Your employer has great interest in that you and your colleague master Microsoft 365, as it leads to better results and increased productivity on the organisational level. The common method for getting the individual there is to provide training in the form of trainer-led courses on how the individual apps function and where to click to perform an action. This has shown not to be very effective for most information workers in accomplishing the necessary shifts in behaviours and mindset.
If you really want to achieve a mastery of Microsoft 365 that is stable, sustainable, flexible, adaptable, and that provides you value for yourself in the form of productivity and well-being, you need to find other methods that work for you.
Certainly, the focus on the technology needs to be there. But it should only be some 20-25%. The rest of your attention ought to be on forming new habits, understanding the nature of your information, setting the intention for your learning, finding out what your needs are (what you are trying to accomplish in your work), and remove all the obstacles that arise on the learning journey (a lot of them will be emotional).
You might wonder how on earth you would be able to keep all these aspects going at the same time? “Let me just focus on learning the technology and I’m sure that this will take me where I ought to go…”. A lot of people are waking up from such an attitude, as they have come to realize that it is actually not taking them to where they need to go.
Sure, focusing on the technology does give you a sense of control and structure, but staying in the bubble of believing that this approach will magically take you to a place where you are able to use the technology in a flexible, adaptive, relaxed way that allows for your creativity to flow, for you to switch off work when you are off duty, and for you to be able to use your higher capacities as a human being (e.g. intuition and empathy) is somewhat naïve in the 2020:s.
So what can you do?
There are a few key elements that I have observed from having worked with a number of clients throughout the years.
- A certain sense of self-leadership (the ability to set a vision for yourself, take responsibility for your own learning, take responsibility of your own needs, etc.)
- Having the support of like-minded people (for moral support, for help with removing obstacles on the path, for getting inspiration by listening to others’ journeys)
- Understanding of how the human brain forms habits and the application of that knowledge
- An understanding of your information and how you can make it work for you
An equal mix of the above is needed to be able to sustain a journey towards mastery of Microsoft 365.