Use lockdown time to update your skills

All that me time you are enjoying should be put to good use, and picking up some new skillsets and sharpening your existing ones should be a good idea.

Sankar Pillai
April 19, 2020

A lot of people complain that they don’t get enough time to complete their tasks, that seven days in a week and 24 hours in a day are not enough to be as productive as they may have wished.

While workaholics may gripe, the opposite is also true, with plenty of time at one’s disposal for those who wish to relax, especially during the current scenario with citizens in lockdown as the UAE battles COVID-19.

So, what do you do with free time then? While hobbies and odd jobs done pottering around the house come to mind, those more productive by nature, and ambitious in a professional capacity are hard at work trying to up their skills. Picking up skillsets only aids you to be better at your job and opens up more opportunities to raise your job profile in your current job or in a future workplace should better prospects come your way.

Here are 6 ways to better your skills during the lockdown

  1. Pick up an online course

If you are a white collar worker you are possibly stuck in front of your laptop or computer screen through your work hours at home these days. What better excuse then to log on to some exciting online courses that will help you improve your skillsets and your job profile? Short-duration online courses exist a dime a dozen and some even come for free if you are lucky. Check the best courses and the best deals and make an informed decision as you choose an online course that will act as a catalyst to help you up your professional game.

  1. Start reading faster

Speed reading is an acquired skillset for many, and thing is you can have it too. Reading faster helps at the workplace if you have a gazillion emails to go through, for instance at the start of any given workday. Several tips and tricks exist online on bettering your reading speeds, give it a shot, it’s worth the effort, we think.

  1. Improve communication skills

Regardless of the profession you use, communication, be it verbal or written will be a skillset you will inadvertently have to fall back upon as you navigate your way up the corporate ladder. If you feel you are lagging in this department, take the opportunity and the time to up your communication skills. While several online courses exist, certain key points will help you kickstart the process. Remember, for instance that the ability to listen well is key to the ability to communicate well. Also, take time to respond to queries so your answers are well thought out, lucid and clear.

  1. Improve your planning and scheduling skills

Very gifted are the few who work seamlessly while staying disorganized. If you are among the unlucky majority who depend upon an organized work schedule to get your day’s tasks done, fret not for that is how the world thinks as well. Use the time you have to improve your planning, scheduling of tasks and execution. If you are not already proficient, learn to prioritise your tasks and categorise them according to what requires your urgent attention as opposed to tasks that can be dealt with later and action accordingly. Also see how you can shorten scheduled times on certain tasks so as to create space to take on emergency tasks. You could just become the go to Joe for the office in an exigency, and that is always a good thing.

  1. Improve your focusing power

While there are those who consider meditation to be a gimmick, it’s actually a powerful accessory to help you improve on your powers of concentration and your ability to focus on tasks better. Use your me time to indulge in some meditation then and watch your concentration improve.

  1. Learn a new language

Picking up a new language may be no easy task if you are not a linguist at heart but if you persevere and you have time on your hands, why not test new waters and add a new dialect or a speech code to your skillset? The ability to communicate in different languages is something not just people but organisations appreciate too, and knowing several languages is a big plus if you wish to be hired by a global corporate and choose a foreign posting.

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