We all know we have to keep learning to stay relevant. We KNOW it but few of us actually DO it. The number one excuse I hear: “I don’t have time” followed very closely by: “I can’t afford it.” You know what I think of the “I don’t have time” excuse (Reminder – then it’s not a priority). As for not being able to afford it – I have the same answer - then you aren’t making it a priority.
YOU are a priority. Your SUCCESS is a priority. Therefore LEARNING is a priority.
Decide it is important – Nothing on the when-I-have-time list ever gets done. If that is where you keep personal development and learning you are NEVER going to do it. Yes, never. Decide right now that you deserve to continue to learn and grow.
Create a method for finding learning opportunities – Join email lists for thought leaders (Yes you will get emails. They will be worth reading.) Create Google alerts for keywords in your industry (again emails worth reading). Join a relevant LinkedIn group. Ask your co-workers and network to forward information about seminars and workshops in your area. Set up a rule in your email to have learning information go to a special folder.
Schedule time to read – Once or twice a week set aside an hour to read articles from thought leaders (they will be waiting for you in your learning folder). When you find something particularly interesting, share it with your network (LinkedIn is great for this). It will show you are staying up on your industry, keep you top-of-mind with your network and may create a conversation.
Find the funds – Reading is great but you can’t just learn in a vacuum. You also need interaction, practice and feedback. That takes investment. If you work for a company, find out if they have a personal development or learning budget (if you work for a large company they may have an in-house university). If that isn’t an option for you, decide your success is worth an investment. Start putting aside a little bit every paycheck. If not now, when?
Choose a workshop/seminar and SIGN UP – It doesn’t have to be in some far off place with warm weather and a pool (i.e. $$$). There are always local, half or one day options that don’t have to break the bank. It’s the last part that’s important. Don’t just think about it, sign up. And put it in your calendar so you don’t “forget”, book over it, or otherwise find a reason not to go.
Get the most out of attendance – Set an away message on your email and put your phone on silent. I see entirely too many professionals working in my workshops. You aren’t doing yourself any good just sitting in the room and you’re distracting fellow participants. Put away the distractions, focus on the moment and engage. I promise the learning will do you good.
Regular learning will only happen when you decide it is important to you. It will only become easy when you set up ways for it to happen organically. And none of that can happen until you value yourself as your most important asset.
As always, I wish you the MOST from your potential!
PS - I believe the space between people, how we communicate, deal with disagreement and motivate ourselves and others, is where the fine line between success and failure is drawn. What to learn more? Be on the look out for announcements for workshops and an intensive leadership development group.
Dr. Robyn Odegaard (aka “Doc Robyn”) is internationally known motivational speaker, executive coach and corporate trainer. As CEO of Champion Performance Development, she works with executives, professionals, athletes, and coaches to help them achieve excellence by sharing active leadership, powerful teamwork, conscious communication, Productive Conflict™ and professional disagreement skills. She is the founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign and author of the books Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams and The Ultimate Guide to Handling Every Disagreement Every Time. To work with her, have her present to your team, request a custom workshop or invite her to speak at your event, please call 302-307-3091 or email her at DocRobyn@ChampPerformance.com to discuss her availability.