How to Fit Personal Development into your Busy Life!
Personal Development is perhaps the single most impactful thing you can add to your day, but it is also one of the easiest things to skip. So, today I want to give you a few tips and tricks to help you fit personal development seamlessly into your day-to-day life.
First things first...
Ask yourself what the best medium is for you to do personal development. Do you prefer to have a book in your hand so that you can highlight and underline important information? Do you prefer to do personal development while you're multi-tasking and doing other things? The answer to this question will dictate how you go about getting my personal development in. There are multiple ways you can go about it...
- Reading hard-copy books.
- Listening to podcasts on the Apple iPhone Podcast app.
- Listening to books on audio using resources like Audible.
The next question you might have is when to do it! It's so easy to get caught up in checking emails, scrolling through social media, etc. instead of spending time reading articles or books or listening to podcasts the will develop you and improve your life. Through the last year, I have found multiple way when I like to get in personal development so that it isn't inconvenient and I'm able to absorb what I'm listening too...
Firstly, I listen to podcasts while I get ready in the morning. I only watch the news for about 15 minutes in the morning right after I wake up - just enough for me to get the top story highlights and the whether. As soon as I get out of the shower, I immediately plug into my ipod! What I listen to really depends on the day, but I usually aim for a short and sweet podcast! I describe some of my favorites in the Resources section of my old blog, The Fit Nerd (soon to be moved to this NEW website!). This makes it really easy for me to get in some PD while I gather my meal-prepped food for the day, dry my hair, brush my teeth etc.
I will also listen to personal development while I commute to work in the morning! Now, I walk or take the bus to get to work, which is very convenient! Even if you drive to work, you can listen to audiobooks or podcasts on your phone! Listening to personal development while you commute will give you a solid 15-30 minutes every single week day where I do not have anything to distract me and I can focus on my personal development. This would be dead-time anyways, so why not do something productive with it, right? Since it's such a distraction-less time to do personal development, this is when I like to do some of my more serious personal development that requires me to get a little bit more introspective.
I also like to listen to personal development while I'm doing tedious, redundant tasks at work! Now, I definitely don't suggest trying this when you're trying to do something that involves a lot of problem-solving and thought. Trust me, I've tried and it just makes you less effective in everything - you aren't able to get done the work you're trying to do and you can't as effectively take in the personal development lesson you're listening too. However, simple, tedious tasks are easy to incorporate personal development into. For me, I like to listen to personal development when I'm doing things like splitting cells in Tissue Culture--which I've done so many times I can practically do in my sleep--OR while I'm picking bacterial colonies, making media, or refilling tips! All of those are very simple, redundant tasks that don't require much focused attention. In your own job, I would say gauge the activity that you're doing. If it's something that you have to problem solve and troubleshoot your way through, it's probably not a good time to try to multi-task. But, if it's something simple like stuffing envelopes then go for it! Get some PD into that otherwise monotonous time!
Sometimes, if I'm having a particularly stressful day, I will read a personal development book while I eat lunch. I tend to keep a book in my backpack at all times, so I always have something with me. This serves as a great break from whatever is stressing me out and allows me to re-center and re-motivate myself so that I can really focus and be productive the rest of the day!
Now these tips are all well and good for weekdays, when we have very well established routines! But, what about on weekends? Now, I'm not going to lie - weekends are tougher to find consistent time to fit in personal development. My schedule varies so much on the weekends that I don't really have a set way I approach doing my daily PD. But you better believe that I still get my PD in no matter what! Some of my favorite ways to do personal development over the weekend are:
- While I'm grocery shopping
- While I'm meal prepping
- While I'm cleaning
- While I'm doing or folding laundry
- While I'm running errands or driving around
If you're really wanting to fit personal development into your life, a good rule of thumb to remember is - if you could be listening to music, you could be doing personal development! So keep that in mind as you're trying to find ways to fit it in!
The last tip I have for you is something that you can use any day of the week, and is something that I really try to build into my evening as often as possible, and that is...Wind down with some personal development before you go to sleep! I actually highly suggest this one! I don't know about you, but sometimes I have a really hard time falling asleep, and it's often because I am literally working on my computer or on my phone up until I brush my teeth and go to bed. How can we possibly expect our brains to go from thinking, trouble shooting, and problem solving to resting that quickly?? We really can't! It's not realistic! So, I try as often as possible to wind down with some personal development right before bed! Sometimes that includes reading a personal development book, but more often than not my nightly routine consists of writing 3 gratitudes in my journal and evaluating my day by asking myself...
- Who did I help today?
- What did I learn today?
- Overall - how did my day go? Was I productive? Did I live according to my purpose?
My bed stand is literally primed for this nightly ritual. Sitting right next to my bed is my journal, my personal development books and pens and highlighters so that I can do that PD right before I go to sleep!
So that's it! These are the most consistent and easiest ways I've found to get my personal development in.
There are many other ways that I know people use. In fact, I know that there are many people on my team that do their personal development while they workout by listening to audiobooks on headphones. But, here I have shared with you the ways that work best for me!
Try a few out and see if they work for you! And, if you find a different way that works for you - leave a comment below! I would love to learn what you do to get your personal development in!
Have a great day!