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The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 28, 2021 • Issue 21:06:02


Keep learning to stay in the game

In the continually changing payments industry, it's essential to respond quickly and appropriately to shifting conditions. This requires updating skills and knowledge regularly so that instead of being dragged into new ventures, we take charge and create them.

Useful information abounds, so much so that it can be difficult to discern what is most important for success. One approach that might seem counterintuitive is to work some idleness into each day. For a short time, stop watching, reading or listening to your favorite media sources, so your brain can process what you've already taken in and not become overloaded.

Breaks are essential

"Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets," essayist Tim Kreider wrote in a 2102 article for The New York Times. "The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration—it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done."

Beyond working in idle time, it's also helpful to break up your study and work times into 25-minute blocks with five-minute stretch breaks in between. For more information about working this way, see Francesco Cirillo's Work Smarter, Not Harder website, https://francescocirillo.com/products/the-pomodoro-technique.

Then, it's a matter of getting the most out of those 25-minute blocks. The most obvious thing is to make your environment as distraction free as possible. This may be as simple as closing your office door or putting on earphones when you're watching a presentation or listening to an audiobook.

Taking notes increases retention

When reading articles or books, even in a quiet location, it can be difficult to keep your mind from straying. Here are steps that will help you stay focused and maximize retention:

  1. Skim the text to get a sense of the central ideas and main points being conveyed.
  2. Jot down any questions that come to mind after skimming and before you read the text in detail.
  3. Read as you normally would now, but pause to take notes as you go. You may find answers to the questions you've already jotted down, form new questions or gain new insights you want to remember.
  4. Immediately after reading, write down the essential points you can recall. Relax, this isn't a test. Just think about what stood out and consider why certain concepts captured your attention.
  5. Now, review your notes, and then read the text again. Add to your notes as your understanding and grasp of the material grows.

In addition, steps 3 through 5 can be adapted easily to video and audio instruction materials.

Another helpful action is to share what you're learning with peers who are also committed to ongoing learning. Explaining what you've learned to others helps you understand it better yourself, and the exchange of ideas often proves invaluable to professional development—something that will pay benefits for years to come. end of article

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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