Learning doesn't have to stop once you get your degree. In fact, some of the most successful individuals—Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffett to name a few—dedicate time each week to learning new things. John Coleman, a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review blogs, recently penned a post on how to make learning a lifelong habit. We've summarized just a few of the strategies he shared to reap the benefits of lifelong learning, which can affect everything from your happiness to your earning potential.
Set realistic goals. Create both long-term and short-term goals you're able to see through to the end. It could be something like reading X number of books this year or setting aside Y hours each week for reading. You can start small, then build up the momentum once you begin achieving your objectives.
Ditch the distractions. Whether you're working or learning, the detriments of multitasking are no different. Put aside electronics when you're making time to learn. If you need to take notes, go old-school with a pen and pad of paper. You'll find your focus, as well as the therapeutic nature of the activity, increase.
Use technology to supplement learning. Despite the above precautions about digital devices, Coleman says that when appropriate, technology can help to supplement learning. Take advantage of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and podcasts. Your morning commute can be a great time to take in an extra half-hour of learning on the go.