5 Ways To Learn More With Less Time

I love learning.  And I’m sure you do too!  Yet, I feel that so many people miss the, often free, opportunities we are presented with to learn.  I think for the majority this comes down to time.  “I’m already really busy trying to grow my business, how can I possibly make time to learn how?”  Sound familiar?  I thought I’d share with you five ways I learn more without spending time I don’t have on doing it.

5 Ways To Learn More With Less Time

1. Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts are now my go to when I want to learn something new.  If I’m faced with a challenge in my business, or something I want to achieve, I search the podcast library for the solution.  I often find great new podcast channels as a result.  I don’t then stop what I’m doing and listen to the podcast.  Instead, I save it and then listen to it while I walk the dog.  Or while I’m in the gym.  Or cleaning the house.  The wireless headphones go in, and I listen to the podcast.  It’s amazing what you can learn in a half hour dog walk, and I always get home and have to jot down all the things I want to implement.

 

2. Watch YouTube Videos

YouTube is definitely another go to for me.  Especially for anything I need to visually learn, such as how to do something online.  I also love watching/listening to TED talks on YouTube, or searching for speeches from business people who inspire me.  Every evening, when I’m cooking dinner, I play a YouTube video at the same time, to learn while I cook!

 

3. READ Kindle Books

I can’t deny, I absolutely love a proper paperback book.  A Kindle to me just doesn’t beat the feel of a book in my hands.  Yet I still have a Kindle.  It lives in my bag.  And I have the Kindle app on my phone.  For a start, Kindle books are often much cheaper or on special offer, compared to paperbacks.  Many business book authors run 99p promotions for their Kindle book (as you saw me do last week with my book!  The offer is over, but you can still grab the book here if you haven’t already).  But the main bonus for me is that having a Kindle library full of business books means I always have a book with me.  If I’m waiting for someone for a meeting, or I’m sat in the doctors waiting room, or anywhere that I don’t have my computer with me and I bit of time on my hands, I read some of the Kindle book I have on the go at that time.  I also always read before bed, even if it’s just 10 minutes.  And I have been known to pick up my phone and open the Kindle app in the small hours of the morning when sleep is evading me!

 

4. LISTEN TO Audio Books

I definitely prefer reading to listening to books.  But reading takes a good bit of time commitment.  You can’t really do anything else at the same time.  So, listening to the audio version of the book is often a better option.  As with podcasts, I sometimes listen to audiobooks while walking the dog and doing jobs round the house.  But mostly, I reserve audio books for long car journeys.  Those few hours in the car are no longer wasted, as I’m learning as I travel.

 

5.  Manage Blog Sites With Feedly

I love reading blogs.  They keep me up to date with the latest goings on in social media.  And also often give me some great business ideas.  There are about 30 blog sites that I really enjoy and get lots from.  I use Feedly to help me keep on top of any new posts from my favourite sites.  Then, each morning, I spend about 10 minutes having a look through new posts of interest.  Feedly is free to use and there is both a browser version and an app.

Learning (and taking action from what you’ve learnt) is such an important part of growing a business.  I really hope I’ve given you an insight in to how you can learn more without spending lots of extra time doing it!  Happy learning!!!

Business Books and Getting Back in the Habit

When I started my first business, nearly 7 years ago now, I was a bit business book obsessed!  I would read biographies of successful entrepreneurs, guide books for different forms of marketing, books for inspiration, books to help show me the way, and books that I thought would give me the business I wanted.

Then I had kids.

My days were suddenly filled beyond just work, and my evenings were spent either doing stuff around the house, or just breathing a sigh of relief!!!  It’s crazy how quickly habits can be lost (my exercise regime will attest to that!!).

I had lunch with a business associate (and friend) today, and she recommend a couple of business books to me.  My honest first thought was that I wouldn’t have time to read them.  Then I realised what an important part reading business books has played in my business.  After three years of doing very little business reading, it’s time to start again!  I have a shelf of books to revisit, but first I’m starting with her main recommendation – Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley.  I’ve downloaded the audio book as well as the Kindle edition.

I wouldn’t say I’ve stopped learning.  I read a lot of blog posts that are relevant to me in helping my business grow, and occasionally attend training courses too.  But I’ve stopped what used to be a daily habit, and one that really helped me to grow my business from it’s starting point.  And I’m actually buzzing with excitement to get reading again!

So, I thought I’d share that with you, to get you thinking of the habits that you might have broken.  And to maybe inspire you to pick up a business book if you haven’t before, or get reading them again if, like me, you let the habit slip.  Learning in business is absolutely vital.  Learning in life is vital too.  And books offer a great way to help us do that.

I’d love to hear your business book recommendations!  Fire me a tweet @_samflynn with the business books you love to read!

Business Books and Getting Back In The Habit

It’s About What You Know AND Who You Know

Social media offers a world of opportunity for both businesses and individuals.  But for me, there are two aspects about it that I really love.  They are increasing my knowledge (WHAT I know!) and making lots of great new contacts (WHO I know!).

It's About What You Know AND Who You Know

  1. WHAT YOU KNOW

Knowledge is power.  And knowledge is key to growing any business too.  We can never know it all, and learning is so important.  I can’t imagine a day when I’ll stop learning.  I love picking up new ideas, thinking of new ways to do things I’m already doing, and learning about marketing my business in ways I might not previously have considered.

For me, social media is a great knowledge hub.  By following lots of experts in the fields we are interested in, we have the opportunity to very quickly and easily access information that might otherwise have been difficult to find, or that we may not have been conscious of at all.

We get recommended great books to read, linked to articles that are fonts of knowledge, and given quick snippet tips that can actually have a big impact.  Recent things I’ve learnt include – new ways to organise my time, apps for managing to-do lists, great books on content marketing and, how to run Facebook live from your desktop.  I would say that I probably learn something new on social media every single day.  Without social media, I wouldn’t have anywhere near as much opportunity to learn.

 

  1. WHO YOU KNOW

Social media has also opened the doors to me to many wonderful people who I can call both colleagues and friends.  I’ve ‘met’ new people online.  Many of them in the social media space too, who I hope to collaborate with on future projects.  If there’s one industry that is very open rather than competitive, it’s the social media one!

I’ve also met people that I have become a customer of, and vice versa, which is of course a great opportunity for businesses.  And, I’ve met people who have gone on to refer me to other people.  I’ve met people that I’ve then had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face, with an already established business relationship before there’s any physical meet up.

I chat to influencers.  People who have power in their industries.  I’ve spoken to MDs and CEOs of large corporates.  I’ve had banter, fun and chatty chats.  And business-focused, more corporate chats.  The opportunity to ‘meet’ people that would otherwise be difficult to meet is such a brilliant aspect of social media.

 

So, are you using social media to expand both what and who you know?  Because when you do, the opportunities are immense!