The spirit of lifelong learning has long been the vision of the Singaporean government. As the local economy progresses into the digital future, it's imperative for working executives to be equipped with skills that are in demand or risk being left behind. But as time is a luxury not everyone can afford, how can you gain the skills to become a more resilient and versatile workforce when you're already employed?
From the stresses of juggling work and family to financial commitments, furthering education is not always your first priority. But if upskilling is something you want to do, here are some ways that can help you set aside time for learning despite a hectic work schedule:
The Five-Hour RuleFrom Bill Gates to Warren Buffett to Oprah Winfrey, the five-hour rule is a practice shared by the world’s most successful people. By dedicating five hours of their time each week for conscious learning, they are able to set themselves apart in today's knowledge economy. So, follow their lead and take the opportunity to read extensively, reflect and experiment with how you can harness this new knowledge into your professional life. The five-hour rule is a great way to refine your skills and improve shortcomings.
Enrol in online coursesIf you are looking to pick up more substantial skills, consider tapping into your SkillsFuture credit to further your studies at a wide range of Continuing Education and Training (CET) centres. If you're a time-starved professional, online courses are a great alternative, offering a more convenient and flexible way to complete a training over a more generous period of time. You can also enroll in courses offered on Monster.com, ranging from Innovation of Products to Big Data Bootcamp.
Making your daily commute productiveFor a majority of people, family commitments will always come first. So, it is understandably difficult for individuals to dedicate time to learning before or after work. Instead of letting time go to waste during your commute, take the opportunity to learn as you travel to the office. Cultivate the habit of catching up on industry news, listening to podcasts or even visiting your backlog of articles you saved for a future read. This is a no-excuse option, as everything you essentially need is on your phone. No matter how you commute to work, there's something for everyone.
Planning aheadMake space for learning in your schedule – way in advance. Once the time slot is selected and blocked off, all your other commitments have to fall into place; this technique will help you not endlessly postpone whenever potential conflicts arise. It also pays off to be a serial lister – be it with checklists or daily planners – so you are constantly on top of your deadlines and learning objectives. However, nothing comes easy. To fully benefit from planning ahead, you will need to be disciplined and develop great time management skills.