John C. Maxwell suggested to me 5 years ago, that I should have an intentional plan for my growth and development. Up until then, my development consisted of a lot of formal education and intermittent personal development. I took his suggestion to heart. Since then I have had an intentional plan for my growth and self-development that has paid off time and time again. There is a time and place for focused and committed time for this development, but I have tried to find places and times that are not so conventional to increase my growth and development wherever I can.
Below is a list of everyday activities that I have weaved in personal education and self-development in my life. The tools I use to accomplish this can be books, audio books, purchased seminars, apps, church sermons, cd clubs, blogs, etc.
1. Mixing physical activity/health and fitness: They are a match made in heaven. Why not listen to a book or a seminar while working out. I feel that this is the ultimate time management activity in my life. Killing two birds with one stone.
2. In the shower: Yes I said in the shower. Why not, there have been many studies that show a HOT shower does something to stimulate the brain, and many people (myself included) have had great epiphanies in the shower. Why not encourage that by listening to something of value. My mentor Jim Rohn would disagree with me on this, he would say, wherever you are be there, but I am looking to maximize my time and my learning.
3. The Car: We all have heard turning your car into a mobile classroom. One hour a day on any subject you can become an expert on this subject within five years. How much do you drive?
4. Lunch break: Many people have an hour for lunch, but even if you don’t. Why wouldn’t you invest in yourself why you have a sandwich. Again, that 30 minutes or 1 hour, you may listen or read one great idea, that could change your life.
5. Cleaning the house: Yes. Instead of jamming to Prince. Listen to an audio book or something that could be motivational, inspirational, or educational.
6. Yard work: I hate yard work. However, when I do yard work it does present me with a set amount of time that I can invest in my own personal development.
7. Even though I have cut my cable off. I still watch a few games that are on regular television. Instead of listing to the commentators though, I turn on YouTube, or pop in one of my cd subscriptions that I have. I don’t need the commentator telling me what is going on with the game, my eyes can tell me that.
8. Shopping: If I am on a mission to go purchase something and I go alone. I will attempt to listen to something that can add value to me. I won’t be anti social, but if you are in a mall, or even worse at Wal-Mart or something, why wouldn’t you want to drown out the noise in these places (lol).
9. On the computer: Some of us probably spend a certain amount of time at our computers throughout the day. Depending on what you have to do and how much thought you must put into it, have something on in the background.
10. When I am early: This may not make sense to some of you, because you are never early to anything, that is another blog for another day. Anytime I am early to any kind of appointment or meeting which is most of the time, I squeeze it in.
Some are saying, you are crazy Brian you are ate up with personal development. Yep, I guess you are right. But I have a busy lifestyle as well, and I have to be intentional about my growth. I am not suggesting that I do the above things all of the time, however, I do it wherever I can. I just know I must be intentional about everything I do and personal development and growth are critical to my success and my career, so I must find a time and a place for it.