Busy? Here are 5 ways you can keep on learning

Skip to:

For most of us, the first few days and weeks upon landing in Manitoba are spent on attending seminars, workshops and lectures. We do this to improve our language skills, know how to get a job, or find resources for everyday life. However, once employed, many of us stop going to skills trainings. This is understandable, because while we do want to learn, we are just too busy to attend them.

If this describes you, the following tips will help you make time for learning opportunities. These strategies can maximize the limited time you have:

  1. Take advantage of workplace seminars

    Professional development is always encouraged in workplaces in Manitoba. Aside from formal academic programs, many sponsor short courses, talks, seminars and symposia for their employees to motivate and sustain productivity. The best part is that they give time off for employees to attend such programs. To find out if your workplace has them, make it a habit to check your office bulletin board, newsletter, or the Human Resources Department for announcements. You can also discuss outside trainings that you are interested in with your supervisor or manager. You’ll even get extra points for initiative and willingness to improve in your job.

  2. Build your PLN

    PLN stands for Personal (or Professional) Learning Network. Nowadays, social media is used to connect with others and build PLNs. Many professionals share links to interesting features, news and articles that could help you improve your work, or learn new skills on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. You simply need to connect, like or follow them. Want to know more about PLNs and how to build your own? Then read, What’s a PLN and why do you need it?

    Aside from building a PLN, you can also allot some time reading online materials. You can tailor your readings based on your profession, interest or need. To save time, you can have materials curated for you by subscribing to Pinterest, trade newsletters or magazines. These sites can email daily or monthly updates to you, usually free of charge. To start you off, you can try subscribing to LinkedIn Pulse or CBC News Canada (current events). This will be good for your early morning reading while commuting to work, or perhaps an hour before you go to bed.

  3. Subscribe to TED Talks

    TED Talks is an organization that hosts conferences on various themes. It features experts who deliver lectures, each running for 18 minutes or less. Initially, the talks delved on technology, entertainment and design (TED), but have now encompassed almost all topics, delivered in more than 100 languages. You can go to the site to view video lectures from experts talking about anything from entertainment to global issues, or subscribe and get a recommended talk each day (via email). This way, you get to spend less than 20 minutes a day learning about something new. That’s can be productive way to spend part of your lunch break.

    Here’s a TED Talk on “How to believe in yourself” by Jim Cathcart to get you started:

  4. Free seminars for newcomers

    There are so many free programs for newcomers in Manitoba. There are workshops and seminars that run for several hours or for several weeks. These can take a lot of your time, but many are held in the evenings or on weekends. Some also offer child-minding services to help you participate more fully. You can check MOSAIC newcomer family resource network for English classes with child care and Family Programs (parenting, health care, etc.) or the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg’s English as a Second Language Program. Meanwhile, Enhanced English Skills for Employment (EESE) offers online evening trainings that hone your business communication skills.

    There are many other programs available out there for you. To know about them, connect with us through our Facebook page or check with immigrant serving organizations.

  5. Take a MOOC

    A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is a program you can attend at your convenience, delivered over the internet. Various organizations, including major universities, offer MOOCs on various topics. Many are for free but certificate courses may require a fee. The great thing about them is that you don’t have to spend time travelling, or dressing up. You also get to read materials, watch videos on your free time, and ask questions anytime online.

    It’s easy to look for MOOCs (try Class central, or Google Career Certificates). However, you have to be disciplined and self-directed to be able to get the best out of them. Read the article 4 steps to becoming a self-directed learner and How to create a self-directed learning plan for some helpful tips.

Back to top


Busy? Here are 5 ways you can keep on learning

Back to top

We'd love to hear from you!

Please login to tell us what you think.

Related Learning Activities

Become an Autonomous Language Learner (B-ALL)

2 chat bubbles with maple leaves in them

Course description Abbreviated as B-ALL, Become an Autonomous Language Learner is a five-unit course with English Online Inc. The course… Read more »

iEnglish Activities

Article thumbnail fallback

iEnglish is a set of resources and videos to give learners the tools they need to take more ownership for… Read more »

Back to top

CC BY-NC-SAText of this page is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA, unless otherwise marked. Please attribute to English Online Inc. and link back to this page where possible. For images and videos, check the source for licensing information.