How to create a learning habit

A man carrying a rucksack opens a glass door

In the ever-evolving world of healthcare, staying on top of the latest advancements and regulations, keeping your skills fresh and deepening your knowledge isn’t simply a nice to have, it’s a necessity. But carving out time to learn is often easier said than done, with training taking a backseat behind work and family commitments.

If you want to make real progress at work though, provide the very highest quality of care and boost your confidence, learning is a non-negotiable. 

And in this blog, we’ll share some of the different ways you can cultivate a lifelong learning habit.

How to make learning a habit

Set goals

‘I want to learn something new each week’. ‘I want to read something that will help me do better in my job each day’. While great in principle, resolutions like these are way too vague. If your goals are going to stick, they need to be super-specific, with clear objectives and deadlines. 

So switch out ‘I want to learn something new each week’ for ‘I’ll complete three modules of my Dementia Awareness course by Sunday’. Then block out dedicated time in your calendar to work towards your goal regularly. 

💡 It takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit, so schedule time every day to work towards your goals – just remember to start small and go at your own pace. 

Find your learning style

We’re all unique, and how one person likes to learn won’t necessarily work for someone else. The good news is that there’s now a huge variety of ways to learn, tailored to your circumstances and learning style. Got a long commute? Seek out audio-based learning like podcasts. Consider yourself a visual learner? Online learning platform FuturU has a wide range of video-based content available entirely free of charge.

Take advantage of workplace learning

You’re learning all the time – you learn while interacting with the individuals you care for, and while supporting their loved ones. You learn while observing how your colleagues work, when they give you feedback, and when you discuss your ambitions with them over a cup of tea. 

Learning doesn’t take a break. And you can use this to your advantage. 

💡 Carve out some time in your daily routine to ask yourself what you’ve learnt from the experiences you’ve had while at work that day, and what you can do next to build on them. 

Perhaps you were frustrated with something and want to change it? Or maybe there was something you could have done better? What training might you need to do that?

Use technology

The days of dusty textbooks and endless notetaking are (thankfully) behind us. And online platforms like FuturU make learning easier and more engaging than ever before. Download our free app to your Apple or Android device and explore our catalogue of over 100 healthcare courses. There’s no limit to the number of courses you can enrol in, and you can dip in and out whenever you like, and wherever you are.

💡 Got some downtime? Avoid the temptation to endlessly scroll through Instagram – make some progress on a course with FuturU instead. 

Be curious

Consider how you might like to develop your skills in a particular area, like supporting people with dementia. Think about your interests, passions and desired career path, and map out the learning opportunities that lean into them.

Don’t be afraid to explore topics outside of your immediate area of expertise – you never know what opportunities might come from stepping out of your comfort zone.

Find a balance

While cultivating a continuous learning habit is important, it’s crucial you maintain a healthy work-life balance too. So go easy on yourself, and try to ensure your learning habits enhance rather than detract from your sense of wellbeing.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of learning you think you need to do, or don’t feel like you’re making progress, try focusing on one subject at a time, breaking it down into manageable chunks.

It’ll be much easier to get into the habit of learning when you enjoy it, so don’t set yourself unattainable goals or standards. Instead, celebrate your learning wins, big and small. 

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