Is your business suffering by learning too much?
What a crazy notion. How can we ever learn too much? But just stop for a moment and answer the following:
- How many blogs did you read today and how many online groups did you comment in, or at least spend time reading what others had posted.
- How many magazine articles or books did you read?
- How many social media channels did you post, chat and network in?
I suspect for many this would not add up to minutes but would indeed equate to hours. And I also suspect this is the norm every day.
The question is, is this productive time or not? Whist there is importance to be placed on networking and improving our skills through learning, are we at times doing this in the guise of working when in actual fact we are just procrastinating and putting off some far more important task that could actually make us money?
It is all well and good continually learning and improving your knowledge, but what is the point if you never drag yourself away to put it into practice. There is no point in reading online articles on how to be more productive if you never actually move away from the computer screen and do some manual labour. An example someone once gave me was:
“I know everything there is about how to have a six-pack, but I still don’t have one”.
And this applies when running your business.
Stop kidding yourself and start to take more note of how much time you spend learning about what to do and how much you spend doing it. This really could be the difference between success and failure. Set yourself limits as to how much time you are going to spend doing what and when you are going to do it.
My personal plan is to spend half an hour each morning with my cup of tea reading online articles and making notes about salient points. I spend the last half hour of each day with my nose in a book. Anything else I spot during the course of the day, I bookmark and then block out Wednesday mornings each week to go back and read in more detail. This includes webinars. Nearly all of them these days are recorded for you to listen to after the event.
Now, I am no angel and I regularly fall off track. This morning was a case in question which led me to write this article. I had a task that has been outstanding for a while but is getting more and more urgent. I had blocked out in my diary to complete it today but then let myself get sidetracked in the name of more research. What a load of baloney!
If I don’t have enough knowledge to complete the task by now, I shouldn’t even be contemplating doing it. I suddenly realised what I was doing and pulled myself back in check but before I knew it another bright shiny object that was far more attractive popped up and I then spent I dread to think how long creating pretty images in Canva that I could use as part of my task.
Is this resonating with anyone else out there? Are you in danger of learning too much? Do yourself a favour and really keep a track of how much you are ‘learning’ and how much you are doing. Don’t use excessive learning and research time as an excuse for not getting on with the day job. You may just find that by ‘doing’ you will make far money and will learn by experience along the way.