It’s honorable to develop new skills and want to improve oneself. But how can you make time to implement everything that you learn?
It’s necessary that you make time for yourself if you want to achieve your goals.
Because we’re motivated about improving ourselves, we create room in our packed schedule to learn the required skills.
For example: if you’re a blogger, you probably have already signed up for more (free) courses you could take in one lifetime.
Enthusiast graduate students can sometimes join more activities and disciplines they can handle.
In a desire to climb the corporate ladder as fast as possible, you may apply for way too many projects without realizing it.
Even though all these initiatives are honorable, they tend to lead us to burnout and stress.
And there’s another side-effect that isn’t always taken into consideration: having no time to put things into practice.
I’m the first one to support your efforts to learn something new to become a better version of yourself. Yet, all the knowledge will be for nothing if you don’t do anything with it.
So how can you make time to implement everything you know or learn?
The 3-stage plan
There’s a lot of information out there! In fact, we’re overloaded by it.
Every single day we discover a new system and new technologies.
We learn different ways to things to have better results and become more productive.
These are excellent times to be alive, but too much of a good thing is still too much.
In the struggle between staying in the dark and keeping up with everything, we must develop a reasonable approach to our schedule.
Otherwise, we risk investing in skills we’ll never be able to use just because we don’t make time for them.
How can you start using your knowledge when you already struggle to make time for your current activities?
Before touching the issue of making time, let’s begin with the basics: planning knowledge acquisition in 3 stages:
- Be selective
- Be cautious
- Be smart
When you subscribe to a newsletter or join a new course, what do you want to achieve with it?
It has nothing to do with the quality of the content.
It makes no difference if it’s a free challenge or an expensive in-person training.
However, unless you plan to implement the content you’ll learn, it’ll be a waste of time, money and energy.
Before signing up for a new venture, mainly if you already struggle with your time management and productivity, ask yourself:
- How this new activity will benefit you.
- How it’ll bring you closer to your goals.
- How you’ll put it into practice.
- How much time you’ll need on a regular basis.
If this exercise already overwhelms you, maybe you should think again before hitting the enrollment button.
That course you have seen might be excellent, but the timing may not be the best for you.
Many classes and courses offer an estimate completion time in advance.
It’s helpful because it allows you to plan your days until its end.
If you need to cancel or postpone some existing appointments, you get more than enough time to do so.
But we all know life isn’t perfect, don’t we?
Are you still leaving space in your schedule for the unexpected?
You can call it your Plan B or Contingency Plan.
Whether it’s one or 2 hours or even an entire day each week, leave some empty slots in your calendar, just in case.
When your agenda is packed just by adding the new activity itself, are you sure you’ll have time to implement what you’ll learn?
Think of things such as:
- traffic jams
- sick kids (or yourself)
- overtime at work
- weather conditions
Taking hours away from your sleep may help once or twice, but don’t make it part of the plan if you want to be successful.Start making #time to implement your knowledge today. #coaching #MindfulPlanning Click To Tweet
After examining all the pros and cons and making your decision, it’s time to be smart about how you’ll use your time.
If you’re going to learn a new language, did you think about including other activities that will speed up the process?
- Watching movies
- Reading articles or books
- Listening to music
- Practicing the alphabet (if applicable)
They aren’t part of the course’s curriculum, but they’ll support your progress.
When it comes to physical activities, for instance, include an extra warm-up and cool down time in your planning.
Other ways you can make time to implement improvements in a smart way are by:
- Cooking in bulk
- Establishing an evening routine
- Creating a morning routine
- Using the Mindful Planning™ approach
Make a smart plan that will support your learning efforts.
How to make time
It’s time for action!
After going through the 3-stages plan and making your final decision, you are going to actually start making time to implement what you learn.
Once you sign up for a new course or activity, add it to your calendar. Also, include an implementation period.
Let’s say you’ll be attending a 3-day event in your area of expertise.
I’m sure you’ll leave it with notes and action items that are the key to your success.
Don’t wait until next month to start!
Plan any related to-dos asap.
Before jumping to another discipline, finish what you have started.
During summer, it’s common to find numerous courses of our interest.
It’s hard to stick to just one or two per year when one craves to improve. But you better do so!
Stay in the niche of your goals and don’t start another activity until you finished the one you’re currently working on.
Stick to the plan
Keep in mind that things won’t be perfect because there isn’t such a thing as perfection.
While you may have to go through (minor) detours, it doesn’t mean you can’t make time to implement your newly acquired knowledge.
Be flexible to avoid that stress takes over, but stick to your main plan.
You were selective, cautious and smart when making your choice.
You can do it!Unless you put #knowledge into #practice, it has no use. Learn how to do it! #coaching Click To Tweet
Just follow these 3 steps and you’ll make time to implement what you learn and become more productive without stress.
Also published on Medium.