Are you a leader who is looking to develop new skills and abilities?
It could be to improve your coaching technique. Maybe you want to have more confidence in presenting strategies to different audiences. There is no shortage of development opportunities for managers.
However, while you might love to get upskilled, you have a hefty workload. Your calendar is full of meetings, making it challenging to get the tasks on your to-do list done. So how are you supposed to find time to learn new skills?
It’s not going to be easy, and it requires a lot of discipline. But it is possible. Just follow these steps to help make your development more of a priority.
Define the Type of Development
Before you start focusing on your upskilling, you need to determine the type of activity you plan on doing. Will you be completing a course? Maybe you’ll read a book or watch videos on YouTube. Whatever it may be, decide how you will learn new skills and abilities.
This will determine how much time you need to dedicate. You might also want to consider multiple activities too. It can keep the development time exciting and fresh. It means you’re more likely to stick with it and not skip days because you’re not in the mood.
Choose a Length of Time
Now that you know the activity, decide how much time you’re going to set aside in your day. You might want to combine it with a lunch break. While you’re eating a meal, do some reading or watch a video.
The length of time isn’t important. The key is consistency. You need to commit to a set period every day or week or fortnight. It could be just 15 minutes a day. If possible, try to make it at the same time every day.
Learn to Time Block Your Day
Time blocking your day is a great way to get organised. It will make your calendar look completely full. However, this helps others viewing it know when you’re available. That means if you set time consistently for development, it shouldn’t get overridden by a meeting request.
Don’t just use time blocking for development. You should use it for breaks and tasks on your to-do list. It helps keep space available so you can stay on top of your workload.
Try to avoid focussing on what you’re going to work on today. Think ahead and time block for the following week. Pick your moments, choose the type of development you’re going to focus on and commit to it.
Not only will this help your upskilling efforts, but it also improves your long-term strategic thinking. You’ll look at the week ahead and choose when the best times are to focus on how you can become a better leader. Operating day to day could mean that you’ll easily skip a session to focus on something else.
Don’t Your Development Fall Behind
If you don’t have a focus on development, then your skills and abilities will plateau. You won’t improve, and you’ll just focus on what you know rather than what you’re capable of. You also won’t get better in your role, making it difficult if you have career aspirations and want to move up the ranks.
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