Finding the time to continue your learning as an adult can be difficult. Unless you are setting aside large amounts of time to focus on it or living off savings, it generally needs to be fitted around whatever full time work you do – and this can be on top of taking care of a family, house, and of course yourself. Therefore finding time to learn – an activity that can also be mentally draining in itself – can be difficult. However it’s an important thing to do whether you want to add a new skill or simply just find out more about a certain topic.
In order to find time to learn as an adult, consider the following strategies:
1. Start in the morning. It may be a difficult task at first, but simply getting up an hour or so earlier gives you much more time while your head is fresh and ready. At the end of a long day working or parenting, it can be tempted to say “I deserve a rest, I can do it tomorrow.” It’s true that you need to take care of yourself, but if you continue like this it will never get done. Jump into it first thing, even just half an hour, and for the rest of the day you’ll be thinking about what you learned.
2. Find what method works best for you. Everyone has a style of learning that suits them best, and the advantage of learning as an adult is that you can choose to only pursue methods that work for you. If you find it easiest to just read, sign up to blog lists or look for online resources. If you prefer audio and visual, there are educational videos all over YouTube covering a range of topics. This can be much easier and more relaxing if it’s the way you traditionally like to learn. You don’t need to test or overexert yourself if you don’t want to, as long as you’re meeting your own learning goals.
3. Try to integrate it into your work. For many adults, the primary obstacle to continuing their learning will be having to contend with a fulltime job as well. However in some cases, if you can demonstrate that what you’re learning is of some value to your company or employer, you can get them to cover the costs or give you some time off to complete them. They may say no, but it’s always worth a shot.
Learning as an adult is always a challenge, as it can be very difficult to make it a priority. Even without doing so, you can meld learning into your daily life in a way that doesn’t create too much stress.