In the last post I shared with you the information about one of the metrics I measure each month. It is the number of books I have read. I wrote that in April I finished 6 books. It means that on average I was taking a new book from the shelf every fifth day. To be honest, a few years ago I could not even imagine achieving something even close.
You can think that I know some great ways of finishing books quickly. Do I use speed reading techniques? The answer is no.
Am I unemployed and spend all of my time on reading?
Again no. Actually, I work full time often working overtime. Additionally, I spend most of my off-work time on developing my skills: analysing businesses, managing my investments, attending English classes or training in the gym.
So how did it happen? What is the secret?
In short, I had a plan
In this year, I have decided to read more books. That was one of the things I wanted to improve upon in this year. The effects are very good so far as you have already read. But the plan is not enough.
My plan is SMART
12 books in 2019.
It is easy to measure how many books I have read. I can summarise the state of this goal after each month.
One book per month does not seem to be a lot. The goal was definitely achievable.
Is it worthwhile? For me, definitely. I love the idea of getting the wisdom from the life of successful people compressed into just a few hundred pages.
I read only non-fiction books. I particularly love biographies. Such books broaden the horizons. They expose you to experiences from the different field of expertise. And you never know, when having a problem in the future, this knowledge may help you to connect the dots.
I usually try to apply this knowledge to my life. I do not only get perspective but actually I try out the main message from the book.
As George R.R. Martin, the author best known for his series of epic fantasy novels, which were adapted into the series Game of Thrones said:
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
- Time bound
The whole year 2019.
I use technology to my advantage
Another ingredient in my success in reading is the help of technology. I do not have excuses to not read because I always have my iPhone with me during the day.
I can have Kindle app or Audible app with any book I want. My focus is not on the physical books only. I listen to the audiobooks mostly. The audiobook is a recording of a book read out aloud.
You can even try Audible for free with this link. There is a 30-day free trial. If you do not like this way of consuming books you can cancel without paying anything.
I manage to read while doing other activities
I think it might be difficult to read a physical book while running in the park. To be honest, I haven’t tried it yet. But you can listen to an audiobook while doing some sport activities.
This is my protocol while I am in the gym. I listen to audiobooks also during running, preparing meals or doing chores. It sometimes forces me to do a longer workout because I am interested in hearing the next chapter of the book.
If I am travelling, I usually have a physical book with me. So, I read while commuting to the office or being on a plane.
My great result in April is partially a result of having a few trips in April. You can read about it in this post.
I do not have any social networking apps on my phone. So whenever possible I can just play an audiobook and immerse in the world of books. My tactic is to have a specific and set time for social networking sites. I log to my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts only from my MacBook and I allow myself to do it on Saturday only. I do not visit such sites from my smartphone. I usually spend less than 30 minutes per week on Saturday to see what is happening in the Facebook groups I am interested in. I am not a fan of following what people were eating or scrolling down the cat videos…
Do not be a slave of your devices/habits
I am sure some of you are surprised to read of how much time we can use for reading/listing to books/audiobooks.
Also, having such rules for reading as I have may look like I do not have freedom. I feel quite the opposite. Thanks to strict rules, I have time for what I really love to do, like reading books or listening to audiobooks.