Learning at Work: Ways to build in Learning to Your Workday

We begin the year with an insightful post from RISC blog contributor, Chris Coladonato. She encourages each of us to add the keyChris-Coladonato-CPLP
habit of learning each day. 

Chris is a learning and development consultant at Farmers Insurance and a rock star at helping remote teams connect and engage. With more than 15 years’ experience as a talent development professional, she specializes in virtual facilitation; developing employees through social and collaborative learning methods; and helping distributed teams connect and stay connected. Chris is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP). Connect with her via Twitter: @chriscola.

How to Incorporate Learning into Your Workday

It’s the start of a new year. It’s also the time that most of us resolve to do something differently – work out, eat healthier, meditate, etc… When it comes to work, many of us resolve to do things like check email less often and be more productive. And while there is nothing wrong with any of those, I’d encourage you to add one key habit into your work and personal life in 2019 – learning.
As technology continues to evolve, it will change our world and the way we work and live. This makes it even more important for us to continually learn. Why? So you can continue to stay relevant. The skills and knowledge that you have today will become obsolete faster than they have in the past. Just like technology is adapting and changing, so must we.
You may agree with me that it is important. But do you really do anything about it? You may think that you don’t have the time to build your skills or develop yourself professionally. But that’s just not true. There are a lot of ways to make your learning a priority without spending a lot of time. AND…you can do it at work.
Here are a few ways to build learning in to your workday:
  1. First, you have to identify your learning focus and goals. Think about what exactly you want to focus your time and resources on so that you can spend your time wisely.
  2. Review your day and see if there are any opportunities to work on your goal. If your goal is to work on your communication skills, do you have any reports that need to be written or a presentation that needs to be built? If so, those could be great opportunities to refine your skills.
  3. Spend some time reflecting at the end of the day on what you may have learned. A few questions you can ask yourself are:
    • What went well?
    • What would you do differently?
    • What  did you work on that relates to your learning goal?
    • What can you apply in another situation?
  4. Make learning a regular part of your team meetings. Each meeting, someone should share something they learned recently. It doesn’t have to take long; even 5 minutes of sharing can help everyone grow.
  5. Find a time that you can dedicate to learning during the workweek. You can use that time to read articles or blogs to stay up to date. Or you can spend that time doing focused research or learning related to your goal. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. It can simply be 15 minutes in the morning. Or one hour each Friday. The key is to do it consistently.
Learning happens all throughout your work day. It’s up to you to make this happen. No one is going to do it for you. Decide if it’s a priority and then give it the respect and time it deserves. You owe it to yourself to make your growth a priority.  As Max DePree once said, “We cannot become what we want by remaining who we are.”
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