NNBV publisher column: Take time to ensure you are constantly learning (opinion)
August 28, 2018
Where did summer go? It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming spring, and now, in a blink of the eye, we are moving into fall. With cooler mornings, football season just about to start and kids heading back to school, it is time to move into the new season.
As a child, like most, fall for me was a return to school, a return to needing to remember equations and locker combos. Going back to school was getting back into the swing of fall sports and to the dreaded nightly homework.
It always felt difficult to need to get back into the rhythm of school. In fact, I still find myself having dreams about showing up on the first day of class not being able to find the right room.
But despite that worry and stress of returning to class, school provided me with the foundation to build and to grow. Without the lessons learned and topics covered, I would not be able to do what I do now.
The goal of school is to provide education. It is to teach children and to help them grow and develop. It provides the foundations of knowledge and opportunity for success in the future.
While not every child needs to become a physicist or an engineer, the act of learning and on fostering curiosity is a key to future success. School also provides a testing ground for leadership skills, conflict resolution and learning how to interact with a wide range of people.
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Summer vacation is an interesting concept — it was initially designed to allow children to be able to help work the family farm and to help contribute to their family's needs. In today's world, it is a time for kids to play, relax and in some cases pick up a summer job.
As adults we get used to working 52 weeks a year, with a couple vacation days and holidays in the mix to break up the schedule. For most of us, we can work from nearly anywhere, which can seem like a great thing, but it also means that we are always accessible — and therefore, always on. We become acclimated to the day-in-and-day-out work that keeps our businesses and livelihoods going.
With our constant work schedules, I wonder how much time we truly spend on learning and on educating ourselves.
We often forget to spend time to learn new things and to seek out new understanding. I get it. Personally, it can be hard to fit in anything beyond the work that I need to do every day and to balance my duties as a manager at work and a dad at home — both of which require full-time focus, and more if you want to do them well.
We have to find time for training and for development, which can be challenging. While many companies have ongoing training and development, they often get overlooked. With the pressure to meet goals, to succeed and to accomplish tasks, education can fall to the wayside.
The good thing is that we live in an age where there is training available; there are college level courses in nearly every subject available through digital media like iTunesU, Udemy and even Linkedin. With the volume of opportunities available, you would think that we would all find a bit more time to develop our skills and knowledge.
It is really just a matter of finding the time and on putting in the focus to learn something new.
So as the kids go back to school, it is time to look at your own education and see if there is opportunity to learn.
Ben Rogers is the publisher of the Northern Nevada Business View. He can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.