At University, most of us can't wait to get the piece of paper that will forever give us the "right" to be employed at the job of our choosing for the rest of our lives. Rarely do we realise that this is only the beginning of our journey and we will have to continue to learn and excel as our jobs evolve. We live in a world where change is the only constant. Only by adapting our knowledge and skill set, can we stay ahead of the game in today’s world.
Understanding the importance of lifelong learning ensures that we do not become complacent in our workplace. However, with an increasing demand of our time and attention in many other areas of our lives, it can be difficult to stay on course.
Here are a few helpful hints on how to make lifelong learning a habit.
Set Concrete and Specific Learning Goals
Write down a list of subjects you wish to learn about. Once that is done, break down the topics into daily, weekly or monthly milestones to aim for. By doing so, you are creating learning objectives that are easier to manage. This can also help you cultivate a regular habit. Be careful to set achievable and realistic goals to keep yourself motivated. Once it becomes second nature, you can kick things up a notch and set higher targets.
You can monitor and maintain your daily habits with the help of mobile apps such as Productive and Strides.
Learn During your Downtime
As a busy working professional, it can sometimes be very hard to juggle work and study. Hence, it is wise to make use of your downtime to do some learning. Fortunately for us, we live in an age where a vast library of information is readily available at our fingertips. You can take an online video course on your mobile phone while commuting to work, listen to an audiobook while working out in the gym. Reading a book before you go to bed helps too, and it could even be beneficial to your health.
Find Other People to Join Your Learning Journey
If you find yourself unmotivated in your learning, consider looking for friends to join you. Seek out classes, workshops or even interest groups to find like-minded people who are also interested to learn. This allows you to join discussions, study groups, ask questions and bounce ideas off one another. Having interpersonal interaction will help keep you motivated.
Declutter and Cut Off Distractions
If you find it very hard to sit down and concentrate, you need to remove all the distractions around you. Remove electronic distractions such as your mobile phone or background TV shows and find a quiet spot to spend some quality time learning. If you find yourself in a classroom or lecture setting, take handwritten notes. Doing so, can improve your understanding and retention.
Humans are inquisitive by nature. But our modern society has diminished our time and ability to engage our need to learn and explore. By cultivating lifelong learning habits, we can continue to grow our minds. If you want to achieve greater things life, you have to become a lifelong learner!