To help you incorporate professional development into your daily routine, we’ve gathered twelve strategies from CEOs, Career Coaches, and other professionals. From setting aside time for online courses to establishing goals to enhance skills, these insights offer a variety of ways to make learning a part of your everyday life.
- Set Aside Time for Online Courses
- Maintain a Lessons-Learned Journal
- Begin the Day with YouTube Training
- Subscribe to Actionable Newsletters
- Learn One New Thing Daily
- Break Professional Development into Small Tasks
- Read Industry-Related Articles Daily
- Utilize Commuting Time for Learning
- Jot Down Your Daily Wins
- Implement Layered Learning Daily
- Reflect on Your Career Trajectory Daily
- Establish Goals to Enhance Skills
Set Aside Time for Online Courses
I personally set aside just 30 minutes every day for short, concise lessons from online courses, which often take about a week to cover. This routine allows me to learn and improve specific skills without overwhelming my schedule.
Having consistent, daily engagement helps reinforce my existing knowledge and also introduces me to new tools and techniques. Besides, the flexibility of online platforms means I can adapt my learning to my immediate needs, ensuring that my time spent is directly beneficial to my professional growth.
Maintain a Lessons-Learned Journal
Keeping a lessons-learned journal is a simple way to incorporate professional development into your daily routines. It’s about maintaining a record of what you learn from everyday life.
Part of my professional development and ethics as a coach involves reflecting on my journey with clients by focusing on the things that work well and those I need to improve. If we learn from our successes and failures, we avoid repeating the same mistakes and can take full advantage of growth-teaching opportunities.
Reflecting can sometimes be an uncomfortable experience, but by being honest with ourselves, we build our self-awareness and self-confidence, lower our stress levels, and keep ourselves accountable for our actions.
Keeping a lessons-learned journal allows us to actively shape our future, maximize our personal and professional potential, and implement better practices.
Begin the Day with YouTube Training
As a Career Advisor and a Professional Growth Specialist, I can see the value of committing to regular professional development.
One strategy that I have found extremely useful and motivational is to start the day with a training video from YouTube. There is a ton of industry-specific content available, and the deeper you dive, the more useful information you will always find.
It’s a daily commitment that ensures you stay updated with industry trends, gain fresh perspectives, and fuel your enthusiasm.
The flexibility and convenience of YouTube’s extensive content library make it an excellent choice. I like to take notes and set clear goals so that I can maximize the benefits of this routine.
I have learned so much about new software, technologies, best practices, and personal development, which has kept my professional knowledge relevant in an ever-evolving digital landscape.
By adopting this routine, you can stay locked on a path to success in your professional journey.
Subscribe to Actionable Newsletters
Sign up for a few no-BS newsletters that give you actionable tips and inspiration. It’s like micro-dosing for professionals. You’re on your phone throughout the day anyway, which is why newsletters are perfect for daily professional development.
The key is not to sign up for too many—you want to get something out of them without it feeling overwhelming. Be selective about your email newsletters, making sure you get a balance of information, action, and inspiration. This helps you stay motivated enough to read and act on the insights.
Personally, I love the Saturday Solopreneur and Marketing Millennials, and I’ll be launching my own newsletter on freelancing in the near future.
Learn One New Thing Daily
Strive to learn at least one new thing a day. This does not need to be formalized learning. Look to your colleagues and peers and learn something about the way they accomplish their tasks. Is there something you can implement as well? Ask the question you’ve been wanting to ask in a meeting or with your supervisor. What is holding you back from asking? That fear will only hold you back from growth.
Professional development is not just about adding knowledge and tools to your toolkit; it’s about getting uncomfortable, admitting when you don’t know something, and learning from those experiences.
Break Professional Development into Small Tasks
It can feel challenging to carve out the time needed for professional development. Rather than looking at professional development as a momentous task, consider breaking it down into bite-sized pieces you can complete in a single sitting each day. If you already have a daily morning or evening routine, you can then incorporate these small tasks into it.
For instance, if you want to broaden your network, you might set the goal of reaching out to one person in your network per day. Similarly, if you’re working on your resume, you can set the goal of writing one bullet point per day. These small daily actions can add up quickly, particularly when it comes to your professional development.
Read Industry-Related Articles Daily
I suggest subscribing to a trusted, industry-related publication and reading one article or piece of content daily. To make it even easier, subscribe to their newsletter to receive trending industry news. Reading the entire publication at once isn’t necessary, but taking five to ten minutes each day to learn something new about your domain will add up over time.
Utilize Commuting Time for Learning
I use my wasted commuting time to listen to industry podcasts or audiobooks. This gives me at least six hours every week for uninterrupted professional development. In fact, in today’s world, it is easy to be a well-read professional. Just turn off the music or talk radio and turn on a Malcolm Gladwell audiobook.
I’ve actually found myself, at times, sitting in the office parking lot jotting down great ideas about marketing or leadership development.
The major side benefit, by the way, is that I always show up to the office in a good mood, no matter how bad traffic was on the way in. This simple technique works so well that I bought my entire staff an Audible account. When one of us listens to a great book, we recommend it to other team members.
Jot Down Your Daily Wins
To seamlessly add professional development to your daily routine, start by writing down your daily wins.
Whether you have just two minutes or half an hour for reflection, jotting down your small achievements will boost your confidence and motivation.
For example, finishing a project report before the deadline or learning a new phrase in a foreign language may seem like small wins. However, putting these wins down on paper transforms them into tangible evidence of your progress and capabilities. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to see how far you’ve come and tweak your goals along the way.
The best part is that this simple practice flips your perspective. It moves your focus from any hiccups or setbacks and redirects it toward the continuous journey of growth and self-improvement. This positive shift in perspective helps you cultivate a positive outlook on your path and encourages a more optimistic and resilient mindset as you go after your professional goals.
Implement Layered Learning Daily
Every day, amidst the hustle, I dedicate 20 minutes to what I call “layered learning.” It starts with five minutes of reading industry news or a chapter of a book, followed by 10 minutes of skill practice, which could be anything from a new software tool to leadership exercises.
The final five minutes? Reflection. I jot down what I’ve learned, and how I can implement it. It’s brief enough not to disrupt my day but consistent enough to make a real difference over time. Think of it like brushing your teeth—a short, daily habit that leads to long-term health, but in this case, it’s the health of your professional growth.
Reflect on Your Career Trajectory Daily
I think that it’s important to both reflect and look for feedback wherever you can find it, even if it’s not something that you can obtain daily. However, reflection on your career trajectory and your overall development is crucial as a daily process.
Establish Goals to Enhance Skills
Establish specific goals aimed at enhancing your existing skills. This may encompass undertaking new responsibilities, overseeing a team, or engaging in leadership-development programs.
By concentrating on refining the systems you are currently involved in or optimizing existing tasks, you can systematically foster your professional growth within the parameters of your daily work routine. This targeted approach ensures that your ongoing development aligns with your current responsibilities, making it a sustainable and effective part of your daily professional life.
Kimberley Tyler-Smith, VP of Strategy and Growth, Resume Worded