I don’t have the time

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Written by Jo Cook on 26 February 2016

How often do you feel that you just don’t have the time for all the extra things, the nice-to-haves in your professional life? All the time for a lot of people I imagine. Whereas at the other end of the spectrum there may be slightly smug smiles of knowing it can all fit in, if you know how.

I think it’s a struggle we all have at some time, perhaps balancing life and work, family and career, health and deadlines. I’m conscious of it because I agreed to do a monthly TJ blog, got published in October 2015 and then… well… nothing.

It certainly wasn’t through lack of willing or ideas, there are loads of them floating round my head! It can’t be the actual lack of time, as I have the exact same 24 hours a day as every other person on the planet.

I’m also highly aware of what feels like a lack of time now I’m working formerly on TJ as the Deputy Editor. It’s a part time role with a big remit and, again, I have passion for work that exceeds not only my paid, contracted hours, but of what I can physically squeeze into my working week, with the other clients and commitments that we all have our versions of.

Is it the lure of work that, I’m very lucky, I love so much? I’m self-employed so is it the fear of turning down work and then not paying the rent? Maybe I have yet to the learn art of no.

On top of this there’s continuous professional development that we all know is so important generally and in our field especially as we need to hold ourselves accountable before others. I’ve started a free, public Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that is fascinating, but I’m aware I haven’t looked at in five weeks… plus all those conversations, books to read, people to chat to…

So how do you manage this? How do you prioritise what to do? Have you found that balance? Are you working on it? I’d love to know some of your successes, your challenges, your failures you’ve learnt from! Let’s discuss this further in the forum and see what ideas, learning and sharing we can get from each other. Click here to join the discussion.


About the author:

Jo Cook is Deputy Editor of TJ and an independent L&D specialist focusing on blended programme design and live online virtual classrooms. She can be contacted through her blog at www.lightbulbmoment.info and via Twitter: @LightbulbJo



Submitted on 27 February, 2016 - 10:41
I have three principle ways I get my CPD (plus an addiction to TED!) First and most important is to recognise that everything you do can contribute to your CPD if you make the time to reflect on what you can learn from it. In starting a new business this year, I am forcing myself to learn a whole lot of new (mostly technical and marketing) skills. I have started a new reflection journal and try to spend five minutes each evening reflecting on my day and what I have learned, an then making some notes. Five minutes is not a long time, and it does crystallise the learning and development value of a day's work. I have long advocated this kind of reflective practice in my leadership development work, as a way to build wisdom. Second, I have a very specific technique of printing (yes, I know, very 1990s) web articles and downloaded content that I find browsing or get as emails or links in emails. I have my own shortlist of highly valued sites and email subscriptions. These sheets go into a pile near the door of my office. Whenever I am working out of the office, I grab a handful, along with a notebook. I ten read these on trains and in cafes between meetings. If it's good, I make notes and keep it. If it's not, I can leave it behind - untouched for the next person to find if it is okay, and ripped or scrunched if it deserves that. Third: I like to treat myself at least once a year and ideally three or four times, to a high quality developmental event, conference, training session or the such like. By scheduling and paying for it, I am guaranteed to atend, pay full attention, and hopefully bring back some nuggets. One more thought... Currently I am in a paid business development mastermind group. If there is anyone in Hampshire that wants to grow and develop their training-related business, and learn and develop themselves, and fancies setting up a monthly mastermind-style meet-up (Winchester area) with a small number of like-minded individuals to share ideas about developing our businesses, and new learning about interesting stuff, drop me a line: mike(a)mikeclayton(.)co(.)uk ​Mike

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