I’ve always loved to learn. I credit a fun preschool for my love of learning and it’s a big part of the reason why Lil Man is in daycare. I’m one of the few crazy ones who wants their child in daycare/preschool.
Every step I take in life, whether it’s a solid one, or a definite misstep, my first thought is “What did I learn from this?” So to me, not being in school has felt kind of uncomfortable. Since graduating college, I’ve tried to keep my mind alive, whether it’s taking fun classes or learning something for work, but, as with everything else in the past couple of years, I’ve kind of dropped the ball on that. And I’ve felt the consequences. Most of the time, I feel like my brain is a big puddle o’ mush.
But enough is enough, and I have to get my brain ticking again. That is why I attended a two-day project management seminar this week. The scope of my job is changing, and more projects and tasks are being added to my plate, so I needed some techniques on managing it all before I burn out. It was great being in an educational setting again. I like taking notes (I know, I know, NERD ALERT!), thinking of solutions, engaging in discussion and stepping outside my comfort zone, so it felt really good to get back to that, even if for two days and in a topic that isn’t all that exciting to me.
A lot of the class did not fit my situation. It assumed that you’ll have ten paid people working on projects with you, and only one client to answer to, when my reality is that it’s me doing the project and about 3,700 people that I need to satisfy. And if I do have people helping out, they are strictly volunteers, so the incentive for them to stick to deadlines or commit to the project isn’t there.
But I digress…even though a lot of it didn’t pertain to my particular job, I still learned a lot. I mean, how can you be in any kind of a class for two days and not come out of it with something? It was so helpful to step back and see how I can apply so many techniques to my work and my life. It was also interesting to see that I already use a lot of the techniques, just not as polished as they were presented, and certainly not in a swift, color coded, self-adjusting chart.
I don’t know if it was the seminar, or my renewed commitment to put myself out there and not worry about what might happen, but I just felt like I was ‘on’ this week. I was more assertive and more focused. And I was also more creative. Creativity is big for me. Artistic, organizational, resourceful or any other type of creativity just gives us a spark in life, you know? It keeps your brain sharp and active.
The truth is that I would love to be a full-time, lifetime student, but I have neither the time nor the funds to do so. So for the time being, online tutorials, maybe a fun class here and there and the occassional skill development seminar will have to be enough.