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How to prioritise learning within a full inbox and full on day job

I have learnt that unless we make time for learning it never happens in a meaningful, capacity-building way. It is random, ad-hoc, unstructured, and therefore relatively unreliable.

Truth is, most ‘On The Job Learning’ through daily ‘experience’ is not transformative. Most of us repeat patterns of thought and behaviour even though we ‘know’ better.

Our ability to learn, unlearn and relearn fast is a critical future-proofing skill in a connected competitive world (click here to tweet this)

Learning, therefor, warrants a much higher priority in the management of our demanding days.

Here’s an approach to help build a little structured learning from email newsletters into each and every day:
I subscribe to a number of newsletters that I really want to read BUT I never read them in my inbox.

I read them when I am in a ‘Learning moment’ – and I always schedule at least a couple of short slots a week for this, in addition to my ‘Learning on the job’ type learning. The key here is to make learning from email and newsletters ‘Deliberate Learning’.

Keeping your subscribed newsletters out of your inbox is easy, I have an Outlook Rule that puts all Learning type emails into a numbered subfolder in my Outlook Inbox. You can also create Filters in Gmail.

I call my Outlook subfolder ‘07 Sharpen The Saw’ because I am a big fan of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits and the 7th Habit is Sharpen the Saw. Furthermore, assigning a number to the subfolder makes it easily visible in my inbox folder system.

How do you make sure you can learn on purpose when there is always a thousand things to do?

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