With more demands on our time now than ever before, juggling work and personal lives can mean self-development is often pushed down the never ending to do list. You might think that emerging new technology would enable us to have more time on our hands, but often the opposite is true. It is increasingly difficult to switch off with constant distractions from social media and mobile devices.

Self-development is defined by Collins English Dictionary as "the state or process of improving or developing oneself" and can take many forms such as training, coaching and mindfulness.

The benefits of self-development are numerous for both individuals and employers, with increased self-awareness, motivation and productivity topping my list.

Here at Higher Futures, we are finding now more than ever that people want to access to learning to fit in around their daily lives. Whilst attending a course or workshop is still a very attractive way of learning, offering the added benefit of networking and learning from peers, there is a massive increase in demand for blended learning.

Blended learning involves a range of methods, often including some face to face content such as attending a course, some research and reading and online content.

We have partnered with Future Learn, which offers online access to university delivered, free, bite-sized courses. The course catalogue features content from UK and International universities such as Birmingham University, University of Reading and New York Institute of Finance.

I tried out the Mindfulness for wellbeing and performance course delivered by Monash University. It took place over a four-week period, with a mix of videos, reading materials and online quizzes. Learners are encouraged to contribute to discussions and I particularly liked how the tutors referred to themes which arose in the discussion forum in their weekly summary.

Trying these short taster courses certainly seems to have whet my appetite for continuing to learn and demonstrates that even the most time-starved of individuals can benefit!