With this universal time system of ours, we get 24 hours each day and, unfortunately, we cannot “make” a single minute more.
But the good news is we can replace time-wasting activities with productive activities.
We can also develop success habits to make us happier, healthier and more productive while we are engaging in our “must-do” activities each day.
Here are 6 ways I incorporate lifelong learning and continuous improvement into my days.
#6 OWN the First Hour of Your Day
While we can’t “make” more time, we can be awake for more of it.
Does your alarm currently go off at 6 AM? Turn the clock back to 5 AM then. You have to OWN the first hour of your day.
Not ready to commit 60 to minutes? Then start with a simple 15. Spend the first 5 minutes cleaning the crust from your eyes, stretching, drink water and then sit down for the next 10 minutes with a book that will improve you.
In 10 minutes if you read 6-8 pages, after 30 days you’ll have ready 180-240 pages (just about an entire book). Do this consistently for one year and you’ve finished 10+ quality books that will improve your life!
#5 Leaders Are Readers, but Sometimes They Are VIEWERS Too
Not everybody is into reading and that’s okay. One of my favorite options on the internet is Ted Talks. If you visit ted.com you can search by category or by the speaker. Videos range in length (some as short as 5 minutes). If you want to start with a couple of my personal favorites check out Simon Sinek and Shawn Achor.
#4 University on Wheels
We need to maximize and become efficient with our time. Many of us spend a fair amount of time in our cars each day. Use this time as your opportunity to check the lifelong learner box for the day by listening to an audiobook or connect to Bluetooth to access a podcast.
#3 Podcasts & Headphones
Some may see household chores as a burden, but I see them as an opportunity to learn. Go to the “business” or “education” section of podcasts on your phone, pick the content you desire, throw on your headphones and get to work while you learn.
#2 Become the Teacher
When we think of learning we immediately picture ourselves as the student. However, when you force yourself to be the teacher oftentimes you learn even more.
Being a teacher or a trainer is outside of my comfort zone, but like all things in life; if it doesn’t challenge you it will never change you.
Force yourself to learn new subject areas or dive deeper into subject areas you love by sharing your take on the material with your friends and family.
#1 Pick the Brain of Someone You Admire
If you want to learn the secret recipe to make Grandma’s amazing meatballs you can buy a cookbook or Google meatball recipes and read all about it or you can go straight to the source and just ask Grandma!
Too often we assume we know more than we do. We look at somebody in our field of work or in our personal lives who appear to just be crushing everything…they are happy, healthy and everything they touch turns to gold.
The truth is we all face the same struggles and many people battle similar demons. Don’t be afraid to reach out to that person you admire from a distance and ask to meet for coffee and ask to pick their brains. I’m confident what you’ll find is somebody who isn’t that far off from where you are.
These conversations will lead you to small improvements and will most likely add a valuable friendship to your network!