How to Avoid Falling Behind on Your Continuing Education

Whether you’re a nurse, real estate agent, or lawyer, continuing education is a requirement in order to stay certified and at the top of your game. But are you getting the most possible value out of these courses?

The Problem of Procrastination

Continuing education isn’t something that’s optional. Your accreditation (and career) depends on it. The problem is that we often treat it as such. And if you don’t create a proactive plan to keep you focused on the larger task at hand, you’ll risk falling behind on your continuing education and compromising your livelihood.

In most cases, falling behind on continuing education can be traced back to one culprit: procrastination. You don’t see continuing education as fun or impactful, so you push it further and further down your list of priorities. Eventually, this leads you to forget about it altogether (until you have just a few days remaining to complete it).

The problem is that procrastination is rooted in a lie. While it might not be the most fun or interesting thing on your weekly agenda, it’s arguably the most important. Continuing education empowers you with the knowledge and skills you need to perform better in your job. And when you perform better, you serve clients, customers, or patients better. This leads to higher pay, better career options, and increased professional stability.

So while you may have a penchant for procrastination, it’s time to reframe continuing education and view it through the lens of important and worthwhile.

4 Tips to Avoid Falling Behind

When you fall behind on continuing education, a compounding effect typically ensues. You become frustrated by the fact that you’re behind, which detracts focus from the task at hand and causes you to fall even further behind. But by getting ahead and staying on top of things, you can put yourself in a position to be successful in the future.

Here are some useful tips to help you avoid falling behind on your continuing education:


  • Consider the Real Need


It’s tempting to look at continuing education as a bureaucratic checkmark or necessary evil. But rather than taking a pessimistic view that frames it as something that has to be survived, choose to adopt a more positive mindset.

The reality is that continuing education exists for a reason. If you’re in healthcare, you aren’t meeting a board requirement – you’re equipping yourself to save lives. If you’re a lawyer, you aren’t appeasing the bar – you’re empowering yourself to better serve your clients so that they can receive maximum protection under the law.

Do you see how simply reframing things to consider the actual need makes continuing education feel more empowering? This will motivate you to take a more proactive approach.


  • Choose the Right Continuing Education Provider


Want to set yourself up for success? Choose to work with a continuing education that’s focused and specialized.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re a respiratory therapist. While you have plenty of continuing education options to choose from, it’s a good idea to go with a niche provider who specializes in your area of expertise, rather than a generalist that offers every type of continuing education under the sun. Last Minute CEU’s is a good example. Their entire focus is on continuing education for respiratory therapists. This allows them to offer a better curriculum, superior support, and tailored options that fit the student’s needs and schedule.


  • Create a Schedule


The key to finishing and passing your continuing education courses in a timely manner is to do a little bit at a time. It’s much easier to tackle a course with 30 minutes of studying per day for a month than to cram in 15 or 20 hours of studying in a single weekend. Slow and steady wins the race!



  • Team Up With Your Peers


There’s power in numbers. Stay motivated by teaming up with your peers and colleagues. Take a course together and hold each other accountable. (You’ll find it easier to stay focused when you’re part of a larger group that’s moving toward a collective mission.)

Stay Ahead with Your Continuing Education

Continuing education isn’t typically as difficult or intimidating as we make it out to be. By being more proactive, you can avoid so much of the frustration that typically stems from falling behind. Use the tips outlined in this article to create a forward-thinking plan that moves you to action.

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