Making time for training can often be one of the biggest challenges in transitioning from learning via instructor-led training courses to e-learning. The following tips should help you make the time to develop your most important asset – you!
Learning PlanPrepare a Learning Plan that has clear training goals and targeted completion dates. These training goals should be developed in conjunction with your manager and should include courses that will enable you to perform your current job even better or will prepare you for future career opportunities.
Once this Learning Plan is developed, you need to make a personal commitment to achieve the defined goals. Remember that you, and only you, own your Professional Development. It should be a priority every day.
Schedule time for e-learning on your calendar just as you would any instructor-led training course. The benefit with e-learning is that you get to work through the training course at your own pace, not at the pace of an instructor. You can schedule your training time in a variety of increments. SkillSoft courses generally take between 2 – 5 hours to complete, but you could schedule your training time down to the topic level, which could amount to as short as a ten minute training session.
Make sure you don’t mistake the "available anytime" benefit of e-learning for "when I have time." To get the full benefit of your e-learning experience, you need to make the time.
The workplace is always busy and full of distractions – telephones, visitors, and the ever present In Basket can make it difficult to focus on learning. Some suggestions to help curb unplanned interruptions:
If possible, forward your phone to voice mail and record your voice mail greeting to reflect that you will be in training for a specific period of time and that you will return the call as soon as you are finished with your allotted training time.
Place a message board at the entrance to your office or on your desk indicating that you are busy training and inviting visitors to leave a message so you can get back to them as soon as you are finished with your training time.
In the event that you are unable to spend the entire amount of time you had allotted for training due to an urgent interruption that could not wait, remember the bookmark feature of the courseware. The course will remember where you left off, so you can jump right back to the place you were when you exited the course!