As I've gotten older and had a taste of how busy modern life is, it's tough to fit things into my schedule and I have to be selective about what I let use my time. I've learned to say no in order to spend more time on my priorities - one of which is my continued education.
Having already completed an undergraduate degree, I don't have the money or time to have any more formal education, but this is OK since there are so many great free or low-cost options in our age of information such as books, blogs, news articles, and podcasts. I'm always looking for ways to optimize my time and use it more meaningfully during times of tedious daily tasks.
In his book "The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth And Live Rich For a Lifetime," MJ DeMarco emphasizes the importance of education after one has finished his or her formal schooling for achieving financial success (191). He states that a common excuse for not prioritizing education is feeling like one doesn't have enough time. As a result, DeMarco outlines some time-hacks that can enable anyone to learn while going about a busy daily life:
- Audiobooks or podcasts while driving or exercising.
- Books, articles, etc while waiting in a doctor's office, airport, etc.
- During a job if you have downtime (how common is that though, really?).
- While having the TV on in the background if you like the background noise. (191)
I have done all of these things numerous times (on the job to a much lesser extent though). I am especially grateful for the presence of audiobooks and podcasts since they have given me countless hours of information and entertainment while exercising, doing household chores, and driving. Sometimes I wish I had a longer commute just to have that time to listen while cruising on the highway - it makes driving a lot more enjoyable. One of my favorite times to listen is while driving out to the forest for a mountain biking trip. I feel productive and healthy and the scenery complements the enjoyment of listening as well.
Examples of when I like to listen to an education audiobook or podcast:
- While doing dishes and cleaning the house.
- Having a peaceful evening walk.
- Driving long distances or to and from work.
- Mountain biking up a long climb (no cars, one earbud in for safety - although I don't do this much anymore).
- Playing a video game that doesn't require much concentration - I like exploring a virtual world and being productive at the same time when I feel like relaxing.
In addition, I'll often code with the TV on if I'm doing repetitive tasks that don't require much concentration or I'll work on more difficult issues and learn. Having the TV on allows me to work at a more leisurely pace and not feel like I'm grinding too hard (especially since this is often after work).
Having the ability to pull out our smart phones and tap into unlimited sources of knowledge at any time is truly remarkable and helps enrich our lives even with our fast pace of modern life. I look forward to learning a lot more through optimizing my time and taking advantage of the many digital resources available.