The Learning Queue is a concept I haven’t shared much about, but it has helped me greatly in the past few years of my life, so now I want to share with you.
I can’t say I invented this method because I’m sure there are others out there who are doing the same kind of thing, but I can say I just started doing this because I needed a solution to a problem, and it’s worked wonders for me. I think it will help you too.
The important thing isn’t to just do it, but to understand why you’re doing it. And that’s what I’m going to tell you here.
But before I get into the meat of why you should have a learning queue, I want to make sure I’m clear on what exactly I mean by this.
By a “learning queue” I mean a document of some sort (spreadsheet, word doc, text doc, post it note, dry erase board, etch-a-sketch, whatever) that lists the things that you have said to yourself, “I need to learn how to do this.”
Now obviously you want to have this list available as a reference for the things that you need to learn to be successful with your business, but that’s not the only reason why I want you to keep it. It’s more strategic than that.
There is so much information out there online that it is extremely easy to get overwhelmed with it (if you don’t believe me just count how long each day you spend reading pointless emails), and it’s extremely easy to want to keep learning every new tactic out there to build your business. It happens to everyone.
But Tactics Don’t Build Businesses, Strategies Build Businesses
One reason I want you to have a learning queue is because I want you to think more strategically about what skills you need to learn and what skills you can do without, at least for now (hence the word queue).
The fact is, you’re only one person and you can only learn so much without sacrificing results. There is a big opportunity cost that comes with learning new things. The time it takes you to learn them could be spent implementing and profiting from the things you already know.
Too often people get caught up in the next new thing, especially in quickly growing industries, that they jump on board without thinking strategically and forget to implement the last thing that they learned. Well what happens if you never implement anything that you learn?
You’re never going to get any results.
A wise friend of mine calls people like this “learners not earners” – and unless you’re already at a point where you’re playing golf and sipping Coronas every day, you don’t want to be one of those.
How to Develop a Strategic Learning Queue
This is the main reason why you need to develop a learning queue. Here’s how.
Write everything down on a list that you want to learn or need to learn to run your business, then widdle away the stuff that you either won’t be good at, won’t ever have time to use, or can outsource to someone else. Be honest with yourself while you’re doing this. If you know you don’t have the aptitude to design web pages, or your time is better spent doing other things, don’t put it on your list.
Outsource that shit. The same goes for everything else. Very simple.
Now put everything in order from greatest importance to least greatest importance. Make this determination in terms of projected long-term ROI.
By the time you’re done with that document you’ll have a strategically designed reference you can look at and think about anytime you feel the urge to learn something new. And just because it’s in your learning queue doesn’t mean you can just learn it right then and there. You have to ask yourself if you’re ready.
“Is this in my learning queue? Am I really going to use this? Have I implemented the last thing I have learned well enough so I can begin something new?”
If you’re ready, then go for it. But if you’re not, ignore it and get back to work.
The second reason you want to have that learning queue is this. When you’ve implemented the last thing you have learned, have gotten results, and are at a point where you need to expand your knowledge, you’ll already have it laid out.
This one simple tool helps you avoid distractions and keeps your learning and progression on track.
To your success and productivity!
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The One Word You Need to Succeed – A simple, yet very powerful post. I won’t spoil the surprise, but you won’t want to miss this one.