by Zell Liew

How to find time in your busy schedule to learn

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

You’re drained after work. All you want to do is relax on the couch. On weekends, you want to spend time with friends and family.

You know learning is important. You want to do it, but can’t seem to find the time.

How do you find time to learn? I’ll tell you how in this article.

Where do you spend your time?

Lack of time is often cited as the main obstacle to learning. But time isn’t the problem. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. What matters is how you spend it.

Image source.

There are four kinds of things you can spend time on:

  • Important and urgent: These can be work-related things with a deadline. They can be things that throw you into crisis mode.
  • Important, but not urgent: You don’t have a need to do these things immediately, but if you do them, your life can get significantly better. Learning is often in this second quadrant.
  • Not Important, but urgent: They don’t affect your life much if you don’t do them. You want to reduce activities in Quadrant 3. One example is keeping up with Twitter.
  • Not Important, and not urgent: You don’t want to do these things if possible.

Inspect yourself. Where do you spend most of your time?

Ideally, you want to spend most of your time in Quadrants 1 or 2, the important stuff. If you don’t do that currently, you need to ask yourself: why are you spending so much time in Quadrants 3 and 4 (not important stuff)?

What are your priorities?

How do you want your life to go?

Important work is work that directs your life towards the direction you want to go. Everything else is a distraction.

Don’t hang out with people that sap your energy. That’s time in Quadrant 4 (not important, not urgent). Spend time with people who recharge you so you can find the energy to do Quadrant 1 or 2 stuff.

Don’t work overtime at a job you hate. That’s time in Quadrant 3 (not imporant, urgent) because the work doesn’t help you get to where you want to be.

Don’t work overtime for a job you love. Even though it might be in Quadrant 1 (imporant and urgent), and you may love your job, you would get burned out. No job is worth burning out for.

Audit your life and make sure you spend time on things that are important to you. If you don’t have enough time, you need to cut back. You might even need to cut down on work. Grace, a student who enrolled in one of my courses, took a pay cut to learn. Read why she did that here.

You can read the 7 habits of highly effective people to find out more about the four quadrants.

Finding time despite important commitments

If you have more commitments, you have less time for yourself. But these commitments do not have to prevent you from learning.

You can find time despite your commitments.

How? Two ways:

  1. Focus on (and prioritize) what’s most important
  2. Block out time for learning

Let’s talk about each of these.

Focus on what’s important

You don’t have to learn everything at once. You don’t need to have all the latest information.

Learn what is important to get you to the next stage. Other things can wait.

For example, I want to learn Vue. I also want to learn to draw. But I don’t spend time on Vue or drawing, because they’re not important to me right now.

I spend time on marketing, writing, and developing quality courses instead.

Block out time for learning

Set aside a time for learning. Let no one distract you. Not even yourself.

Communicate with your spouse (or family members) if they disagree with you. You need their support. You need them to leave you alone while you learn.

If you don’t have their support yet, you need to spend time with them until you have their support. Sean McCabe explains how you can do it in Overlap.

Wrapping up

How you navigate yourself through life depends on the knowledge you have in your brain. It’s your main weapon.

Learn something new every day.

You can find time to learn by:

  1. Cutting time from activities that aren’t important
  2. Focus on learning what’s important
  3. Blocking out time for learning

How are you going to find time to learn? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let me know in the comments below :)

Thanks for reading. Did this article help you in any way? If I did, I hope you consider sharing it. You might just help someone who felt the same way you did before reading the article. Thank you.

Originally published at