Professional development III - how to put your strategy into operation
This post is the third in a series of four, where I reflect on how I have worked with my professional development during the last 15 years:
how to put your strategy into operation
How to put your strategy into operation
After defining that learning strategy, how can you make it happen in a world, where many things compete for your time and dedication? Here is what I do:
On the normal working day, I get up half an hour earlier than I need. Take a shower and get a coffee. Then I set an alarm clock to 30 minutes and concentrate on learning. It might be preparing for a course, watching a video, doing a tutorial or reading a book. I do this before reading my work/private email and/or checking social networks and other things, which will distract me. I have learned that my brain is very open to learning after a good night of sleep and this simple method gives me 30 minutes of dedicated learning time every day, week after week, month after month.
I also try to squeeze in a couple of minutes of learning time into my work day, if time and deadlines permit it. Typically this will be reading or skimming through a blog post, or reading a couple of pages in a product manual.
I always bring a physical book or printed article (blog post/scientific paper/other) with me in case I have 5-10 minutes of waiting time (could be in the doctors waiting room, queueing somewhere, waiting for the bus/metro/airplane). You would be surprised how many of these little breaks, you have during the day.
For business trips, I print out a stack of articles (blog post/scientific paper/other) to read while I wait, and/or during takeoff/landing. After reading an article, I throw it in the recycle bin in the airport. Especially for longer trips, the battery on my phone/laptop runs out of power, so the print outs are a nice way to make sure I still have reading material. And throwing it out is a nice way of not having to bring it back on the way home. Plus it gives a good sense of getting things done.