How to find time for your professional development

You need to make building capability a priority in your professional life.

Do you want to become more marketable and be able to win that promotion or new job or get selected for the best projects?

Then you have to take time to develop your knowledge and learn new skills. But do you struggle to make the time for personal development, even though it’s on your ‘to do’ list?

The urgent or important tasks that need to be done crowd out your work day, and beyond! It is difficult to avoid being distracted by those urgent things on your list.

You feel guilty about taking time out for personal and professional development – it’s not seen as a priority right now, you’ll do it later.

You conclude it is just not possible to find time in your schedule for learning. You feel disappointed about not living up to your expectations and feel less positive about your career.

Developing your capability has many benefits. You develop ‘expert’ power and become the go-to person, and be sought after for your opinion.

It will also enable you to get on the interesting projects, get that much sought after promotion or even be selected for a new job.

You can get things done quicker and easier because you know what to do, so be more in control of your time. You will feel more competent and confident and less stressed.

We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change – Peter Drucker

So, how can you make this time, build your knowledge, get things done quicker, and increase your capability, both to your current and future career?

Plan to Learn

By mapping out where you want to go in your career, you are then in a position to plan your learning. You can identify the skills and knowledge that will assist you achieving the plan and then draw up a learning plan.

This means identifying:

  • What you want to learn – ie the desired results
  • Why you want to learn it – ie the purpose
  • What you are going to focus on – ie the priority
  • What specifically you need to do – ie the actions – the what, when, where.

Any good plan will consider the potential challenges you will face, so you are prepared to overcome them.

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