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Time Management: How and When do You Make Time for Personal Development?

If you’ve been in the world long enough, you’ve heard the buzzword: Personal development. What can it get it you? How do you fit it into your routine? Does it mean you have to learn Twitter?

The short answers is: it’s not that simple, and we hope you already know Twitter. Personal development has often been thought of as the activity you undertake when you’re looking to reach the next level–you need to prepare to upgrade your relationship? You want a new job/career move and you’re just not quite there? It’s time for personal development! However, today the meaning has started to evolve into a much more Millennial-minded, individual-friendly viewpoint: personal development is for everyone, any time. Even Emma Watson is taking a year off to develop herself.

If you are normal human being and don’t have a year to spare, fear not. Personal development, says famed author, scientist, and monk Matthieu Ricard, is not a “short-term undertaking…nor a means of escape where we learn to embrace our faults and dispense with the efforts to remedy them.” He has found it’s the ability to help others that develops ourselves. Entrepreneur‘s analysis of successful leaders’ shared qualities also found that the most competent and successful people spent daily time working on themselves, and that they gave to others.

Similarly, author and marketing consultant August Turak’s studies on leadership led him to the conclusion that personal development has become compartmentalized, as an activity to undertake in spare time–when it should be a constant, everyday aspiration for growth.

So, is becoming a more giving, rounded, and developed human being every day a better goal than reflecting only when you need something? If you’re silently nodding yes, but keeping your mouth shut just in case you’re wrong, read on! We’re with you. Here’s how to make the time for personal development for yourself–and not for anyone else.

  • Take time every day (just a bit) to reflect on your areas of improvement, and also, most importantly, your successes.
  • Learn new things regularly: read a book, take a quick online course, watch a new how-to YouTube video. Fit this in on a weekend afternoon easily. Not only is learning good for your brain, but it is the number-one indicator of happiness and health!
  • Give to others. This is the trickiest, time-wise, and takes the most effort, but it is universally agreed to be a key to personal development in the long-term. Luckily, there’s no end to the amount of ways you can help others; volunteer at a charity, or do a quick weeknight favor for a friend. Rinse, repeat, develop.

By taking the time to regularly focus on you, you’ll likely start improving all the various areas of your life, quickly, too, by proxy. When you make these routines, it won’t be so much of “fitting” it into your life, as it will be restructuring your life (and enhancing!). No Twitter required.