Make Learning your New Year’s Resolution
Updated: Jan 19, 2021
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”
Many of us are keen to live life to the full, but how many of us make learning a regular part of our everyday lives? Of course, in truth we are learning all the time, but I’m talking about dedicated time set aside where you have the intention to learn a new skill or topic. What better time is there to adopt such a practice than right now, the start of a new year?
Learning has been a key part of my life for a very long time. Perhaps in part due to the fact that I have been in the education system almost continuously for the past 17 years, but also because I just love learning and am always on the lookout for new courses, videos, and books to expand my knowledge. In this blog post, I wish to recommend a resource that I personally have found very useful in recent months – LinkedIn Learning.
LinkedIn Learning, a subsidiary of LinkedIn previously known as Lynda.com, is an online platform offering a wide range of video courses which are grouped into the categories of Business, Creative, and Technology. LinkedIn Learning is a paid subscription site, so just having a LinkedIn account does not guarantee you access. However, many organisations do provide free access to their members, so it is worth checking whether your university or employer has such an offering in place. If they do not, you can always buy your own membership.
So how can LinkedIn Learning help you? Well, there are over 16,000 courses available in 7 different languages and over 50 courses are added every single week. As you can probably imagine, this resource has a wealth of knowledge. So far I have mainly done videos related to personal development, such as time management, productivity, resilience, and career development, but I am looking forward to watching videos more specific to research, such as writing research proposals, using qualitative analysis software, and academic skills. I am confident there is something for everyone and I honestly believe you could teach yourself how to use, for example, a new software using this resource alone. Furthermore, many videos are very short, at only a few minutes each so it is very easy to pick up and put down. There is even an app available so you can download LinkedIn Learning on your phone and listen on the go. I like to listen to videos while I am cooking or cleaning as it makes me feel more productive and makes boring chores more interesting!
So how do you incorporate learning in your busy schedule? Follow these easy top tips and you’ll be learning in no time!
1. Start small.
Even 10 minutes a day or half an hour a week is hugely beneficial. If you manage an hour a week, that’s 52 hours of learning per year, and just think how much new knowledge you could absorb in that time!!
2. Put aside some time in your weekly schedule.
Add this to your diary or your online calendar and set yourself reminders. Perhaps you could commit to 10 mins learning over coffee break or you could set aside an hour every Friday afternoon. Do what works for you.
3. Think about what you want to learn.
Perhaps you have some strengths you want to develop, or some weaknesses you want to eradicate. Perhaps you want to learn skills relevant to your field or learn something entirely new. Jot down some notes and begin searching for courses that interest you.
When the time comes, don’t make excuses. Know that any learning will help develop you into a better you so it is time well spent. Prioritise your learning time and do not let anyone or anything interrupt.
5. Make notes.
Making notes not only helps you to retain knowledge, but it’s also a useful exercise as it enables you to return to them at a later date. To make life easier for yourself, keep all of your notes in a central, easily accessible place. I personally use OneNote, but there are many great options out there, so do what works for you. A digital option is best however, as you can back-up your notes and search for items more quickly.
Whether you choose LinkedIn Learning or another learning provider, it really is good practice to incorporate regular learning into your everyday lives as it not only helps with your personal and professional development, but it also boosts your brain health and makes you feel good.