How to Make Learning a Habit
New Year came and went and about 80% of us would have resolved to invest in learning and / or in regular exercising and 80% of this population would have missed it in the first week itself:-)
What to do? Our situation, work, office, responsibilities etc will not change hence no point waiting for that some day when every thing is managed automatically and we will have all the time in the world to sit and read. We need to take out time from our current schedule and make learning a routine. But a million dollar question to be answered is How?
Lets look at following:
- You do what you like doing: No matter how busy you are, but you are still able to catchup with your favourite TV serial, movie, friends, clubs etc. Because, you can always manage to squeeze time for some thing that you love doing. Make learning / reading enjoyable enough so that this also falls under your favourite activity list.
- Make it easily accessible: Keep the books or the reading material, internet connection (if you are choosing to read online), mobile phone (if you are choosing to read on mobile) spectacles, lights, comfortable chair etc in reach and sorted so that you dont feel lazy to pickup these things and in the process dont procrastinate your reading activity.
- Associate reading with your Need: Associate reading with your immediate need and not want or future need so that you are pushed to sit and read and you dont procrastinate. E.g. pickup the topics that you need to explain to your kids or to your team. Or target to develop knowledge about certain domain that you work in and start reading on that.
- Boast about your reading: Social image helps in pushing some good habits. Whatever you read, start talking about it on social networking sites and let people admire you. This will give you enough kick to make learning a regular habit.
- Join groups / communities of readers: This puts enough social pressure to indulge into reading and also you get enough inputs on latest trends that you would need to read / learn about.
- Read small / articles / content: Most of the time, you will not get enough time to finish a book or a big and complex article in one sitting and if you finish it in multiple sitting, you may not enjoy it and that may discourage you from reading. If that stops you from starting reading, go for smaller / capsular content, book summaries so that you get sense of achievement at the end of learning hour.
- Earmark a particular time for reading: Dont keep it random that after coming back from office, you will read. Rather target to sit and read between 8 pm to 9 pm or any other time as per your preference and that will drive you to come back from office on time and finish your daily chore so that you can start your reading at designated time. Also, dont let it clash with your other more favorite activity else reading will take the backseat.
These also may not guarantee that you will be able to make reading / learning a routine, but will help. Once you develop the eco system that questions you or follow-up with you if you dont read, this becomes a routine. Onceyou start seeing positive result, you start enjoying and it becomes your habit.