Helen Sabell gives us some simple ways to improve our daily learning.
Getting the most out of your daily learning as an adult can be difficult, especially with the number of commitments you have to juggle. It can be easy to forget to make a conscious effort to learn new things in your everyday environment and there are many techniques you can implement daily to improve your learning skills.
Regularly investing in your skillset is important in order to excel in your career and other aspects of your life. Having a strong commitment to continuous learning will help you get the most out of every project you work on.
Read on to learn more about how you can improve your learning every day.
Get out of your comfort zone
The key to improving your daily learning is to not be afraid of trying new things. Nothing will expand your ability to learn more than being able to push your boundaries and set yourself new challenges.
Building on your current skills or pursuing a completely different venture can be quite daunting for many people. You can greatly improve your learning skills by pushing aside your fears and exploring new ideas and concepts.
Age is a common issue that hinders people from pursuing their adult learning. Many people say, ‘What’s the point of going back to study when you will be much older by the time you complete your qualification?’
The key to improving your daily learning is to not be afraid of trying new things.
This is never a good reason to hold yourself back from learning. With numerous options available to adult learners, such as short courses, online courses and TAFE courses, you can complete a new qualification in a reasonable amount of time and still have time for your other commitments.
Top tip: Say yes to new opportunities when they present themselves. Although it can be hard to get the confidence to do so at first, the more you push yourself forward for opportunities, the easier it becomes.
Hone your skills in the workplace
If you feel your skillset can be improved, it might be handy to keep a journal with you as you work. During the day when you feel stuck on a project, note down what has happened and why you feel you cannot proceed, or if a task takes much longer than anticipated.
Perhaps you’ll be working with a colleague and they’ll mention a tool, industry insight or hack they’ve discovered. Write these down every day and over a few weeks, you’ll be able to identify trends on what skills you need to prioritise, as well as a list of simple hacks and insights to bring to work each day.
If there is a substantial gap in your skillset, it may be worthwhile to discuss this with a colleague or manager to set aside time to be brought up to speed. Not only will you start working more effectively, but your colleagues and managers will appreciate the effort in developing your working strategy to be more cohesive with the larger team.
Top tip: Set yourself a calendar reminder to pick up a journal after work – right now. Equip yourself with the tools for success!
Meet new people
Socialising and meeting new people can help open your mind to different ideas and to a fresh outlook on life.
When you have a conversation with someone, be the person who asks the questions and you’ll be surprised at how much you can learn. Each person has so much experience and knowledge to share, you just have to be willing to listen.
Attend more networking events to make connections and engage with other bright people in your field. Be open to all social events so that you can get to know your colleagues and upper management on a more personal level. If you display real interest and a drive to succeed within your company, it is likely that you will become known beyond your immediate team or department.
Top tip: If someone new starts working in your office, make the effort to grab a coffee with them in their first few days, and put it in your calendar so you don’t forget. Emphasise your relationships with your existing team and knowledge will be shared more easily.
Learn about things you love
Learning about things you are passionate about will motivate you to engage in your daily learning. Reading books and enrolling in short courses can help you learn new things and determine what your interests are and where to invest your time.
As an adult, it can be hard to pursue more in life when we get caught up in the day-to-day. However, it is important to commit to learning if you are aware that there is something you are passionate about. Not all your interests can manifest into your career, but that doesn’t mean you should stop yourself from learning more about them.
Top tip: Think about some things you have always wanted to learn but have put off throughout the years. Ask around your office to see if anyone has the same interest, or knows someone that has taken a course you might be interested in. This way, you can enrich your work relationships and reignite your passion at the same time.
Improve your mental fitness
Engaging in learning activities daily can help to keep your learning and comprehension skills sharp. As we age, our learning capabilities can naturally decline if we are not exercising our mind. Make an effort to engage in thought-provoking activities that challenge your mind and improve your learning skills.
Top tip: Apps and games on our phones can be distracting. Consider reading a new book during your daily commute, or listen to a podcast that might challenge your worldview or preconceptions.
About the author
Helen Sabell is a director of CA Learning.