A few days ago Tiago Forte tweeted that learning is the ultimate form of procrastination:
I had some mixed feelings about this, especially since 5 days earlier I was gifted with an amazing complimentary CliftonStrengths coaching session (If you’ve never done the assessment, it’s a good one.)
The CliftonStrengths themes are essentially your talent DNA, explaining the ways you most naturally think, feel and behave. There are 34 Strengths in which you’re ranked.
The idea behind CliftonStrengths is that Talent x Investment = Strength.
Talent: a natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving
Investment: time spent practicing, developing your skills and building your knowledge base
Strength: the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance
When you’re playing to—and honing—your strengths, you’re going to perform better, and be more engaged in your life and work.
So I retook the assessment and was excited to get some more insight from a coach about how to leverage my strengths in my work and life.
Welp. It turns out my number one strength?
What the heck does it even mean to have a strength of learner?
Am I doomed to a life of procrastination??
Learning isn’t inherently bad just because many use it as a form of procrastination.
Here’s what the assessment says about my Learner Strength:
You have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. The process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites you.
- Use your passion for learning to add value to your own and others’ lives.
- Respect your desire to learn. Take advantage of educational opportunities in your community or at work. Discipline yourself to sign up for at least one new course or class each year.
- You love to learn, and you intuitively know how you learn best. Your natural ability to pick up and absorb information quickly and to challenge yourself to continually learn more keeps you on the cutting edge.
The Learner blind spot:
You love the process of learning so much that the outcome might not matter to you. Be careful not to let the process of knowledge acquisition get in the way of your results and productivity.
It’s not simply that the act of learning itself is procrastination.
We simply need to be mindful that our learning isn’t a coping mechanism for self doubt and imposter complex.
This is what I believe Tiago was talking about: The dangerous line when learning becomes an excuse not to take action.
I’m just not ready yet.
Once I know X, then I can do Y.
Who am I to teach/write/share X?
Not unlike like its cousins: procrasti-planning and procrasti-baking.
As a fellow course creator, Tiago depends on learners consuming his content and putting that learning into action.
Shifting into Action
A core principle of learning is Interaction over Consumption. Action over Information.
“Write to learn.” Don’t learn then write.
Learn BY writing. Learn by creating, and learn by shipping.
Luckily the Achiever strength is also in my top 5, which keeps me taking action based on what I’m learning.
For me, the act of learning is joyful, but it hasn’t stopped me from relentlessly creating and shipping over the past 6 months.
All of this while learning about email marketing, online course launching, workflow + productivity, live-streaming, houseplant care, permaculture gardening, and team-building.
I’m enlisting support where I need it, and I’m loving what I’m learning along the way. I know I’m not using learning as a crutch to play small or avoid the hard work.
It’s clear that my obsession and desire to always be learning isn’t hampering my creation muscle.
Are you learning to procrastinate, or learning to activate?
If you are serious about taking action and want to launch an online course this year, you should definitely check out this virtual conference: Icons of Online Courses by Mariah Coz. I’ll be doing a guest panel session on Mindset Breakthroughs with Megan Minns and Elizabeth Goddard. It’s only $19. Seriously.
I believe you are more ready than you think to begin teaching what you know. You don’t even have to be the best in your industry, you just have to be willing to do the work.
I’ve been in Mariah’s Accelerator program since late August, and it’s a big part of why I have felt so activated and productive these past 6 months.
You can learn AND do. It doesn’t have to be one or the other!
If you’re ready to take action, register for the event, and launch your damn course already!