What would becoming more resourceful make possible for you in your career or business? How much would you value the ability to give the right answer, insight or word at just the right moment? How would that expand your business or catapult your career?
One of the best skills you can develop is to become the most resourceful person you know. To become resourceful you must be able to “recall” what you’ve learned in a moment’s notice. I’ll be sharing a more detailed system you can use in future posts, but the first step is to become “well-read.”
Readers are Leaders, Leaders are Readers
I first heard this concept in college. Although I wasn’t sure about the direction of my life, I knew I wanted to be a leader. Leaders are resourceful. Yet, many of us don’t spend the time needed to become resourceful individuals. We see reading as only a leisure activity or it’s something people who are not busy do. But we are mistaken. Growth comes from reading books and to stay a leader we must continue to grow.
How to Read One Book a Week
The point of sharing this with you is not for you to only consume more information. In a future post, I’ll be sharing a reading system I’ve been using to not only read more books but also recall what I’m reading. I know there are those who say you are better off to read only two to three books a year and implement them then to read a bunch of books that you can’t remember.
While this sounds great, I’m not willing to stake a year’s worth of effort and professional growth on only the two or three books that I randomly select. I would rather learn and recall the very best from many books. Here’s how to read a non-fiction book a week and not be overwhelmed.
- Decide to focus on only one book for the week – While this may go without saying, it’s an important discipline to have. If you already consider yourself to be a reader, you probably have a handful of books you are reading at any given time. Instead of a scattered approach, have a goal of only reading the book you select for the week.
- Preview the contents of the book – The first thing I do whether it is a physical book or a Kindle book is preview the entire book and its table of contents. You can usually tell where the good stuff is when you preview the book. It also gives you a general feel and outline for where you are going.
- Look for down time in your day – We all have more down time during the day than we think. By anticipating these moments you can dive into your book and get some reading done. Consider cutting out TV time. Many of us mindlessly watch several hours of television a day without realizing it. Sometimes it just feels right to turn off the TV and open up a book instead. It’s amazing how much reading you can get done in just 30 minutes a day.
- Be willing to skim certain chapters – I don’t read every word of each book. I instead look for the essence of each chapter. Some people refer to this as speed reading, I define it as the skill to find the gold in each chapter. This is a skill you develop the more you read. Look for great quotes, bulleted lists, and important sub-points.
- Highlight and index what you are learning – I have two detailed posts on how to easily index the books you are reading (for physical books click here and for Kindle books click here). The habit of indexing the best from each book will come in handy later as you develop your book review system.
- Be willing to quit a book when you’ve got what you need – Some books I stop reading before I reach the end of the book. I can usually tell when I’ve gotten the essence of the book. be willing to call it quits when you’ve gotten what you want from the book.
Is it possible to read one book per week? Absolutely! I’ve been doing it for several months now and it is possible. The bottom line to reading a book a week is in how you value it. If you see it as absolutely essential to your personal and professional growth, you will figure out a way to get it done.