Online training provides you with the opportunity to continually improve yourself, with remarkable convenience. However, the convenience of online IT training can be a double-edged sword. When learning is convenient, it’s easy to let it slip down your priority list. But if you take the time to develop strong learning habits and make a commitment to learning, online training can be a game changer.
Developing your learning habits is a critical component to your personal development and career success. Let’s be honest: training is hard. It takes a lot of diligence and willpower. But if you can develop strong learning habits, you remove the need for willpower because it becomes an automated action.
Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, says that habit is a choice that we deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about, but continue doing, often every day. What if you could say that about your online IT training experience? Just imagine how your job performance and career could be positively impacted if training became so automatic, so natural, that you simply did it every day!
Our very own Keith Barker has a webinar on Building Good IT Training Habits that can help you better understand how to take your learning from chore to rewarding habit.
Here are some practical steps to follow to create a habit of learning using online training.
1. Create a realistic, achievable training plan.
Consider working with a CBT Nuggets Accountability Coach to help you get started with your learning plan. Make sure your plan challenges you, while also being attainable. If your plan is too ambitious, it may become overwhelming. If your plan isn’t ambitious enough, it may become too boring. Aim for a healthy balance!
2. Consciously choose a positive frame of mind for your training!
Learning new things is awesome. Learning how to do things more effectively or efficiently is fantastic. If you can go into your learning with a positive attitude, you will enjoy it more. Consciously choose to see the great things about learning and choose to be grateful for the opportunity to learn cool stuff!
3. Choose a time and place for training.
In order to create a true learning habit, leverage the Habit Loop to make your training automatic. Choose a time and day(s) when you will train. Choose a specific place where you will do your training. (Here’s a pro tip: Don’t train at your desk at work! Use a conference room, the server room, or even sit in your car to help you better focus on your training!)
4. Reward yourself when you achieve a training goal.
Rewards are an important part of creating a new habit. Use a small reward every time you train (maybe something like your favorite coffee drink, candy, taking a break, etc.). And create a plan for a big celebration or reward when you achieve your larger training goal! If you are working toward earning a certification, decide what you’ll do now to celebrate when you pass the exam(s).
5. Make your training a routine.
We have a finite amount of willpower that we often use for tasks or responsibilities that we don’t enjoy. Habit is powerful because it removes the need for willpower altogether. Your training habit will get easier and easier the longer you do it because it will become routine. As it becomes routine for you, it will become automatic behavior that requires little-to-no willpower. Consistency is king in building a habit of training!
Creating a habit of learning, a process that is so natural and automatic that you don’t even have to consciously think about doing it, sets you up for long-term success. Use the power of habit to train more effectively, working your way into the career of your dreams!
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