originally published at https://www.apprenticecto.com on January 28, 2021.

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