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Find time to better yourself

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You can become indispensable within your organization by committing to ongoing professional development. However, with your busy schedule and full workload, how do you find the time to focus on learning? Use this advice:

•  Establish learning goals. Outline two or three skills you want to learn or areas you want to improve. Then break those goals down and establish smaller, incremental goals that will take you closer to your overall goal.

•  Schedule time each day to make learning a priority. For 20 to 30 minutes every day, focus on reaching your learning goals. Read, take online training or even ask a colleague or friend who has the skills you want to develop to coach you.  

•  Practice until you improve. Pick your biggest weakness and spend time each day focusing on strengthening it. For example, if you need to improve your listening skills, put yourself in situations where you are forced to actively listen.

•  Seek out a mentor. Ask your supervisor or other senior-level person to provide you with advice and guidance when you are dealing with a specific problem.

— Adapted from “How to Find Time to Develop Your Leadership Skills,” Tom Fox, The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com.

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