How to Prioritize Your Growth When You Don’t Have Time

We hear it often. “I’ll prioritize <INSERT NAME OF LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY HERE> after I work on this pressing deliverable.” It sounds like a plan, right? The problem is, for many of us, prioritizing our career growth and continued learning never actually comes. After one deliverable is met for a client, another is staring us in the face. 

If you aren’t intentional about your growth, it’s easy to look up and realize you’re in the same place you were in your career this time last year. You may have an extra year of specific working experience, but perhaps you keep postponing your CPA exam, you avoid engaging in key feedback conversations or attending that virtual training course. I think it’s fair to say that most working professionals don’t want to be in the exact place this time next year, as they are today. 

So, how can you maximize your growth and learning when you feel like you don’t have time or it feels like something “extra” or even unnecessary? Below are three actions to help you get started.

Shift your perspective

If you feel your eyes roll and your chest tighten when you think about “another thing” to do, you aren’t alone! It’s easy for professional growth to feel overwhelming and something designed for tomorrow, not today. The reality is: you aren’t getting ahead by neglecting your personal and professional growth. 

Client service is our top priority and it will continue to be. At times, it may feel like you cannot prioritize your professional development because client deliverables are most important. While there are certainly times this is very true, don’t get trapped in this as a long-term mindset. 

The truth is, our clients need our continued growth as much as we do. They need us to lead our team with excellence. They need our increased knowledge and depth of varied experience so we can provide timely insights and truly serve them as experts in the field. Consider the extraordinary value your professional growth is adding to your level of client service.

But what if knowing clients benefit from our growth isn’t enough? What if you’re still overwhelmed by your professional growth path because it just feels too…big? If right now is not the best time to return to school, conquer the CPA exam or stack up on countless CPE courses, don’t make the mistake of doing nothing at all. 

Start with 15 minutes a day

You may be thinking, “This all sounds good, I just don’t have time to do it.” To that I would say: “Wanna bet?”

Just fifteen uninterrupted minutes a day can make a significant difference in your overall growth and development. I encourage you to commit to spending the same fifteen minutes every day focused on your growth. That is an hour and fifteen minutes of intentional growth over the course of a week. Perhaps ten minutes is spent reading an article and the remaining five is considering what you can commit to doing differently after reading. Or maybe you could use those fifteen minutes to practice how you’ll delegate a task to a team member before your afternoon one-on-one. You may spend the time considering who needs valuable coaching feedback on your team and the best way you can deliver it. 

When you are in less busy seasons, you’ll be able to add more time to this practice because it’s already part of your prioritized routine.

Consider the cost

When it comes to your commitment to growth, a little can go a long way! Consistency is key. Stay diligent, disciplined, and find someone to hold you accountable to being even better. Remember, if we aren’t growing, we’re quickly falling behind. Consider the cost of no longer growing. Is it worth it?

Don’t find yourself in the same seat you are today. Commit to your growth. Big or small, your career, clients and HORNE are counting on you!

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Ashley NolenAbout the Author

Ashley serves as a full potential coach, helping team members connect their strengths with their passions in order to reach their highest personal and professional goals.

Topics: Growth, Life-Long Learning, Full Potential

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