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So you want to learn a new skill. It’s never too late in life to improve yourself, and the myriad lockdowns of recent years have led many people to try their hands at new and exciting ventures. We’ve seen budding bakers, knitting novices, and even more specialist skill sets like computer programming and video production.

But now that the world has returned to some semblance of normality, it’s no longer so easy to find the time in your day. How on earth can you squeeze in enough learning time amongst the chaos of daily meetings and life admin?

The good news is, it is still perfectly possible to gain those skills you’ve always dreamed of. You’ll just have to be a little more savvy with how you spend your time. To get you started, here are four tips to find more time in your busy schedule.

Start simple

Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you want to be an expert in any given field, it’s best to start with the basics and work your way up. Let’s say you want to learn how to bake, for example. There’s no use trying to construct that eight-tiered showstopper you saw on the Great British Bake Off. You’ll waste so much time making mistakes and struggling with complicated techniques that you’ll soon throw in the tea towel. Begin with easier – yet still delicious – recipes such as these scrumptious Oreo balls. You’ll soon find yourself getting more and more confident with each passing day.

Eliminate time wasters

It’s common for working professionals to bemoan the fact that they have no free time. But more likely than not, you have plenty of gaps in your schedule if you look hard enough. Be honest with yourself. How much time each day do you spend on tasks that are unproductive and unfulfilling? Do you find yourself scrolling aimlessly through Instagram when you could be reading a book or brushing up on your extracurricular hobby? Phones and social media accounts are amongst the biggest productivity black holes, so try and cut down on your screen time.

Schedule learning time

You’ll rarely cancel an important business meeting if it’s in the diary, so why not afford the same importance to your learning sessions? Set aside a few hours a week to focus on your new skill and write it in your schedule. You will be far more likely to stick to your goals in the long term.

Set goals

Whatever skill you are trying to gain, it’s a good idea to have a target to aim for. This way you keep yourself motivated and have more accountability to prevent yourself from giving up. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, you could sign up to give a talk or lecture in a few months time. Alternatively, if you are a budding painter you could commit to creating your first exhibition by the end of the year.

There are so many ways to make your busy lifestyle more manageable and stay committed to your goals. Follow these tips and you will become an expert in your field in no time at all.

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