What Have You Done For You Lately?

Filed under Career | Posted by PMStudent

professional development - by Wesley Fryer via Flickr

It’s the weekend.? I asked myself a question today.

Have I been investing enough in myself lately?

After the long week at work, sometimes it is difficult to put in the time and effort for self improvement.? Here are some tips to help if you need some extra motivation.

Set Goals

Identify the areas where you want to learn more.? They could be related to your professional development.? Maybe you don’t know much about risk management and how to do it right.

It could be something related to your personal life.? Do you want to learn to be a better parent?? Maybe you want to educate yourself about how to manage your finances better, build an emergency fund, and get out of debt.

“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” ? Zig Ziglar

Whatever it is, YOU have to do something about it if you want to make progress.

One at a Time

Some people may? advise working on multiple things at the same time.? I don’t.? As much as possible, I try to focus on learning one thing at a time.? Once I feel I’ve mastered it or at least? learned what I wanted to for the time being, I can move on to the next thing on my list.

Find Accountability

Find someone who can help hold you accountable.? An individual or group of people who have similar goals is a great way to have an accountability partner.? This is one reason why people form study groups for classes at school or for tests like the PMP exam.

I find accountability for many things through contributing posts here and for 8 other websites.? The people here and at those other sites are expecting me to write, and that helps keep me accountable.? For one thing, I make a point to read every comment (that’s not spam) posted on pmStudent.com.? I learn a lot just by following discussions in the comments and engaging in them myself.? The commitment I’ve made to you as a part of this community helps keep me focused too.

Task lists or calendar reminders are also good.? I have the worst memory of anyone I know.? In order for me to remember to write, post comments, read comments, read books, etc. I have to schedule time and be reminded.? I really like using Google Calendar for this, but not the pop-up reminder…I set it to send me an email before the task is to be started.

Baby Steps

BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) are fine, but you don’t work to them.? Just like decomposing your project scope in a WBS, you should decompose your goals into manageable chunks.? Write it down, do a WBS.? I’m serious here.

Then think about what you will do today or this week to reach your goal.? When you get it done, go back to your list or WBS or mindmap or whatever you are using and cross it off.? It’s VERY important to be able to track your progress and feel that little “atta boy” when you check something off the list.? Maybe you read one chapter a day of a book on the topic.? Maybe it’s one chapter a week.? Whatever it is, you’ll have that book read before you know it by taking baby steps.

So, what are you doing this weekend and in the coming week to invest in yourself? (If you are willing to share, leave a comment below.? It may help keep you on task!)