Okay, so you’ve decided what to pursue, but now you probably have quite a learning curve ahead of you – even if you just want to learn to brioche knitting (difficult, but awesome, btw). The first thing you probably need to do is to do some homework about your newly-chosen calling,especially if it’s a change in studies or your career. The more you know, the more prepared you’ll be to start stepping in the right direction.
If you want to (or need to) study something, find out where you need to go to study the specific subject – can you do online courses, do you need to go to a university, etc.
Most courses have their requirements listed online these days, but if there’s anything unclear, send an email detailing what it is you want to find out. Don’t just say “I want to find out more about your course”, be specific – even list courses you’ve already done. That not only gives a much better impression but shows that you really are serious about taking the course.
I also have found that email is the better option as people can then take their time to respond to queries and they already have your correct contact details when they need to send you things.
If you are able to learn online, it may be a good idea to start out with those courses that don’t cost the world. You can start small and then build up your knowledge.
Courses to consider
Some sites to consider (which are either free or not too pricey, especially if they are on sale!), are:
- The Great Courses Plus
- Udemy (If you’re a writer, check out Shani Raja’s courses!)
- Bluprint (crafts and cooking)
- Shaw Academy (where I’ve done quite a few courses)
Where will you get the time?
I have bad news. You’ll have to make time to hustle if you want to get somewhere while also working on a day job, being a parent – or even both,the time won’t just fall into your lap.
For me, it helps to get up early and work early in the morning (by early I mean writing from 6 am to 7:30 or 7:45 am) and then work on something else during my lunch hour – usually crochet or knitting. After work, I catch up on some podcasts and then it’s time for some more writing or planning.
But it’s no use trying to copy my exact schedule (especially if you have children!), you need to find a schedule that works for you. And, if you decide to get up earlier, you have to remember that the body isn’t going to get used to it in one day.
Perhaps you would rather work through lunchtime if you want to write, or perhaps get to work early and write then (I always have a timer going so I know when to stop). Otherwise,weekends may also do the trick. The main thing is to be adamant and consistent about it. If you have classes, say, on a Saturday, your family has to realise that that time is as good as you being at work.
The other thing to always keep in mind with your routine is your health. I wish I could say that my routine is 100% the same every day, but, some days, the dragon wins. The only book I’ve ever come across that really took health – and specifically chronic illnesses – into account, is Crank It Out! By C.S. Lakin. And boy can those chronic stuff mess you around…
So, if you have to break routine because of health, break it. You’re no good writing or working on your side-hustle when you feel like you’ve been run over by a train. If you still want to write while you’re ill, rather get a lap desk* and sit and plot in bed. It may not be the best thing posture-wise, but if you’re ill, it’s a lot easier to work and nap if you’re already in bed. So people tell me…
I’m still standing
One problem with writing is all the sitting, so I’ve now also invested in a standing desk. And this extra-cool awesome and pretty standing desk by DeskStand that’s #ProudlySouthAfrican too, I might add*.
I do still type slower standing, but it is coming along. And I don’t stand for hours upon hours (because buggered knees and joints), but I do stand after work so that I can stretch a bit as well. I’m busy with a cotton rug that will be my standing mat and foot massager all in one (I’m using this cotton and a 12 mm hook, so it’s really bulky and dense).
*These aren’t affiliate links, I actually own them. You should think of owning them too, they’re awesome!
Cutting down on binge-watching and binge-listening
This is one I struggle with. The watching not so much, but definitely the listening. I think it’s because one podcast episode can be everywhere from 15 minutes to 4 hours long (*looks accusingly at Astonishing Legends*) that I don’t always keep track of the time!
Do you have any tips and tricks when it comes to managing your time? Please share them in the comments below!