Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or at 80. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. — Henry Ford
Many of us still operate under the idea that, once we leave school with our diplomas in hand, there’s no need to continue mastering different areas of knowledge. However, the reality is that we no longer live in a world where learning can stay fixed for anyone in any trade. Adaptation is a currency worth its weight in gold in today’s business world, where new innovations are continuously changing the game.
It’ll not only allow you to survive in this changing entrepreneurial landscape but to thrive in it. Being a constant learner means staying sharp, relevant in your field, and ahead of the curve. And forming these habits doesn’t have to be difficult or terribly time consuming either.
Without further ado, here are 3 smart ways to make lifelong learning a daily habit:
Set specific and concrete learning goals
First things first, get those self-improvement ideas out of your head and out into the real world in a tangible way. Writing a list of what you want to learn can help you stick to your goals in a meaningful way.
Next, create objectives that are manageable, by breaking down big picture goals into daily, monthly, and annual stepping stones. If you want to learn more about SEO techniques, for example, you could set a goal to read one blog post about your area of interest per day. Chrome extensions like Prioritab can also help you keep your short-term daily goals and long-term weekly and monthly goals in sight.
You don’t need a classroom to learn
The internet has given us many amazing things — including access to top-notch online courses — that allow us to learn nearly any topic under the sun.
While more traditional methods of learning, like being in a physical classroom, will always be indispensable, the internet is also an invaluable tool, when setting out on your journey as a lifelong learner. It can broaden your horizons and allow you to tailor learning to your daily schedule and needs.
Other fantastic learning resources include sites like Lynda.com and Coursera, which are effective and affordable education companies that let you search for specific online classes and complete them at your own pace. With these sites, you can learn how to build an Android app, or learn Photoshop, or SEO marketing techniques, just to name a few options.
Another great, free education tool is YouTube, which is populated with tutorials on just about anything you could think of. Not to mention, you can use it to catch up on cutting edge TED Talks and stay current on new developments and ideas.
Learn during your downtime
As a busy businessperson, it can be hard to squeeze in time for continued education. However, with podcasts and nonfiction audiobooks, that task is much more attainable. A perfect time to dive into audio learning is during your commute to and from work, or while you exercise, or cook. If you’re looking for a good place to start, The Harvard Business Review’s podcast, HBR Ideacast, is excellent for anyone looking to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills and learn from the leading minds in business.
Making learning a lifelong a daily endeavor might sound like quite the time investment, but it’s one that will pay off in the future and can be done in bite sized increments every day. So get started today — your future self will thank you.
Originally published at medium.com