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Seven ways to create time for digital learning


Every individual will find different ways to make time for digital learning, but the one thing that remains consistent is that to ensure learning continues on a frequent basis it takes practice. These seven ways will help you identify how to create more time to dedicate to your own self-development.

“There was a woodsman who had a new axe. The first day he was able to chop down 20 trees. With each passing day he worked longer and harder, while chopping down fewer trees. A friend wandered by and suggested "why don't you sharpen your axe?" The woodsman replied: "I'm too busy. I've got to chop down more trees!” - Jeffrey J. Mayer. 

Do you need to manage your time more efficiently to ensure you learn something new? There are random weeks where you will work 70 - 80 hours. However be cautious, as long hours can become a habit and contrary to some senior manager’s belief, effectiveness at work can be achieved through being both mentally and physically fit.

Time passes us by and it can never be replaced. It seems to pass by faster as we grow older and yet there is not one tool that can enable people to create and manage their time more efficiently. Explore the following select a few to test over the next couple of weeks.

Learn to speed-read

Time will always be a factor and therefore the competence to speed-read allows you to gain the insights of the respective topic while not dedicating quite the same amount of time as if you were to read comprehensively. It has been proven that comprehensive reading takes twice the amount of time of speed-reading.

Make better use of your time

Waking earlier and sleeping later is not a suitable suggestion for finding a way to make time for learning. As an alternative, becoming more efficient during your usual waking hours will help. Often the morning is less disorderly, whether you get into work a bit earlier than others, or are on one of the silent commuter trains. By combining activities, such as sitting on a train and listening to audio content from your digital learning provider you will create a sense of having more time in the day. This will certainly energise your brain for the day ahead.

Make a list

Making a list must be one of the oldest tricks in the book and yet is still so effective. A structured and accomplishable list which highlights what tasks need completing can be great for organising your day-to-day tasks, though it does need to be flexible. Through making the list for the following day you can be further prepared and allocate time for learning. Choose the subject that you would like to learn about and download the right learning materials or save the webpage to your favourites.


The majority of individuals find delegating one of the most challenging things to do, despite it being one of the simplest ways to create more time. It is the ability to say 'no' to a task and as an alternative delegate to someone competent within your team, thus enabling the task to be completed successfully and freeing up additional time for you.

Set yourself goals

Setting goals may sound relatively easy but keeping to the goal is the challenging element. For example, you would like to improve your communication skills in preparation for your team members’ performance appraisal next month. There are two separate topics here; communication skills and performance appraisals, which include sub-topics such as leadership and managing people. By separating them and learning the relevant content you will increase your know-how and handle the situation with more skill and professionalism.

Set yourself deadlines

Having set yourself goals about what you would like to learn, why not set yourself a deadline. Some elearning courses may have assignments that require submission by a certain date. If this is the case, then set the deadline two weeks in advance, thus allowing time to correct anything or learn something further. If, however, you are not undertaking an elearning course, then set yourself a schedule with deadlines as to when you will complete your learning in a specific area, whether it be improving your communication skills or learning how to better influence.

Moderate your distractions and inconsequential activities

In principle, reducing the amount of media in your surrounding is great, but when learning online you need access to the internet, which of course can lead you astray. Be disciplined and recognise that you have dedicated 30 minutes to learning and stick to it. Don’t get distracted by phone calls, emails, meetings or colleagues. Remove activities that are temporarily unimportant and instead, complete your activities that have a greater significance.

To find out more information about how your organisation can implement digital learning and enable the time poor to continue learning click here

Maddie Brooks is marketing executive at Virtual Ashridge

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