You have the time, let’s just agree to disagree there. That book, that podcast, or that show you want to get the time for to learn from, it’s there. We just have to hack the time we do have to get there. Some discipline and setting up some rules around some routines will get you there. Give yourself a couple of weeks trying it, and you will win that coveted time to learn. Welcome to Open U.
Step one, what is it you want to learn? I mean get as basic as you can get on the topic. What have you wanted to learn more about and just felt like the time is your enemy? You don’t have the time to learn it, but have always wanted to. Once you’re there, anything you want to learn can be found on the web in an audio format. That’s the key, audio. Even if it’s on YouTube, you can still listen to it, even though you might not be able to watch it. Anything you can see, you can hear. We’re just not used to working our visual and hearing senses independently in today’s distraction driven world to learn.
Now you got the topic you want to be an expert in, it’s time to establish pockets of time you can add this into your already insanely busy schedule. The second step is really mapping out your day for a couple weeks before you can even begin to layer in something else. What I mean by that is actually use notes, pad of paper, journal, or your smartphones to track everything you do. EVERYTHING. Also, how much time you do it. For example, I have a 45 minute commute to work times two. That’s almost an hour and half I’m sitting in my car driving to and from. Start thinking of those times to and from or chores as learning time.
Step three, hack the in-between times. Now that you understand all the different areas in your routines after tracking them you can begin to fill in audio learning into those gaps. Here’s what mine looked like:
- 5:30-6:30AM Waking up. I can usually get in some meditation for 15-20 mins as I wake up. I also use this time to dip into my favorite news reader to learn about the goings on in the world.
- 6:30-7AM Shower and getting ready for work. While in the shower I get 30 mins to listen to a podcast while I’m moving around.
- 7:00-7:45AM 45 minute drive to work. I get to use that time to listen to an audio book I’ve wanted to read.
- 10:30AM 15 minute break – time for a 10 minute meditation audio guided.
- 12:00PM 60 minute lunch – while reading personal email I get to grab some audio learning from another podcast or Blinkist with some books.
- 3:00PM 15 minute break – time for a 10 minute meditation or quick read on an ebook.
- 5:00-5:45PM Drive home, you guessed it, an audio book or podcast. Sometimes just some great music to chill to and unwind.
- 6:30PM 30-45 minute run. Either some podcast on actually running or listening to my coach give me a guided run so I can learn to run better.
- 10PM – Getting ready for tomorrow and wind down for bed listening to news or podcast again. 40-60 minutes also of just reading a book before I’m out.
That’s almost 5-6 hours of complete learning time worked into routines where before I did NOTHING previously! We don’t get more time in our day. We never will. So we have to hack the time we do have by building richer routines and habits in-between schedules we refuse to give up for other things. It starts though with awareness in how your using your current time. Then re-engineering it like I did above. What could you potentially learn or improve on with an extra 5 hours to work on skills or learn? A LOT!
Welcome to Open University where anyone can learn and create their own class or curriculum! It’s FREE! In today’s super competitive job market with pretty much unlimited access to skilling up, we need to refresh our skills or learn something completely different just to compete or to get noticed. This requires some unique approaches. Open U I believe can help.
Love for you to share below in the comments what you discovered taking yourself through the exercise mentioned above. I hope you feel as free as I did when I started hacking my time differently. What’s great about it, I didn’t have to steal time that I had planned for family, friends, or others. Everything above was time that I was just wasting that I found and hacked to be used differently.
Thanks again for reading and checking out IBtP! I wish you a great week.