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5 Ways to Find Time for Learning and Life (No Time Travel Required)

By Ryan Kroonenburg  |  June 13, 2019  |   Career   |  

Maybe it’s on your side. Maybe it’s a flat circle. Maybe it’s an illusion. Whatever you think of time, there never seems to be enough of it. This can become especially obvious when trying to carve out some waking hours to learn something new. Take leveling up your cloud skills: You know the reasons it’s worth your time, but maybe you’re struggling to find the time to do it. Or maybe you’ve tried but just couldn’t get a good groove going.

Whether you’re trying to study after hours or training during your 9 to 5, life can get in the way. There are work fires to put out, bills to pay, tacos to cook, kids to put to sleep, and The Expanse isn’t going to re-watch itself. If you’re looking to level up your cloud skills but feel you can’t find time in the day without a trip through the Quantum Realm, here are a few tips for squeezing in some studying and making the routine stick (no time travel needed).

1. Copy the scariest and funniest guys in the room.

Jerry Seinfeld talks about “not breaking the chain.” Stephen King bangs out thousands of words a day after a ritual to get in the right headspace. The funniest and scariest guys in the world parrot the same sentiment: If you want to do something, make it a routine and stick to it. Determination and repetition aren’t an easy-breezy shortcut to leapfrog from a know-nothing to a guru overnight, but they’re common core values of people who are the best at what they do.

2. Start small, end up like Arnold.

As important as routine is, it’s also crucial to not be too harsh on yourself if you miss a day or have fallen off the horse in the past. Keep things positive to keep your motivation up. Take it from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Reddit’s patron saint of motivational warm and fuzzies. Responding to an out-of-routine fitness fanatic looking for a verbal butt-kicking to get out of a funk, he said: “We all go through challenges, we all go through failure. Sometimes life is a workout. But the key thing is you get up. Just move a little … Just do something … But don’t beat yourself up, because that’s just useless talk. It doesn’t get you closer to the gym.” (Swap “gym” for “becoming the all-knowing cloud guru you know you can be” and you get the picture.)

How much time should you set aside for studying? Start as small as you need, but try to set aside some time each day. Maybe it’s just 30 minutes. And maybe only on weekdays. That’ll do! Bonus points if you can keep it near the same time every day. That’ll help it become a routine you don’t even think about, like going on autopilot as you zig through rush-hour traffic or brushing your teeth before you head out the door.

3. Remember: You’re not trying to be the best at exercising.

In the words of fictional athlete Kenny Powers, you’re “not trying to be the best at exercising.” Keep your end goal in mind. The idea of studying might not get you pumped, but how about advancing in your career, making more money, having more free time, retiring early, and embarking on some space tourism with Richard Branson? When it’s hardest to stay motivated, keep your big-picture end goals in mind.

Got those big goals in mind? Now, break them into smaller, actionable tasks. The road to colossal life-changing objectives is lined with digestible mile markers. Set clear and firm (but attainable) goals so you know where you’re focusing your energy. “Learn to cloud” is a bit nebulous, but pursuing a specific certification gives you a defined “thing” to work toward.

Guru Tip: Stay on target with our Learning Paths, which guide you every step of the way, from beginner to expert, in your chosen area of the cloud. Having the path before you can help you rack up small wins and see tangible progress toward your goals.

4. Get paid to learn.

Got a cool boss? Consider floating the idea of dedicating some part of the workday to learning time. They may be more willing than you think. If you can’t get them fully onboard, consider a compromise. Maybe they’d be supportive of you studying for that certification during your morning coffee while everyone is still trickling in or over your lunch break.

If your workplace sees the value in continuing cloud training (and they should), A Cloud Guru’s Accelerator Program is a fast-track program for employers looking to get teams cloud-ready by completing certification courses.

5. Say no to “not today.”

Finally, to reverse the catchphrase of a certain Braavosi sword-fighting instructor, say, “Yes today!” Get started right now. Take action. Don’t file your goal away as a someday to-do. Add it to your to-do list and then go ahead and cross it off, because you’ve already done it. Doesn’t that feel good? You didn’t do it yet? OK. Ready … now! Find some daylight in your calendar and add a 30-minute event to it. This first small step puts you one bit closer to the skills you desire — and (maybe) hanging out in orbit with your new billionaire buddies.


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