Practicing New Skills

Practicing New Skills

07/15/2024
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Learning new skills requires you to find time to apply them as well.

Improving your knowledge and skills is always tough as a parent - it is tough for any busy adult, but a parent will often have added responsibilities with a child. Learning new skills is a great way to not simply improve your knowledge, but to set you up for more opportunities in your career as well. Take the time to learn new skills that you can apply in different areas of your life including at your job.

Once you have learned the new skills, you are not done. You need to continue to practice and refine those skills so that when it comes time to actually use them in a meaningful way, you’re ready. The simple act of learning the skill is just a starting point - it’s a good starting point as many people don’t even get to that part of it. However, if you don’t apply your new skills, you’re going to quickly lose them over time.

Let’s assume you’re trying to learn a new language. You’ve spent several months learning many pieces of the language - you spend a few hours a week reviewing and practicing different parts of the language. You may have a little bit of interaction with someone in the new language as part of your learning. You’ve made great progress and you think you’re ready to actually use the language in real life.

Perhaps you head on a trip to a country where you can use that language, or perhaps you have colleagues that you can interact with in that language. Those are great opportunities to practice and refine your language skills further that you should take. However, if you don’t start using the language, and simply let it linger in your mind, you’ll soon start to forget many parts of it - your skills will not be able to be applied.

It will be easier to pick that skill back up again in the future, but it likely won’t be in a state to be useful. If you’re not using your newly learned skills on a regular basis, they will slowly deteriorate over time. For many people, they learned a language in high school. Most people didn’t do anything with that outside of their learning, and they will have forgotten most of it. It’s easier for them to learn that language again though as they already have a bit of a base for it.

Look for skills that you can apply in your life on a regular basis. Don’t try to learn a new language if you have no plans or opportunities to use it. Spend time learning a tech skill, or some other skill that you can actually use in your life. While it’s nice to learn something that may be useful, it’s better to learn something that you know will be useful. Focus on gaining new skills that you can actually apply.

Once you’ve found the skill you want to focus on, put as much time as you can into it. Those who are best in their skills are those that put the most time in. You may not be the smartest person in the area you’re learning, but if you’re the hardest working person then you’ll often rise above the majority of people. Learning a new skill will take a lot of time and repetition, but it can pay off big time if you’re dedicated.

Learn new skills that you can use. Don’t try to learn a bunch of new things that you’re not going to be able to apply or practice, but rather focus on a skill or two that you can use on a regular basis.

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