How to approach continuous learning in the new year

Jan 12, 2016
How to approach continuous learning in the new year

We're almost at the halfway point of January! Can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday you were rushing to complete holiday shopping and closing out client work to be able to disconnect and spend some time with your loved ones.

Well, time flies, especially when you’re doing what you love.

Today I want to look at ways for you to apply continuous learning in your career and day-a-day job.

You are a great PR professional, you've started the new year full of energy and enthusiasm and you want to give it all to your job. With the craziness of the beginning of the year, you don't have hours in the day to do everything on your to do list, not to talk about continuous learning.

But, hold on for a moment. Take a step back and remember why you are so good at what you do. Exactly! Because you learned constantly, challenged yourself to do better and be better. Here is how to keep learning when your daily agenda is above full.

Four Steps to Approach Continuous Learning in the New Year

1. Write It Down. You probably have written down your New Year’s resolutions. Do the same for your personal development list. Write down everything you want to learn this year and break it down into steps to get there.

I suggest you write them down by hand. Don't underestimate the power of handwriting. Experts say it helps your brain focus on the goals you set in written.

2. Plan. Any goal is useless if you don't set a time frame to achieve it. So make a plan for the steps identified above and set a deadline for each of them.

Some tasks will take longer than others, but as long as you keep doing every single day something to take you closer to your learning goals, you're on the right track.

3. Gather Materials. Writing down your goals for continuous learning and all the planning you did are useless if you have to waste time gathering materials to learn from, whether it’s books, online courses, studies, articles, etc.

Make sure you gather all the materials you need to get started. You probably will depend on online courses to start or books to be published or blog posts to be written. Decide what they are and include in your planning what you'll start with.

4. Execute. The world is full of great unachieved plans. Execution is key. Start with five minutes of daily continuous learning, whether is reading the latest book, listening to podcasts, participate in Twitter chats, etc.

Remember only five minutes a day, and as you become hungrier for information, you will find yourself increasing the time each day.

Whether you are working for a corporation, boutique PR firm or started your solo journey, continuous learning needs to be on your daily to do list, every single day without exception. You wouldn't ignore a client's request would you? Treat yourself as a client and don't ignore continuous learning either.

The New Year is full of opportunities. It's only January and you may think you have a full year ahead. As we all know, when working in PR there aren't two days alike, so put continuous learning on your daily to do list, set a time frame and study daily.

Make this year your best year yet! How do you plan to keep learning this year?

Corina Manea is a PR professional and social media strategist, currently living in Madrid, Spain. Founder of NutsPR, client service manager for Arment Dietrich and Spin Sucks, she is passionate about creating great experiences for clients. Connect with her on Twitter.

Photo: Learn more via Shutterstock

About the author

PR professional and social media strategist * Founder of NutsPR

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