How to Own Your Training Programme

, , | Colin Dawson

Hayley sighs.

If only she had an extra hour in her day . . .

She’d dedicate that extra hour to designing her own training programme.

Hayley is an accountant, has always wanted to write a book or a training course on how to prepare your accounts for year end.

Unfortunately she has too many other things to do.  Running her business from home has disadvantages. Cleaning the house, getting groceries, and cooking.  Answering emails.

At the end of a busy day, she sits at her desk with a cup of herbal tea.

But the course she wants to write, stays in her head because she lacks the energy to write.

Should she give up?

Over a lifetime of experience as an HR manager and then a trainer I have read a lot about productivity.  Some ideas worked for me, others didn’t.

There are a number of myths that may be sabotaging your desire to make your skills and knowledge available to others.

Let’s have a look at some of these myths.

Myth 1You must have oodles of willpower

For years, researchers have argued we have a limited amount of willpower, so we have to apply our willpower carefully to our most important tasks.

But recent research has suggested telling ourselves we lack will power is enough to prevent us attacking our tasks.

Consider that . . . just thinking we lack willpower can stop us from getting on with it.  It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So instead of worry about willpower and trying to cram more tasks into your day, look at your schedule and ask yourself:

  • What could I do less?
  • What activity can I drop, so I can make time for creating my course?

Myth 2:  You must set big targets

Setting big targets works for some, but for most of us it works counterproductive.

Big targets make many of us feel anxious, and anxiety gobbles up energy and prevents us from focussing.  Anxiety is a productivity killer.

If you want to be a hero and create a huge training programme in a short time go ahead.

But if big targets don’t work for you, set a do-able target instead and adopt a “steady as she goes” attitude instead.

Myth 3:  You Must Get Up at 5 am

This seems to be one of the most pervasive myths of instructional designers.  Every successful person seems to get up early to get more done.

But, in the book “Daily Rituals” by Mason Currey, you’ll find plenty of examples of writers who didn’t work early:

  • American nolvelist Thomas Wolfe typically started writing around midnight, fueled by huge quantities of tea and coffee
  • Short story writer Ann Beattie’s favourite hours for writing are between 12.00 and 3.00 am
  • Franz Kafka only started writing at 10.30 pm or later, after his day job at an insurance company finished.

As Currey shows, everyone’s daily routines are different, and some writers are productive without a fixed schedule.  Novelist Nicholson Baker for instance, likes changing his routine each time he starts writing a new book.

We all have different biorythms and commitments to work around.  So stop feeling guilty if you like a late start.  Listen to your body and find out what writing rythmn works for you.

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