One of the most common struggles we hear from learning professionals in this fun coffee-themed personality quiz is that they’re often asked to wear too many hats in their role. Sound familiar? In fact, over 31% reported that lack of time and overextending themselves in these Jane-/Jack-of-all-trade roles keeps them from focusing on the bigger picture. Following closely behind this trend are the 26% who stated that the pressure to stay up to date with ever-evolving technology and learning trends puts them in a state of overload where they find themselves continuously spinning their wheels. Raise your hand if you can relate!
Well, it’s no wonder we feel like we’re constantly two steps behind, trying desperately to catch up while balancing an average of five plates at a time. How can we stay on the innovative edge if we barely have time to do the day-to-day activities that our sometimes demanding roles require? Two words —
Prioritize and personalize
The fact is, we don’t have time to consume every bit of education and information there is to offer in the world of learning and development. As a constant learner and sometimes over-consumer — my best suggestion is that you take this list below and choose to personalize and prioritize the bits and pieces that best serve you!
With that said, here are six quick and actionable ways you can stay on stay on the cutting edge today!
1. Subscribe to Newsletters
One of my favorite ways to stay in the know is to subscribe to industry-related newsletters. (Here are a few of my recommendations for no-fluff newsletters for learning leaders!) Keep your inbox from overflowing by signing up for a subscription organizer like Unroll.Me. You can set the frequency for how often you’ll get a “roll-up” of your current subscriptions. For example, I could choose to receive all my email subscriptions on a Friday morning. This is perfect for me as I usually spend that time sipping my coffee slowly, cleaning out my inbox, and getting caught up on the newsletters I subscribe to.
Expert Tip: Note the frequency for newsletters when you subscribe! Daily emails can really bog down your inbox even if you use a roll-up service. You might be better off subscribing to a bi-monthly or monthly newsletter.
2. Read White Papers & Blogs
This one’s a bit of a no-brainer. Industry blogs and white papers, although traditional, are still fantastic platforms for gleaning training-specific knowledge. If you haven’t already checked out these amazing resources, I highly suggest you do!
- Training Industry
- The eLearning Guild
- The Rapid eLearning Blog
- eLearning Industry
- Chief Learning Officer
If you’re someone who prefers a more curated collection of only the best and most relevant content, might I suggest subscribing to The Innovative Edge? Here, our head Innovators serve up only the top picks from these resources and more! You can expect a concise and action-packed recap just once a month. Like your favorite coffee, feel free to sip as needed!
3. Listen to Podcasts
Perfect if you’re like me and you’re always on the go! I love to use my daily dog walks as an opportunity to take a break, enjoy the fresh air — and, of course, learn a thing or two! Love to listen? Here are our favorite podcasts for instructional designers and learning professionals!
4. Join Online Communities
Online communities are not only a great place to boost your industry knowledge, they also offer the support, resources, and accountability to push yourself to stay on the edge of innovation. Here are my favorite free and paid online communities for learning leaders:
- The 5 Best Social Media Groups for Learning Professionals (free)
- eLearning Heros (free)
- ATD (paid)
- The eLearning Guild (free and paid options)
5. Attend Conferences & Meetups
There’s nothing like having the opportunity to Mix & Mingle with your peers! Industry conferences and meetups are the best place to get inspired and learn actionable tips and tricks — but they can often be pricier investments.
Expert Tip: If you can’t swing the cost for admission, ask to volunteer or look for free, more intimate gatherings that might be happening around the same time as these larger, paid events. Speaking of — have you heard about our ATD Mix & Mingle event?! We’d love to see you there!
6. Register for Webinars
Webinars are probably my all-time favorite method for staying on the cutting edge! If you’re someone who enjoys learning by doing and seeing specific concepts and tutorials in action, webinars might be for you too. Become an Innovative Insider and you’ll be the first to know about any upcoming ttc webinars, or check out our on-demand webinars that are available to replay for free!