From earlier this week, I have been sharing my experience of building seven daily routines that have helped me stay sane without being overwhelmed. 🙂
Routine #3 – Update Knowledge and Skills
This is probably one of the few routines I have stuck on with for a few years now. Every day I try and learn something new. I am not talking about the aimless internet browsing I do… and find chance knowledge. I am talking about updating my knowledge and skills with the intention of getting somewhere. The only time I break this routine is if I am on a planned vacation with family.
Reading is one of the best ways to keep yourself updated. I was always a book lover. Thanks to my busy parents I got hooked up with books at a very young age. I am sure that was the only way they could keep this hyperactive talkative kid “under control”. I always kept at reading, but most of it was pretty much aimless – fiction, computer programming languages (Self-confessed nerd here!), random self-help books etc.
But joining a book club more than a decade ago was what gave me that first lesson on reading with a purpose. That changed my reading style. Now I set a timer for 30 minutes and sit down with a good book (or audio book) and my Evernote virtual notebook. These uninterrupted 30 minutes sessions are my date with the book. I take notes and give myself a “homework” until my next tryst with the book.
Apart from my regular course of fiction (usually crime thrillers), I pick up books with an intention of finding solutions to my “problems”. In the past, they provided spiritual aid to my soul, gave me guidance when I set off with my first buy-to-let company, helped me improve my personality from a shy Indian girl abroad alone to a confident speaker, taught me how to play the keyboard, improved my writing skills (I will let you be the judge of that ;-)) and even taught me how to program my robot.
Where do I find my reading material?
In one sentence – Kindle Unlimited and Evernote.
I enjoyed my fortnightly date with Borders (a book shop here in Leeds) until it closed down in 2009. Then I resorted to Amazon (second hands) and Audible (for audio books). Then my godson gifted me a Kindle a couple of years ago and coincidently (or rather by divine providence) Kindle Unlimited launched in the UK the same year. Kindle Unlimited is a virtual library available on Amazon. You can “borrow” up to 10 books at a time, and there are no late fees. Not all the books I want are immediately available on Kindle Unlimited. But it is a cost-saver for £7.99 a month. You can now avail a 30-day free trial by clicking here.
Evernote is where I grab other miscellaneous articles I want to include in my reading sessions. Evernote is your personal document library where you can write notes and also save snapshots of web pages. I take photographs of paper articles I want to read and save them in Evernote application. And if I find any useful and relevant articles on the internet during my daily aimless browsing, I add them to my Evernote reading list too. These are then picked during my daily reading sessions. You can now register for a free Evernote account here.
Course & Workshops
Another good way to upgrade knowledge and skillset is by attending courses. There are sooo many places you can find and join a course – even free ones – either online or offline. I prefer the self-paced online courses so I can do it in the comfort of my home anytime I want. Here are some of the links I use to find online courses:
- edX – includes courses from some of the biggest universities like MIT and Harvard
- Future Learn
- The Open University
- Codecademy – for computer programming skills
- Udemy – for computer programming skills
- Khan Academy – kid-friendly
The list is endless… so these are just my current favourites.
Now your turn… 🙂
I will be back with more about my Daily Routine. So stay tuned.