Are You Reading More Than the Average Professional?
Three Things You Need To Find with Reading
I’m absolutely amazed at one thing I find over and over with professionals. You would think because of their education this would happen more often but it simply rarely happens.
And the excuses. Oh, the excuses! They sound like a kid who didn’t get their homework done. To them, they sound valid but to the teacher, simply unrealistic and weak.
Maybe it’s the busyness of life. But we’re all busy.
Most professionals simply don’t read anymore. I’m not talking about emails, texts, presentations, and words on social media or tv.
I mean a good old fashioned book, ebook, or a document with substance.
There are two things that usually surprise people about me (210 lb guy into nutrition and sports)
1. I play the piano (college minor degree)
2. I absolutely love to read
It goes to show that you just never know when you’ll come across a reader. Anyone can do it. Even a health-conscious sports guy.
This post isn’t discussing the value in reading. That should be a given. My angle is how to make it happen if it’s not a regular and consistent part of your routine.
But how? Life is so busy.
Here are three things you need to find with reading…
1. FIND the TIME
As educated as most professionals are, we still fall for the belief of these four words, “when I have time”.
Has it ever happened? We fill our time with the things that matter to us. There is never extra. (imagine that)
We simply need to find time to read. It’s there. You just have to look at the rhythm of your life and make wise decisions.
I really didn’t start reading until ironically AFTER college. My first job had the team read one book a month and discuss it. I found myself needing to be forced to read but it ultimately created a hunger for reading.
After four years at this job and this monthly rhythm, I was hooked. There’s rarely a day that goes by that I don’t take at least a few minutes to read. Most of the time it’s a minimum of 30 minutes and often twice a day.
James Clear writes a great post on How I Read More: The Simple System I’m Using to Read 30+ Books a Year.
So, here are some suggestions:
- If you drive more than just a few minutes, start listening and turning your vehicle into a mobile classroom. Use audiobooks as your means of using your time wisely. (check out: Audible)
- Choose a realistic amount of time to get started. Pick just 10 minutes and schedule the time so it’s not something you “hope” to get to within your day.
- Look for the most ideal time in your day that you would enjoy this few minutes to read. I listen to an audiobook in my morning 30 minute run or bike time then 30 minutes in the evening after the kids go to bed and before the tv comes on every night. (note: usually two different books and subjects)
The point is make it a priority to find the time, just 10 minutes of time to implement this new habit.
2. FIND the SUBJECT
I’ve found that one of the biggest reasons people stopped reading beyond not having time is not finding something they like to read.
After you’ve found the time, you now need to find the subject you like to read. Fiction or nonfiction? History? Biographies? There are SO many options.
I regularly search for new books in two ways:
- Barnes-N-Noble – nothing beats walking into a bookstore with all of the subjects right there in front of you and a ton of books right there to peak my interest. I’ll find the sections that interest me the most (Business / Leadership / Health / Christian Growth / Self-Improvement) then get out my phone and take pictures of the covers.I usually grab about a half dozen books, find a chair, put my headphones on, and find the ones that really interest me. I then search my local public library’s vast database and often find most of the books there. The ones I really like, I buy off Amazon in print or ebook.
- iTunes / Amazon – I also look at the book section online to see what’s new. iBooks or the Kindle store on Amazon will not only have new options but also tracks my clicks and interests. (kinda cool and spooky)
Once you find the subject, you’ll be completely amazed at how many options you’ll have in a matter of minutes. I absolutely love searching for new books. Crazy, huh?!
3. FIND the GROWTH
We find time for the things that matter most to us. And if we could find the subjects that already interest us, we cannot help but find the growth. It’s a natural by-product.
Do you realize that a subject you enjoy can lead to a stress release by escaping for a few minutes into a book? Added bonus at no additional charge.
It can also lead to confidence. You have something of value to add.
I love usually being the most read person in the room. I’m confident in referencing something I’ve read and not offering a mere opinion only. This comes from growth.
Nothing beats a rare conversation that switches from mere weather, jobs, and sports to what you’re learning from reading. How would you do? Could you contribute or would you have to quote tv or movie lines instead?
Growth really increases when you begin reviewing and tracking what you’ve been reading. There’s nobody better than Jonathan Milligan in this area. He’s written on how he daily, weekly, and monthly reviews his past books and how he does it. Love this process! Check out these awesome posts:
And if you really want a challenge…
You’ve probably heard the phrase “leaders are readers”. Catchy and true. But the same should be true with professionals especially motivated, busy professionals.
Are you reading more than the average professional? Has this content challenged you? Should you be reading something on a consistent basis? Don’t worry about finishing a book in a week right now. But how about a month?
Start today. Read at least ten minutes. Get on Amazon or iTunes for iBooks. Visit Barnes-N-Noble.
Do something. Make a commitment. I promise you won’t regret it. You will be the rare motivated busy professional who can and does actually read!
What do you need to do today to begin the process of becoming a consistent reader?