When do we ever have time for self-development? We all want to do it, but it often gets put to the bottom of the pile. With many of us now being home-based, this time may possibly provide some opportunity to focus on your personal development.
We asked our Agency Director, Laura, who has previously delivered Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) courses, to share some of the tips and resources that she has enjoyed and benefited from both a personal and career point of view.
- Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 habits of highly effective people’ is one of the best books in my opinion – some find it a heavy read but you can access the materials online or on podcasts. ‘Begin with the end in mind’, a stolen phrase from his book, is a frequently used phrase of mine. This time that we are all experiencing right now needs a steady mindset and a focus on the future position of where you want to be.
- Podcasts, google searches, books – you can access anything you want to know about. Do you want to get better at something? You can pick any topic and learn about it – you don’t need to attend a course.
- Set about some goal setting – during this time allow your mind to think a little further out than you normally would. Get an inspirational vision in mind for where you want to be in 5 years and work backwards. Have a look at mindtools.com for inspiration.
- Set your weekly plan based on your ‘begin with the end in mind’ and your goal setting making sure you make time for the longer-term non-urgent but important work that will get you to the longer-term goal.
- Reflect daily on what you have achieved and give yourself small rewards and breaks for things you have accomplished.
- Use time management strategies such as The Pomodoro Technique to set chunks of time so that you can focus.
- Find a coach or mentor – just informally that you can speak to regularly to check that your goals make sense and to have accountability. Share your goals with others.
- Take exercise and look after yourself – you may feel anxious during this time. When you are anxious your body goes into ‘flight mode’ – you need to exercise to get your body to feel normal again.
- Measure everything you do so you can hold yourself accountable and give yourself rewards.
- Write out or draw your 12-month development plan – you may be more visual so use imagery or draw out your goals. Or write them and deadline them in a spreadsheet if that is more you. GoalMapping.com is a good resource.