Sunday, June 26, 2016

Weekend Percolations

This train of thought started earlier this past week when Jane Hart posted a link to an article about making time for learning (5 hours a week to be precise).

"Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule," (Michael Simmons with Ian Chew)

The article can be summarized as follows:  Eveyone should set aside an hour a day for deliberate learning.  

It only adds up to five hours a week if you don't learn on weekends.  I'm all for deliberate learning on a regular basis and reading the article triggered this comment on my part, posted in the MWL Association discussion area:
"I like to think of it [deliberate learning] as building a learning and thinking habit and embedding thinking and learning within daily routines. Perhaps to establish the habit you need a "rule" and some structure but once the habit is well-established, the number of hours is irrelevant. In fact, once the habit is established, the focus might be on ensuring the right balance of reading/absorbing, percolating/ruminating and taking action/experimenting as a result. I used to read a lot, percolate a little and do very little with it. Now I read less, percolate more and I do much more with what I learn."
I'm not following a 5-hour rule, I do a lot of deliberate learning on weekends, and this weekend, I was very deliberate about focusing on the percolating element of learning.  To do that I set myself up outdoors with white paper and pens.  This ensured that 1) I eliminated the potential distraction of an internet feed or two (to replace with slightly less distracting birds and rabbits in the backyard); and 2) I avoiding reading or listening to another book.

I ended up with two pages of scribbles about ideas related to going solo next year and setting my the consulting practice, including a half-dozen key insights and three specific action items.

One of those action items was to research readiness assessments for going solo as a consultant. While that brought me back to an internet search, I was satisfied that the deliberate percolating had achieved its purpose.  I should make it a habit to set aside time to percolate, not just read and surf.

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