Thanks to Brooke Cagle for the image!

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Things move fast. The world is always changing. People are always coming up with ideas and sharing new perspectives.

When you go heads down at work, you might be churning out results, but you might also be losing sight of these developments or missing out on unique opportunities. 

This is why keeping up with the latest and greatest in your industry should be an integral part of your work. 

Easy to say, right? The truth is, it feels like you never have enough bandwidth or it’s exhausting or you read something and forget it soon after because you’re doing too much already.  

Paradoxically, by stepping away from your daily grind and focusing on learning something new, you’re actually helping yourself. For one, you’re more likely to find a surge of energy, a novel insight—a spark of inspiration! And as you share your learnings with others, you may spark their inspiration and even forge new partnerships or friendships. 

This is a win for everyone and for your career! 

By the by, if you find that learning new things in your industry is not sparking your inspiration, consider whether you’re doing work that’s right for you.

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Your ‘staying sharp’ tools

Here is a master checklist that lays out 5 methods for staying sharp on industry developments. The checklist explains step-by-step how to effectively:

  1. Block out time on your calendar for learning
  2. Take notes you can easily reference and help you internalize your learnings
  3. Double-task — in this case, listen to informative podcasts while going for a walk
  4. Schedule time to meet with subject matter experts
  5. Set up a buddy program for professional learning and growth

I’ve also created templates you can copy (and customize) for your own use that will help implement some of the activities in the checklist (here and here).

Take what works for you and leave the rest! 

Inspiration activators: Learning, fresh perspectives, agency, self-investment, creating community

Inspiration enemies thwarted: Daily grind, boredom, self-neglect

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Originally posted on, where you can also view previews of the documents linked above.