I am looking for a better way to manage my own self-education of our profession. I have amassed a collection of books that I would like to read but I also find that I don’t have much time for that amongst my other responsibilities. I was thinking about creating a study plan to help me organize myself. Has anyone done this? If so what does it look like?
Thank you for your advice!
Well I have a shelf more like accumulated ones over the years I thought I would keep and use to "flip through" at least when faced with some specific need, but actually the internet has since impacted by also becoming a rich source of insights and comparisons.
So, one thought is: decide if the books are technically helpful in some way (photo inspirations when hitting a creative block; samples of details if not sure what is a standard applicable to a project, reality pictures to show clients who aren't visualizing something etc.) Then maybe you wouldn't feel like you have to read everything cover to cover and consider it a reference library. In that process, you may pre-screen them and toss a few, become more familiar with what the keepers have to offer, and maybe even decide to read a few. Otherwise, it can seem daunting once out of school to find the time to read heavily and I don't think it's a crime to read in a more targeted way as needed during research on a project. That way you stay productive and also over time accumulate more knowledge.
Since this isn't focused on concrete timelines (like studying for the LARE), perhaps you can incentivize your reading?
If it is a text with more words than images, you can set a goal for each chapter. Perhaps one a week, so you can digest?
Set aside a block of reading time that you schedule formally like for appointments and then do it!
I incentivized myself by using an app called Habitica. It's structured like a little video game where you make a little character Adventurer that get points rewarded for doing what you actually say you want to do and you lose points if you neglect to do your habit/task per day. As you accumulate points you 'Level Up'. You can even join groups that would hold you accountable if you need the extra boost. It's good for establish flossing and exercise habits, quitting smoking, and studying.
I will have to check that app out! Usually, I try to set aside an hour or two on Saturday and Sundays to focus on professional development. Thank you for the advice!