When you work in an industry that’s always innovating, standing still means moving backwards. For example, working in digital marketing, you need to follow the latest developments. White hat SEO can become black hat SEO, with disastrous effects if you’re not paying attention.
However, it is not just in employment where you should develop yourself. The last time you sat in a lecture hall or study room might have been a while, but school isn’t the only place and time to learn anymore.
If you regularly feel bored, or as if you haven’t accomplished anything, ask yourself: when is the last time you learned something? Repeating the same every day or every week doesn’t challenge you over time. Starting something new can challenge you and make things more interesting. But that’s just the beginning.
Benefits of self-development
The benefits of learning new things are not just so your boss likes you more. There are so many more areas you can improve yourself, with each to their own benefits.
First of all, learning new things improves your brain. It increases the white matter, which helps stave off dementia, and the more white matter you have, the more comfortable learning becomes. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
While the act of learning can stop you being bored, your newly acquired skills or hobbies will do so too. Whether you learned to clean your house faster so you have time for other things, or you taught yourself a new pastime, it has a positive influence on mood.
Knowledge can make you friendlier. You’ll learn to make connections between skills, broadening their effect. People who continue learning are also more adaptable, handling change better and more creatively. Growing as a person allows you to be more empathetic to other people’s situations too.
Lastly, the sense of accomplishment that comes with learning new skills will grow your self-esteem. It is satisfying to see the fruits of your labour, no matter in which area it is.
Learning a new bit of information or acquiring a new skill doesn’t need to take a 3-year full-time course; nor does it need to cost the same. Below we’ll discuss the ways you can improve yourself in all areas of your life.
Learning for work
When it comes to impact, improving yourself for work would have the most significant effect. It could help you work better with others, open up new career opportunities or get you closer to a promotion.
Consider taking online courses to acquire new skills or brush up your knowledge. You can learn to code for free with Codecadamy. LinkedIn offers an array of courses for different career paths, for a monthly fee. YouTube is a great place to find tutorials, including Photoshop and Excel. Or check out some of our great blogs!
You can also work on your soft skills. Learning about different personality types can help you work more smoothly with colleagues, or put together higher performing teams. Start with learning about yourself, for example with the Myers-Brigg personality test.
Lifehack your home
Always facing clutter even though you just organised? Dreading the monthly deep clean? There are infinite big and small hacks to learn that can save you time and/or energy around the house. Build a cleaning habit with the checklists from Unf*ck Your Habitat (Warning: lots of swearing!), or get started with these 5-minute cleaning hacks.
Get out of your comfort zone
It is important to realise that you don’t need to focus on learning things that are useful. Or that don’t seem useful. Juggling is a great party trick and improves your hand-eye coordination. Blue Planet and Planet Earth are beautiful documentaries and count as learning.
DuoLingo is the app that became big by setting the bar low, you can learn a new language 5 minutes at a time. Follow a barista course to make the most beautiful latte art. Join a local guided nature walk and get to know your environment.
Learning sounds like such a bothersome and time-consuming chore. The truth is, it is vital to our being.