When it comes to your professional development, you need to avoid getting left behind.
If you don’t prioritize your development then it may be that you end up missing out on professional opportunities, which is the last thing you want.
If you want to avoid this, then you need to try and learn how to prioritize your development where possible so you can make sure that you do not end up making a critical mistake later down the line.
Focus on Objectives
If you cannot see the benefit of doing something, then there’s a high chance that you will end up giving up after a while. After all, why would you bother if it isn’t going to get you anywhere?
For this reason, it helps to have a strong sense of purpose when it comes to your learning objectives. Start by listing all of the skills you would like to learn and then express them in the form of SMART goals.
When you have done this, break them down into long-term and short-term segments. Drawing a solid action plan will help you to organize your learning way more effectively and it will also help you to strengthen your discipline.
On top of this, it is going to give you a way to measure your progress.
Next, you need to try and identify all of the obstacles that could well make it difficult to stick to your learning schedule. You can then take the time to go through each one and find strategies that allow you to overcome them.
You might well plan to commit some time to learning during your commute on the bus, but if you end up getting emails and texts in the meantime then you might forget about your initial plans to learn.
If you want to work around this, then make sure that you set aside time in the day when you can truly get your head down. Allow yourself to learn new things without being pulled away and write down what you intend to focus on.
If you can do this, then you can create a bit of a contract with yourself, and this can work in your favor overall.
One of the biggest distractions that you could face on your learning journey is other people.
You may have set some time to one side during your lunch break so you can read up on industry developments or you can complete an online assessment, but others may not realize this.
You may find that you still get bombarded with work requests and this can make it harder for you to focus overall. It can be difficult to say no, but if you do so in an assertive way then this can help you to protect valuable time.
You don’t need to be rude here and you don’t need to be inflexible either, but you do need to tell others that they need to respect your time.
Make Every Minute Count
A lot of people assume that learning something new requires them to devote huge chunks of time. That being said, short blocks of time can be just as effective, as long as you can focus.
The key is for you to try and maximize the impact of every moment you have available. Begin by taking a look at everything on your to-do list. What could you achieve with the time that you have?
Even if you just have ten minutes spare, make sure that you use this opportunity. It also helps to minimize distractions by going somewhere quiet and by turning your phone off.
Strategies such as speed reading and even mind mapping are great if you want to try and make the most out of the moments you have.
Learn at your Best
A lot of people try and work on their professional development when they have completed just about everything else.
Although it is tempting to do this, you have to remember that when you have ticked everything off your to-do list, you may be exhausted.
If you want to work around this, then you need to schedule your learning for the times in the day when you have high energy levels and when you are more likely to be able to concentrate.
If you can do this, then you are bound to see a difference in how you are and the studying you are able to get done.
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