Sometimes anything outside of the working week can seem like climbing a mountain.
There are nights where I feel so drained that anything more than putting my dinner into the microwave and watching Netflix (for 15 minutes before I fall asleep) would seem like too much. But, honestly, this is just a mindset. Yes, I am tired but I can also do more. It is possible.
I say this from experience, I used to be the person that would do anything to get a few more minutes of sleep in the morning, then one day I just switched my routine. Now I am up at the crack of dawn, working out in the gym before work. I am THAT person. And if you told me five years ago I would have laughed in disbelief. But at the end of the day, we are creatures of habit. All of our habits make who we are and we get to decide who we are. So it's time to take control.
So, if tiredness is the only thing stopping you from adding more new skills to your CV then think again. You just need a change to your current routine.
We now have the brilliance of flexible learning at our fingertips. this means free online literature, online intensive courses, virtual classrooms and chat forums where you can chew over ideas. This is in addition to evening classes or groups or weekend classes.
If you think about it, making time isn't the issue it's about how creative you can get in terms of using your time.
So, if you're really determined to add more skills to your CV and become the best version of you - here are some tips;
1. Schedule a brain workout
As we discussed earlier, it's easy to come home and want to be nothing more than a couch potato. To stop falling into this trap put a date in your diary (with your brain) and stick to it. For example, Thursday nights are when you and your brain finally learn Spanish (or whatever skill you desire). The beauty of teaching yourself is that your mode of learning can be as fun as you like, you can spend a few hours if you do want to learn Spanish, watching a film or listening to a podcast. Before you know it, you will start to look forward to your brain workout!
2. Focus on the golden skills
There are these golden skills that are universaly desirable - the ones that make you the ideal hiring candidate. By prioritising those skills in your free time, it’s a win-win situation. Some of those skills are selling (i.e client pitches/closing, or marketing and branding but if you dig deeper you can figure out some unique skills such as persuasive writing or SEO, that any business could find valuable. The more niche the more you stand out.
3. Make better use of your time
Start utilising your commutes or even your workouts. Stock up on your podcasts, download the documentaries or shows that will help you to learn your new skills and start making use of your time now. You will inevitably start to look forward to things you previously found boring - i.e the dreaded commute. You'll also feel secretly smug, as everyone on the train will be aimlessly scrolling on their social media and you will be bettering yourself in a meaningful way.
4. Be selective about socialising
When you start getting into the benefits and endorphins released by actively pursuing and learning a new skill - you'll naturally become more selective about your social outings. You'll figure out that outings without the added benefit of adding value to you or your skill set are no longer worth it. Would you rather be aimlessly slamming shots (and burning cash), or happily learning a new skill (for free) that will increase your employability? Soon it won't even be a tough choice!
If your friends aren't on your same wavelength (on a particular day/night) try going out on your own. Go to events or lectures by yourself, go with your book and work in a cute cafe. Or volunteer to get some hands-on experience.
The beauty of this process is that not only will you be learning a new skill, but you'll also be learning more about you.