This blog is the third part of a series called, “Gain A Better Work Day,” where I’d like to walk with you in gaining practices, principles and ideas that can hopefully make us more effective in the work place by making small but meaningful changes to how our work day usually happens.
Last week, I talked about building morning habits, and how that makes us more effective in many ways. When we can get most of the work done in the morning, where our bodies are the most refreshed and energized, then we make better use of our time and resources.
Today, I want to talk about competency. We all know how important it is to build skills and competencies. Talent isn’t everything, I know, but it accounts for a whole lot of the reason why you are most likely in your job now and why you are good at it. So if competency is so important, why do so many people not make deliberate effort to get better at it?
Skills vary from person to person. One might be good with graphic design, another might be an organizational genius. You can be a great communicator and public speaker and someone else can be a hero at administrating from the background. We all have strengths and the goal is for each of us to leverage them.
There are many ways that we can grow in our competencies:
- Education. There are so many ways to get educated in new skills and competencies. Nowadays, the internet is an infinite source of trainings, podcasts, video tutorials, articles and forums where we can get further educated in our field.
- Practice. Downloading ideas and principles are one thing, but it’s a completely different thing to actually get your hands on trying out these ideas for yourself. It won’t always look good at the start, but guaranteed you will get better.
- Impartation. I’ve learned that one of the most effective ways to grow in your competencies is to talk about it with people who have the same interests. That way you can catch impartation, habits and cultures from others that can help you improve.
I know some of you might be thinking, “But I brush up my skills every time I work. Why should I waste my time listening to a podcast?” Doing things out of routine can often act like a hamster wheel that gets us stuck doing the same things only making us better at getting things done faster and cheaper, which isn’t all that bad but it’s not enough. Growing in competencies teaches us new ways to do things and new skills that makes us better at what we do.
For instance, you can be a teacher who teaches the same way with the same style and the same approach forever, but when you are educated on this new approach or new study, it can kick your teaching profession up to a whole new level all together.
All it takes is committing to an hour a day of education. Read a new article, get a new book, download a podcast or buy a video course to invest in your skills and even in your attitude. It’s worth every penny and every second.
Imagine if you spent five days a week, fifty two weeks a year devoting one hour to getting better at what you do, you would have invested two hundred sixty hours to improvement. That’s thirty two days- a whole month- dedicated to growth! Imagine how much better you will be at the end of one year, two years, ten years.
Growth is never something that comes naturally. It needs deliberate effort and an investment of time, energy and resources. At the end of the day, only you can make that decision. The question is will you make that decision? Will you just let another hour a day, a month a year, a year every twelve pass by taking the long route at becoming better at your job or do you want to take the fast lane to greater improvement, better leadership opportunities, more income and more influence?
The choice is yours.