You narrowed down the learning possibilities last week; let’s decide where to start.
Plan What You'll Learn
Peruse the tables of contents of the resources reviewed in the Dec/Jan 2016 Copyediting newsletter. Those books are aimed specifically at editors and proofreaders. They cover technical skills, language, and business development. Look for chapters that might address the tasks that steal your time or your joy. Write these chapter titles down so you can work them into your plan.
Look at the list you jotted down. Circle the three that you think will make the biggest difference at work right away. Then circle one that seems irrelevant, because sometimes these can surprise you. This is your starting point.
The Alternative Plan
Or, pick the resource that looks most interesting to you—the one book that will keep you motivated—and plan simply to work from cover to cover, or from minute one to the end if it’s a video or audio resource.
How are you going to fit this learning in among your deadlines? Next time, we will look at scheduling strategies so you can make this plan work.
Open your calendar and block off four hours a week in which you will do your training. If you work best in chunks, by all means schedule one sitting a week. Most learners, however, are effective at learning new tasks for up to an hour at a time. Can you set aside the first hour each day to learn new skills? Can you manage 30 minutes each morning? Schedule the learning at a time of day when you won’t be too tired.
Deadlines can take over, but if you want to work more efficiently and build your career, you have to commit to this learning. Stick to your promise to work on yourself; that time is booked, work deadlines around it nine times out of ten.
Building your business only happens when you set aside time to work on it. Making the time to work on your business can even double your income this year.
Next week we’ll look at some formal training and accreditations you might want to seek.
Did you have a training plan last year? What did you learn? How did it make a difference to your career or your workplace? Log in to leave a comment, or join the discussion over on Facebook or Twitter.
You might also be interested in these earlier posts on professional development strategies:
- Deciding What to Learn This Year (previous post)
- Live and On-Demand Training from Copyediting
- Schedule Learning to Double Your Income
- How to Use a Coach for Professional Development
- Find a Mentor to Boost Your Career Beyond Mid- or Sr Editor
- Learning Opportunities for the Mid-Career Editor
- How a Study Group Can Benefit Mid-Career Editors
- How a Mastermind Group Educates Sr Editors
- Use Teaching as Professional Development
- How to Cross-Train for Editing