5 tips on how you can integrate microlearning into your everyday life

Professional and personal growth through lifelong learning

New Work Jan 19, 2024

The world of work is changing rapidly and there often is not much time for long learning sessions between professional and private demands. Continuous professional development – in other words, lifelong learning – is an important requirement for keeping our knowledge and skills up to date. In fact, employees who keep learning consistently are also crucial for business success. They contribute new skills and drive innovation.

Henkel supports its employees with the help of learning experts and through a wide range of e-learning programs, face-to-face, online and hybrid training courses as well as the Global Learning Festival, which took place for the third time in October 2023.

Self-determination and individuality in the learning process are particularly important for the next generation entering the world of work. Choosing the subject, the time, and the place of learning according to personal preferences is highly valued by them. This is where microlearning comes in – a New Work method that makes it easy to integrate small learning sessions into everyday life. Microlearning is not only time-efficient, as a session usually does not last longer than 20 minutes, but also has the advantage that one can complete thematically closed units in one setting.

We have put together five tips on how to easily integrate microlearning into everyday life.

Tip #1: Use existing time slots

A man sits in front of his computer and puts on headphones.

Instead of letting breaks pass by unused, turn them into productive mini learning units. Rather than scrolling through Instagram in the waiting room, watch a short educational video or repeat vocabulary. Getting from one place to another, for example on your daily commute, are also times that you can use to listen to a podcast. This not only helps you to acquire new knowledge, but also makes you feel productive. The key is therefore to fit small learning units into existing time slots, or to replace pastimes with meaningful learning.

Tip #2: Integrate learning sessions into your routine

A woman sits at her desk at home and looks at documents.

However, don't just use breaks, but incorporate small learning sequences into your routine by scheduling set times for learning. For example, this could be the ten minutes before going to bed or the first ten minutes after waking up – learning at this time may also have a positive effect on your memory. By integrating learning units into your daily routine, learning becomes a firm habit.

Tip #3: Learn through playing with apps

Two women stand next to each other laughing with their mobile phones in their hands.

Modern learning apps have made microlearning even more accessible and attractive, especially by using gamification elements. The apps utilize appealing design and various media formats such as images, text, video, and interactive elements to create a dynamic and entertaining learning environment. Gamified learning relies on the natural "play instinct" of users as well as fictitious competitive systems. Quizzes, scoring systems and rankings challenge and motivate learners. Small successes constantly trigger dopamine, which drives users to continue playing and learning.

Tip #4: Teach each other

A woman explains something to another woman and shows her a presentation on her tablet

Organize short learning sessions with friends, colleagues or your team to present valuable information to one another – this can be in the form of reoccurring learning meetings or even learning lunches. Each of you or a selected person prepares a topic, learns about it on their own and presents it in a comprehensible way that is easy to understand – a win-win situation. Afterwards, you can discuss about what you have just learned and perhaps even try to apply it in an example exercise. This method not only creates a stimulating environment in which you benefit from one another, but also promotes understanding through a change of perspective. Mutual accountability motivates people to actively participate in the learning process and ensure that the topics presented are clear and understandable.

Tip #5: Use social media for learning

A person holds their smartphone in their hand and uses social media.

Social media can be more than a waste of valuable time. When consumed in meaningful ways, it can be used effectively for microlearning. Short, interesting videos on platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn or TikTok concisely summarize the most important information, so that you may constantly receive small learning impulses – sometimes even without being aware of it. This makes social media a good resource for microlearning. To use the platforms effectively for learning, it is best to follow content creators who provide relevant topics from trustworthy sources.

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