Being a lifelong learner is good for you. It keeps your brain active, allows you to explore new passions & interests and will definitely benefit your career. But the number one reason people give for NOT being a lifelong learner is… time. Most of us do not seem to have enough time to learn. 

As author & blogger Benny Lewis aptly put it: “Time is a funny thing. It can fly, run out, and be up. It can be spent, killed, and passed. It will tell and it is money. With all of these amazing things time does, people never seem to actually have any of it!” But good news, we will tell you how you can make more time. Or actually, how to make better use of the precious 24 hours in your day so you too can become a lifelong learner.

DISCLAIMER: We are not time-jedi’s, so what follows will probably seem like some good common sense. But sometimes a little common sense is just what you need…

Make a learning bucket list

Making time to acquire a new skill or grasp a new concept is a lot easier when you are passionate about what you want to learn. So don’t wait till you hit that midlife-crisis and start making a learning bucket list. What would you like to be able to do, know or even teach others? What does your dream job require of you? Think about it, make a wish list and start ticking of that bucket list. You’ll make time if what you need to make time for is something you’re passionate about.

You’ll make time if what you need to make time for is something you’re passionate about.

Break your learning up into smaller tasks

Rome wasn’t build in a day so take that big, audacious learning goal and break it up. Say you want to learn a new language, break it down into smaller tasks such as starting with some of the main verbs and conjugations, making flash cards and having short practice conversations with native speakers. This will also help you set subgoals for yourself to keep you motivated

Designate learning time

All the bucket lists in the world won’t make you start learning unless you plan for it. To avoid pushing learning to the back-burner, plan for it. Just put it in your calendar as you would with exercise or social engagements. Talk to your boss about your learning goals. What you want to learn might be highly relevant for your job and your employer might want to support you in your learnings by giving you some dedicated hours for it. Just give it a go, he/she is surely to appreciate you wanting to improve & develop yourself. (Unless you want to learn about breeding hamsters, or you know, other off-topic stuff).

Talk to your boss about your learning goals.

So you’ve tried to designate time but failed? Then try this: Observe what you spend your time on for one week, really everything you do from the moment you wake up. It will probably reveal that you spend hours commuting, internet surfing, watching tv and keeping on track with your social media. We’re not judging you, we love these things as much as you, but you could probably choose to spend some of that time fulfilling your learning goals.

Then there’s tasks that take your time but could be outsourced, like cleaning your house or doing grocery shopping. Yes, it will cost a it of money but it buys you time and time is gold remember? You could even discuss with your housemate or partner if they can take a little more of these tasks for a dedicated time period so you can focus on your learning.

Learn with other people

Other people are great instruments for learning. Not only can they teach you a thing or million, they can also be used to apply some well needed peer-pressure when you feel you ‘really have no time to learn’. It’s much harder to skip on your learning buddy or meeting with your private tutor then it is to skip on yourself. So find people to help you learn and apply some peer-pressure on yourself.

Don’t hesitate to also share your learning goals with your friends! Perhaps they want to learn the same things or can actually teach you what you want to know. Spend your regular coffee date or pub night talking about what you want to learn and combine your need for socialising with your desire to learn.

Voilà, that’s how you make time to learn.

What are your tips, experiences and ticks to make time to learn? Please share them below so we can add to this list!