By Tim Hildreth
I love summer. And this year, it seems we’re having a near perfect one here in New England. During the summer, life just seems to be a little more relaxed: the kids are out of school, people are on vacation, and even work seems to slow a little with the heat.
I find that as things slow down around me, it is the perfect time to focus on things that I can’t always get to during my normal daily routine. I find that the slower pace of summer lends itself perfectly to a little reflection and personal development. I have time to tackle some of the business books that have been stacking up on my book shelves (both real and digital books). And I have time to finally consume some of the eLearning courseware I’ve been eyeing to sharpen my skills in areas like leadership, time management (which if I was better at, I’d have time to take courses and read books all year long), and creativity and innovation.
The time that I am able to spend learning new things and sharpening my business skills makes me better at my job, but it also gets me excited and re-energized to tackle work and life’s challenges as things inevitably speed up again as kids return to school and coworkers return from vacations. Of course it’s also nice to remember that my rediscovered commitment to developing my own skills doesn’t have to end when things get busy. While it may be true that most weeks I don’t have time for a whole course or to sit down and digest an entire book, I always can spare a few minutes to watch a quick inspirational video, or to read a summary of the latest business book, or to practice my new skills with a quick simulation.
And if you’re one of those enjoying your own vacation this summer, I always find a little self-development can be a great way to ease the transition back to work. Why not pick out a course or book that you’ve been hoping to work on and have it ready for when you come back to work? We can all use something to look forward to besides an inbox full of e-mail when we return to the office. Why not make it something to jumpstart your personal development plans?
I’ll end this post by providing a couple of recommendations based upon my own learning so far this summer. For a great course, I would recommend Leadership Essentials: Communicating Vision. In addition, I’ve read Eat That Frog: 21 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.
What course or book have you enjoyed this summer? Please share with the community and let’s keep the conversation going.