I did not love school.
School was actually some of the hardest days of my life.
And then I found glimpses of a different kind of info – about entrepreneurship, food, personal development, mindfulness, productivity, spirituality, magic …
It started somewhere near my 30th birthday with 3 books — Simplicity Parenting, Think and Grow Rich, and The Artist’s Way. They opened my worldview and I became a lifelong learner.
Fast forward 16 years … I am aware everytime I press submit on a podcast that I am adding more content into a world overflowing with content.
I have a bookshelf filled with books, some (many) unread.
I have a folder filled with eBooks.
And then there is so much learning that lives in a cloud — courses, summits, audible books, and an inbox FILLED with ideas.
Most of us accumulate more knowledge assets than we consume or implement.
These days I do a lot of teaching — in FLOW365, on summits, on other podcasts, in other peoples courses. This has made me super conscious of my capacity to learn and implement.
Add pieces about FLOW, Monday Calls and Focus Sessions, Planning Sessions.
I make an effort to learn and implement more than I teach.
To do that, I have to make time and space for learning, growing and implementing in a way that fits in my life, so I thought I would share some of that back out…
I decide what learning season I’m in depending on what I need instead of what the world might think I need. Start by knowing what you need – what change you want to make. I have gotten good at discerning between what I need to learn and what is a shiny object. If I buy a summit, I don’t try to do it all. I look at all the talks and commit to the ones that will really support the change I am trying to make.
I have a learning budget that is more about return on time than money. This season I dived into perimenopause and a partner program for PlanSimple — two totally different topics relevant to this season. I’m hopeful that the partner program will have a good return on money, but also in time (more partners helping me fill programs means less time doing it myself). Perimenopause isn’t likely to bring me money directly, but it saves me time and helps me work through something that could derail me. Learning about food, parenting, coaching, running a podcast … all fit into different seasons for me, and that learning paid off whether or not you could see it in my bank account.
I balance learning between different learning modalities — audio that I can walk with, coursework that I am in front of a computer to do, reading and writing.
I keep a google sheet with all online material — name of course, link to sign-in page, username, password, expiration date. I check this spreadsheet before I buy something new, a trick I learned after buying my third Pinterest course. You may find another way to keep track of things, but I highly recommend organizing your learning material.
I decide when I will learn the material. Sometimes I get something I cannot do immediately, and sometimes I am ready to go right away. I always decide on my own timeline, so I don’t feel behind.
Once I learn it, I decide if (and when) I want to implement new ideas. I take notes by documenting to-dos, habits, and the most important thing. Just because you paid for a class or a book, doesn’t mean you have to do it. You might find something that doesn’t resonate or that one piece makes you say Yes and the rest falls away. Or you might realize that what you learned would be better implemented in another season. Documenting each lesson when you are learning is a way to remember what I need to know when it is time to implement. I’m all for learning broadly, because we don’t know what we don’t know, but too much learning without implementing can make us feel behind or like something should be different but isn’t.
New knowledge and action are required for change (small steps encouraged).
Let me repeat that last part — small steps encouraged. I talk a lot about doable changes because for the most part we don’t make change as a big dramatic upheaval. We do it in increments that we stick with. As you are learning, look for doable changes, small things you can implement and if you find a new process or system, look to break it down into doable bits.
Are you excited to dive into learning again — whether it’s a summit you bought a while back, a book that just arrived on your desk, or a class that’s coming up?
I made you a planning sheet to help keep track of your learning. You can print for each class, talk in a summit, or module in a course.