How do you maintain a good work-life balance? Do you feel you spend a healthy amount of time across the most important areas of your life? In this blog series, K2 IT Recruiter, Sorin Petrov looks at the key areas IT consultants can focus on to help improve their career and lifestyle and achieve greater satisfaction out of life. The third blog in the series, this post focuses on continuous learning, why it’s important and how you can fit it around your work and personal time.
Never stop learning. Knowledge is power. Knowing is half the battle. I could go on and on about the importance of education but to be honest, who has the time? Am I right or am I right? Actually, I’m not.
Continuous education is the trick here and continuous is the magic word. Through continued perseverance to keep on learning we grow both as individuals and professionals. In the previous articles, we looked at the core principles of work-life balance and time management. Now it’s time to add a third aspect: learning.
Learn anything and everything, illustrious people who have made it big are also the strongest advocates for continuous education.
“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none. Zero.” – Charlie Munger, Self-made billionaire & Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner.
Often times when thinking about learning, we think about classrooms, exams and maybe late nights cramming. That is not continuous learning and it defeats the purpose because it’s not sustainable. That is the second magic word: Sustainable. Continuous learning needs to incorporate into your daily life and work life. Let’s say the whole incantation:
Continuous, sustainable learning.
Poof, you’re learning like it’s magic now. Read a book for an hour a day. It doesn’t have to be a one hour session. Try 30 minutes in the morning (in bed or during your commute), 30 minutes in the evening (before going to sleep or with a glass of wine while dinner is cooking). Looking to upskill or certify as an SAP or Salesforce consultant? Make it a ritual to spend at least one continuous hour every work day. Weekends are for catching up and extra reading. Learning is work.
Let’s add one more tiny condition here. It has to be non-disruptive*. Do an assessment of where you can fit learning in your current schedule so that it feels integral, not disruptive. Most importantly, do not substitute it for activities that bring balance to your well-being. Don’t give up gym class or home-cooked meals for reading time. If you do that, you’ll feel like you’re sacrificing time as opposed to repurposing it.
Learning needs to be an integral part of your daily life.
Learning needs to be:
- Continuous – without interruptions, like a marathon, not a sprint.
- Sustainable – it has to become part of the schedule, not an exception.
- Non-disruptive – integral to your daily life, without sacrificing your well-being.
*Non-disruptive to your core activities. Vegetating on the couch watching Netflix doesn’t count as a core activity.
Other blogs in this series: