Working a full time job takes at least 40 hours a week and often longer. As a result, many professionals get to a point in their career where they stop learning. Not because they want to necessarily, but because there’s only so much time in the day. Sound familiar?

You might not be able to add hours to the day, but there are things you can do to hone your professional skills, even if your schedule is already packed. Keep reading for a list of easy and actionable suggestions.

1.) Take an online course during your lunch break. Lunch looks a lot different now that many of us are working from home. If you’re going to be watching Youtube or reading the news anyway, why not fill the time with something productive? Online platforms like Coursera, Skillshare, and LinkedIn all offer classes in a variety of topics at very affordable prices.

2.) Crack into a good book. When was the last time you sat down and read a book? Months? Years? Instead of doom scrolling on your smartphone before tucking in for the night read something that applies to your industry. If you’re a marketer, check out “Building a Story Brand” by Donald Miller. If you’re in finance, pick up “Common Sense on Mutal Funds” by John C. Bogle. If you’re still unsure where to begin, Google “best books for (whatever your profession is)” –– your sure to find something that’s right up your alley.

3.) Join an online community. Did you know that the average American spends two hours and three minutes a day on social media? What if you spent that time collaborating with other professionals in your field, instead of commenting on your friends’ status updates or posting cat memes? There are hundreds of free communities on LinkedIn and Facebook specifically tailored to different professions. After joining, you can ask questions, start conversations, and expand your professional network.

4.) Familiarize yourself with the latest industry software. Software programs are constantly changing, regardless of industry. Staying abreast of what’s currently popular (and learning how to use it) can help you stand out from the crowd, especially when looking for a new position. One program that can benefit anyone is Salesforce. This customer relationship management platform makes it easy for professionals to connect from anywhere, making it easy to keep clients happy.

Do you have any additional tips for honing your professional skills while working full time? If so, visit our Facebook page and leave a comment. We’d love to hear your thoughts!