Using Learning Design to Help Combat Busyness

We’re all so busy, right? Do you encounter anyone in today’s world who admits to having free time? It’s almost like you’re shunned if you do. Somehow busyness has become not just a way of life, but a badge of honor!

There are all kinds of studies that tell us to refrain from multitasking. Eric Barker, a blogger, reports that “when people do two cognitive tasks at once, their cognitive capacity can drop from that of a Harvard MBA to that of an 8-year-old.” I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking to lower my intelligence capacity. But if you’re anything like me, it’s incredibly difficult not to fall prey to this mentality.

If this is the mindset prevalent in corporate America, how do we as instructional designers expect anyone to truly invest time in learning? The key is not only giving people tools they can access when they need it, but making sure the learning is:

  • Fast, with at-your-fingertips support
  • Specific, tactile training and not high concept or too general
  • Bite-sized, with easily digestible and actionable information

After all, people WANT to learn but simply lack TIME and READY ACCESS to information and training that could help them perform better on the job. You may have heard the term “microlibrary.” In my world, this concept is a reality. It allows us to create various types of learning assets to allow people to focus on enhancing skills in conjunction with the 50 million other responsibilities they have. Here are a few examples of assets we’re currently building:

  • A short 3-minute podcast on how best to prioritize prospective customers that includes a job aid
  • An activity to use as part of a department meeting to practice tailoring C-level sales conversations
  • A 5-minute eLearning that provides a simple strategy for managing time

Within all of these learning assets, the key is to focus learning on one objective to narrow the focus. Remember that the whole purpose is to create fast, specific, and bite-sized learning making it feasible for learners to master in the time they are able to allot.

Elise Greene Margol

About Elise Greene Margol

Elise Greene Margol is the Director of Instructional Design at Accelerated Business Results. She has a wealth of experience in the learning arena that crosses over different industries and inside and outside learning departments. She has created numerous learning programs for client-facing audiences and has a knack for truly understanding their needs and delivering on them. Her greatest strengths are her attention to detail and the ability to take complex material and make it easy for learners to understand and apply to the issues that they are facing. Her learning programs are known for their real-world application and often include storyboards, leader and participant guides, leader slides, job aids, and other handouts. She has a Master of Science in Human Resource Development, Georgia State University; Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Internal Studies, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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