You’re busy. I’m busy. We’re all busy. Meetings, projects, deadlines and dumpster fires take up every single second of the day. But should they? Is that where we find fulfillment? Do we see ourselves ten years down the road being happy that we simply were the busiest we could be? I submit that being busy gives us a false sense of importance, a badge of honor we shouldn’t seek.
There is something that each of us can do to break the tyranny of the busy, read. We should be reading for fun, for professional growth, for the simple joy of learning. We should be expanding our minds so that we can develop as the leaders and experts that our practices need us to be.
Let me recommend a few things that can help get you into a solid habit of reading and improve the efficacy of how you do so.
Don’t just make time to read, make the best time. If reading is the priority that it should be, you should sell yourself your best 20 minutes to read. Don’t do it when your distracted or tired. Do it when your focused and rested.
Reflect on what you’ve read. Share high points with peers. Compare insights from one book against those of another on the same topic. Do something to make what you’ve read more meaningful. “To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” – Edmond Burke
Learn about reading. There are so many ways to read better. Recently I’ve been running with a few ideas from an interesting person named Shane Parrish. He runs a learning community named Farnam Street and they share lots of information on things like mental models, learning and, of course, reading. Take a look, it’s a fun way to improve on something you thought you had already perfected.
There are few things that can stimulate our growth and development more than the written word. Pick up a book, expand your mind and share your brightest thoughts with the rest of us! “If you can read and don’t, you’re dumb.” – Malcom Forbes