Have you ever been laughed at or felt embarrassed for trying to learn something new? Have people looked at you and thought, ‘there’s no way you’re gonna get it’? Are you embarrassed to say that you don’t know how, even though you’ve been shown before?
If you have answered yes to any of those questions then you should read on. Hopefully by the end you will be inspired to learn new skills to develop yourself and possibly end up teaching others. I will look at lessons I’ve learned, finding the time to learn new skills and a little about work-life balance.
A lesson from my father
Finding time to develop yourself, is it possible?
Knowing how to use an iPad to read text aloud to a learner is useful, locking an application so that the user cannot jump out to something else is useful, monitoring use of tech from a central location in realtime is handy, digitally marking work using audio and written feedback is great and issuing tests that are self marking is absolutely amazing. When do you get the time to learn how to do these things?
There are so many things that we can do with technology that will save us so much time, yet we opt for the slower way. This is not because we don’t want to save time but is because we like to work in flow. We don’t like disruption to our working pace by trying out something new. We often don’t have the time to try things out. As a result, people take longer doing tasks that could be done more quickly. This is like the allegory about the man who took all day to chop down a tree, but didn’t want to sharpen his axe as it would waste his time. Sharpening the axe would have caused him to get the job done in half the time. The same can be said about our work tasks. If we learn the skills for the tools we are using then we can do the job more effectively.
What about work-life balance?
CPD in schools and business is so important to aid work efficiency and wellbeing. Why not invest time in learning a new skill to make your work life easier, to be more effective, to get more done in less time?
I understand the struggle of making time to learn new things over getting the job done. Often learning new things takes so much time and feels like more work. We already have so much work to do so when the time comes to stop working, the last thing you want to do is something that feels like more work.
So what's stopping you from learning something new?
What are the hindrances to you learning something new? Do you have time on your journey to or from work? Can you download an audio book to listen to? Could you watch a learning clip while prepping a meal? Can you team up with others who are in the same position and learn together?
Are you able to spend a few minutes each week to learn a new skill? Are you able to plan time to put that skill into practice? Are you able to map out a skills development path for yourself to improve your practice? I believe you can. Just focus on small steps. One application and one feature at a time. List the new skills you have learned and before you know it, you’ll be teaching others how to use the program.
You may have tried to develop yourself in the past but didn't have much joy, if so, I would like to encourage you to try again. Your ability is not at its peak as long as you have the capacity to learn something new. In that case, you are yet to realise your full potential.
I am constantly learning new things and don’t feel I am any more special that you reading this blog. If I can do it, you definitely can.
Learn something new, be resilient, set aside small amounts of time often and be the best you can be.