Books! I think it’s no secret by now, I love to read. Safe to say, I’m a bookworm!
In fact, I truly believe nothing has helped me more in my business than my self-education. There is something so powerful with learning from the greats of the industry within the pages of a good book.
This blog is not only about being better at sunset than you were at sunrise, but it’s also about the power of self-education. And our weapons of choice are books!
So you’ve heard it a million times before…Leaders are readers and readers are leaders. We know we NEED to be reading more but did you know the majority of adults, once they are done college, rarely pick up another book in their lifetime.
Most folks say things like “I have no time” or “I’m too busy”…Yet they seem to find time to watch re-runs of the Walking Dead each week.
So here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the years, to MAKE TIME for reading and make it a daily habit that you will enjoy for years to come…Oh yeah, and you’ll become a much bigger bookworm in the process;
1. Find Your ‘Happy Place’ – Sometimes we stick a book beside our bed before we get ready to sleep. Read a page or two and then drift off. I have found that the best way to get into a book is to be in my ‘dedicated reading place‘. A spot in my house where I can focus on the book I’m diving into and actually dive into it. This is so important for me because I have found that the more focused I am, the more I retain. And I’m not drifting off into la-la land. My dedicated reading spot is in my office, on a chair, with my feet up, surrounded by my library with a few ‘tools’ at hand…I’ll describe those later…
(Jon’s Happy Place…This really makes me happy, you have no idea lol)
2. Be Intentional About Your Reading – This is critical. It’s no good to find a nice spot in your house to sit down and read when you can’t find the time. And we have excuses coming at us from all directions, trying to STOP us from making time to read. So we must be intentional about it. Literally, block at least 30 minutes a day to sit down, in your ‘happy place’ and get to reading. But YOU must follow through. Use the concepts found in The One Thing to develop an intentional habit for daily reading. It works!
3. Keep A Journal – This is something I learned from John C. Maxwell in his books. He teaches that he journals and writes down important messages and quotes from the books while when he’s reading. This is important on two fronts. One, you retain more information from the experience. It allows you to revisit the key ideas from the book and the practice of writing it down helps cement it into our minds. But the second point, it’s a more engaging experience. You will not be drifting off into space while you are taking notes. You are learning by reading AND writing when you use a journal. (Side note – I also use Evernote from time to time, it’s a free app that allows for awesome note taking. So instead of ‘writing’ I sometimes type what I want to remember or take a picture of the paragraph / quote in the book)
4. Keep A List – O.K. this is advice I am writing down because I need to practice what I preach. In my addiction to reading, I’ve amassed quite a collection of books…Yet to be read. Book work problems for sure. But this trick has helped me plan my reading week. With the Book Club on the blog, I’ve been able to plan my reading in 2 week increments. I have the book I will be studying, but I also have the book I will be reading on the weekends as well. So I am literally, planning my reading week in advance. This helps. It keeps me on schedule, allows me to fully engage with each book I read and keeps me focused. Try it…This is an example of my list, so I have this weekend and next weekend planned but also the book I will be reading for the next 2 weeks as well:
5. Take Part In The Plus 1 Book Club – Yeah this is a little self serving 😉 Just kidding in all honesty, we still have no idea where this book club is headed. However, if the feedback is any indication, we’re onto something very rewarding for everyone. Nothing helps you ‘understand’ a book more than group study and with our little book club here, we hope to achieve some awesome things. Remember, we’re diving into ‘Start With Why by Simon Sinek‘ this upcoming week….Dive in and let’s learn together! How do you get involved with the club? Simple, join our Facebook group here and take part in the discussions we have every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!