Be honest: you know the value of learning new things but have been putting off learning said new skills because you never seem to have enough hours in the day.
I get it.
They don’t call you a One Woman Shop for no reason—not only are you running a business or side hustle, you’re trying to grow it, too. Add a couple kids to mix and there’s no doubt about it, you have little in the way of spare time.
But here’s the thing: In order to grow your business, you have to put effort into growing yourself (which is ultimately your most valuable business asset).
So, how do you fit learning into your already jam-packed day as a solopreneur?
Start here: Know what you need
For starters, it’s best to avoid information overload. We all know how much of a rabbit hole Google can turn into. When you set out on a mission to learn something new, make sure it’s relevant for your business and can be put to good use immediately.
Once you’ve gotten clear on what you want to learn, it’s easier to sort out the ‘when.’
How to fit learning in without stress
Getting into the habit of weaving learning into your day to day is the key to adding more to your knowledge bank, but you won’t be able to enjoy it if it’s just another thing that stresses you out.
Focus on this: When you make learning part of your daily routine, it means you don’t have to find an extended period of time to sit down and study — which means every day will the be right time to learn, and it’ll be hard to find an excuse not to.
Here are a few simple strategies to fit learning into your everyday, no matter how busy the schedule:
1. Don’t overcomplicate it
Learning doesn’t always have to be formal. Sometimes, learning can be done through experience. You gain knowledge with each daily task that you master, and you’re constantly storing those experiences away in your head.
In order to make the most of your on-the-job experience, why not:
- Join a relevant Facebook group, where you can chat with your peers about what you’ve learned that day, discuss any challenges or even ask questions in real-time
- Journal (in the method that works best for you) immediately after a success or failure, making notes on what you did that made it work or not
Not only are you making sure the lessons learned stick, but you’re also creating your own insider instruction manual based on your experiences, so it’s customized for you.
2. Approach your learning in small doses
Do you drink water? Of course you do.
Do you ever skip out on drinking water because you’re too busy? Probably not. You probably make a point to drink water throughout the day — in small doses.
Same thing can work for learning.
No one ever said you had to sit down and learn all the things, all at once.
Find spots in your daily routines that have downtime and can double up as learning sessions, like:
- Listening to podcasts while making dinner (a personal favorite of mine)
- Watching documentaries on topics you want to learn more about (educating and entertaining!)
- Making your browser homepage that of your favorite learning resource, so you’re constantly reminded and it becomes habitual
When you link learning to repetitive, everyday tasks, you can turn the mundane into mini power sessions. The more you associate learning with your daily routine, the more learning becomes a habit.
3. Stop scrolling
You probably don’t want to admit just how addicted you are to scrolling on your smartphone. (We’re all in the same boat, I’m sure.)
But if you look at the fact that the average person checks their phone about 46 times a day, most of which happens during leisure time or meals, then there is more than enough time to squeeze in a few micro lessons every single day.
Think of giving up some of your scrolling time as you would the ‘latte factor’. When you spend money on little everyday things that don’t truly bring value to your life (like your daily latte, unless it does, of course) cutting those small expenses and redirecting the funds to something else can really add up.
Instead of scrolling through feeds on your downtime, try:
- Reading a few in-depth blog posts or an online tutorial
- Watching some bite-sized video lessons
- Downloading the app version of your favorite online learning website, so that you can really learn wherever you go
Smartphones are basically a pocket-sized computer. If you can manage certain aspects of your business and workload on the go while using your phone, then you can certainly harness the power of your smartphone for higher learning, too.
Off to you: will you use any of these strategies to weave learning into your solo business, every day? What other tips and tricks can you share that we missed?
P.S. It’s important to note, again: You are your most valuable business asset, solopreneur. With that in mind, know this: Rest does not equal rust.
Latest posts by Jennee Rasavong (see all)
- Use the Comparison Trap to Help You Build a Better Biz. Here’s How. – November 22, 2016
- How to Fit Learning Into Every Day as a Solopreneur – October 3, 2016