You may understand why lifelong learning is a great idea, but still wonder how in the world you are going to fit it into your already too busy schedule. I get it. Adding more to your to do list each day might feel overwhelming.

But, like physical exercise, continued mental exercise is important for your emotional well being, as well as offering a higher quality of life. You don’t have to put lifelong learning off because you are busy. Try these tactics to make it a priority in your life.

Schedule It In

Just like with other important events, you will need to schedule learning into your life. If you are like most people, if you don’t put it in your calendar or schedule each week, it will get pushed out by other things. Invest in yourself by scheduling time for learning each week.

Avoid Overwhelm

Learning is important, but there’s nothing saying you have to learn something everyday! Believing this could end up making you give up the whole idea. Start by scheduling learning into one day each week. Maybe on the weekend is better for you or maybe during an evening that tends to be less hectic at home. Once you get accustomed to once a week, if you want to add more, go for it!

Make It Family Time

What better way to set a good example for how important learning is to your children than by showing them that you still enjoy learning? You can make your scheduled learning time a family affair by instituting reading time each week. Each family member can choose a book they want to read and you can sit quietly and read together. You could even take it to the next level and share what you learned afterwards.

Make It Informal

Remember, learning doesn’t equal education in the formal sense that we usually think of. You don’t need to take a class at an institution of higher learning to learn a new skill or a new concept. Read a book, listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos. Take up a new (or old) hobby or learn to fix your ice maker. Read about politics or a time in history that fascinates you. You don’t have to attend classes to learn.

Replace Other Activities

Most of us, if we are honest, have “down time” that could be put to better use. Do you spend several hours each night in front of the TV or surfing the Net? How about the time you spend on social media? Decide to use some of those evenings each week learning something new instead. You’ll be glad you did! And the more you learn, the more you will want to learn!