How to Squeeze More Learning Time Into Your Day

We know it’s important to keep learning and growing both as individuals and in our business related knowledge.

But how in the world are we supposed to fit time for that into an already too busy day?

The trick I use most often is “Smart Multitasking.”  Yes, in general, multitasking isn’t a good idea.  But in some situations it’s brilliant!

Listen to audio books or teleclasses on your iPod while you exercise, or read (if your exercise of choice allows for it).  I read while I use my elliptical machine or listen to audio while I do yoga.  If I’m following an exercise DVD I turn off the sound and listen to audio learning on my iPod instead.  In 4 days of 30 minute sessions I’m already halfway through the new edition of Four Hour Workweek.  At this rate, I can read one good business book a week without spending any extra time reading (because I’m already exercising the time is doing twice as much for me!).

You can also listen to audio learning while you play board games with children, cook dinner, or clean the house.  It’s an easy way to use time more effectively.

I read when my kids do.  We have a minimum half hour of reading time a day outside of school related reading – they can choose any book or comic book (or Wii game strategy guide… or lego building guide…) they want, as long as they’re reading, and I try to do the same unless there’s something else that can’t wait.  If you don’t have a “family reading time” try scheduling one.  Encouraging children to read is one of the best things you can do.  Teach them young that anything they want to learn is in a book!  Engage them with fanciful stories and well developed characters and they’ll learn to expand their minds, use their imaginations, and see the world from the perspective of others.  And I’ve gone off on another subject…

I also squeeze in learning time whenever I can, even if it’s only a few minutes.  I keep the book(s) I’m reading handy (usually one fiction and one non-fiction) and pick them up whenever I can.  I also load ebooks from Amazon to my iPod touch with the Kindle app, which makes it easy to read owhile waiting in line, or where ever else I happen to be, no need to remember to carry a book with me.  If you’ve got an iPhone, Kindle, or Nook, download business books and you can learn on the go anytime you find a few minutes.

As I read/listen I keep an action list so I can jot down what I want to take action on from what I’m learning about.  Mine’s in my iPod but you can use a notebook or whatever method works for you.

And some tricks I don’t use but that work for others:

  • listen to audio tapes/CDs while driving
  • read/listen while commuting on a train/bus/plane
  • read out loud to your baby (I don’t have one young enough but I’ve heard lots of new moms read textbooks or business books to infants – the infant just enjoys the sound of your voice and you’re learning at the same time)

Got other ideas?  Post ’em in the comments below and get featured (including a link to your website!)  in an upcoming issue of my ezine when I share these tips and more in an article.

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1 Comment

  1. I am a huge fan of audio books. However, I have to admit I don’t use them for learning, unless listening to the classics is considered learning :-) I always have a stack on hand because I listen while I sew. That means unless I am working on a new design, I am listening to audio books for hours every week day. I’ve been doing it for so many years that they didn’t have any on cd’s when I started, they were called “books on tape”. I’ve gotten the chance to find out about 100’s of authors I would never have even considered. But the selection at library is small compared to the regular books so I have been forced, in a good way, to expand my horizons. I love it!
    .-= Karen’s last blog ..Some stellar, and funny, comments about my bags! =-.

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