We’re almost halfway through August and the back-to-school advertisements are playing during every commercial break. In just a couple of weeks, the kids head back to the classroom.
Most of you are likely out of school. I have just one week left of my graduate studies, and then the world becomes wide open with possibilities. I’m excited for what’s next, but at the same time I wonder what will be lost when I lose the structure of school. Will I keep writing? Will I keep reading?
After we leave school, most of us stop making an effort to study and learn. We aren’t required to make time for those things anymore, and that can seem freeing in many ways. But I wonder how many of you, like me, hit points in your lives when you realized that you weren’t doing as much with that freedom as you could. What is tough about school is the deadlines and assignments we don’t always enjoy, and which don’t always peak our interest. But when we leave school, we have the freedom to go out and learn whatever we want, on whatever timetable is best for us.
We all lead busy, career-driven lives, so making time to learn is often the biggest challenge. Technology Coach & Trainer Susan Mershon offers some advice on the project eve blog. She says it’s possible to make time for learning if we are willing to make space for it in our lives:
Learning has to become an obsession or habit. What’s an easy way to build a habit? Schedule it!”
Add whatever you’d like to learn to your to-do list. Maybe you’ll find a class to take or a book you can read. As Mershon says, the best way to learn is to keep reading. Find books and websites that can help you.
Finally, Mershon recommends finding mentors:
There is no better way to learn that from someone who has lived it. Most people will be willing to help someone who is just starting out. They see it as a chance to save someone from making the same mistakes they did.”
If you can’t seem to connect with these possible mentors in person, Mershon recommends learning all you can about them. Now that most big-name entrepreneurs have a web presence, you can follow what they’re up to on Facebook or Twitter. You can read about their history online and watch interview clips. Follow whoever you admire and learn all you can about their journey.
If you could learn about any topic right now, what would it be? Maybe you’re considering starting your own business, and want to learn how. Maybe you want to learn how to cook a new cuisine. Go out and do some research! Just because school is out doesn’t mean we can’t take the time to teach ourselves something new.
Read more of Mershon’s tips here.