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5 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Self-Education

5 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Self-Education

There are a million different “investment” tools out there – but which one is the best? IRAs, mutual funds, bonds and other things with initials you can’t even pronounce.

But what if I told you the best investment tool out there might be right in front of you. The best investment is yourself.

Here’s why you should invest in self-education — it’s the best investment you can make.

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Note: Self-education doesn’t necessarily mean more school — sometimes it’s as simple as trying a new class, attending a new conference or experimenting with a new gym.

1. Makes You More Interesting

Who’s more interesting — the guy who learns everything he’s going to learn in life and closes his mind at 22 years old, or the old man who continues to learn a new thing every year?

Steve Martin spent the first part of his life honing his craft as a comedian. As he mastered that craft, he kept learning new things and began teaching himself the banjo. Now he’s a world class musician traveling & touring with a bluegrass band.

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The most interesting man in the world didn’t become so by refusing to continue to learn, but by purposely seeking out new and challenging endeavors that would teach him new life lessons.

2. Easy Ways To Experiment

Self education is a super cheap way to experiment with new things. You can try new activities incredibly quick and for free (or almost free).

There’s a million new things to try and groups to join on a site like meetup.com. Check it out, find one or two things a month to try out and see what you think.

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You don’t need to commit 4 years and $100,000 to find out if you want to do something new. You just have to try it.

3. Reminds You That Learning a Lifelong Endeavor

The process of learning — awkwardly trying something new, making mistakes and improving slowly bit by bit — is an art we spend years on as children, but often abandoned later on as we focus on “image” and “looking like we know what we’re doing.”

By investing in your self-education, you have a constant reminder that there are things that you’re not good at and can improve on. It’s a constant exercise in humility and a great reminder that learning is a lifelong endeavor.

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4. Expands Your Perspective of the IMPOSSIBLE

I love the impossible — seeing the edge of what you think you’re capable of and then going beyond it.

Investing in your self-education helps you realize that the impossible is a lot farther away than you think it is. In fact, you might not even be scraping the surface right now. By pushing your limits, trying new things and learning more about what you’re capable of, you’re expanding your perspective of the impossible, living a fuller life and opening yourself up to more and more possibilities down the road.

5. No One Can Take It Away

People can foreclose on your house, they can repo your car and they can garnish your earnings, but people can’t take away your knowledge or your ability to learn new things.

When assessing where you can invest time, energy and the rest of your resources, spend it on the one thing that no one can take from you — yourself.

What are your favorite reasons to invest in yourself?

Featured photo credit: StockMonkeys.com via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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