The majority of people I know either adore learning, and soak up new information like over enthusiastic sponges at every given opportunity, poring over books and podcasts, signing up for obscure lectures and classes, and visiting museums with much enthusiasm to look at dusty artefacts in glass cases. Other people claim to hate it, reminded too much of school days and reciting irrelevant facts and figures that are of little use in real life (for example, the highly useful German phrase “gemischte gesamtschule” meaning “mixed comprehensive school”).
Learning doesn’t have to be in a traditional classroom setting anymore, with full time, long term courses carried out over a number of months or years. In today’s digital age, more and more academic institutions and professional bodies are making learning accessible on the go via distance or online learning courses, eBooks and podcasts.
If you want to learn a new skill, but feel as though you are time poor already and can’t justify dedicating a few hours a week to sit down and access written learning material, why not consider listening to educational material on a topic of your choice whilst you are carrying out another activity? Need to walk the dog? Half an hour listening to an Audible audio book (there are over 200,000 titles available – see the website) could help you use your time more productively, meaning that you are learning about a new subject without having to make additional time available in your busy schedule.
Business related Podcasts are another great way to keep up to date with the latest developments in your field without having to take extra time out of your working day; listening to a podcast whilst driving, cleaning or walking can help to boost your working efficiency during periods when you might have felt that time was otherwise ‘wasted’ doing practical (read: essential) activities that you wouldn’t be able to charge a customer for! If you need a little help finding a business related podcast, why not start by taking a look at a list of recommended podcasts compiled by Forbes – you can find it here.
Just because you don’t have a spare year available to sign up for a full time course right now, it doesn’t mean that learning has to be put on hold. Self-development and education – both for professional skills and personal satisfaction – can easily be shoe-horned into the tiniest of available spaces. And the great thing is, with so much choice out there, you don’t have to learn pointless facts and useless statistics unless you really want too.
I’m just going to leave you with one more German thought for the day.
Der Krankenwagen ist kaput. The Ambulance is broken.