“I read a book one day and my whole life changed” – Orhan Pamuk
Yes, it’s true. You can a read like a CEO without breaking a sweat. And I know this because I do it.
And it’s easy. I didn’t believe it at first but a year and 47 books later, it became true.
Let me first tell you that an average CEO reads about 40 books a year while an average person reads less than 10 books a year. And the difference in income is more than 400 times bigger.
But this is the info you already know. You want to know how so let’s go into it.
Create a system for book reading
You decide you want to start doing something. You know it will transform your life for better. And you start doing it.
Day 1 goes great, Day 2 ok and on Day 3 you are already quitting.
Day 7 and you totally forget about that thing you wanted to do.
Does this sound like you or everyone that you probably know? Of course, because this is how we usually operate. We rely on our willpower which depletes quickly. And because of that, we quit.
Only relying on our willpower will bring us nowhere. So we started to create systems. Systems which would shift the focus from ourselves and our willpower to the system.
Here is an example:
Imagine that you have a job. And you need to get up at 7:00 AM to go to work. You hate it, grudge but you still do it. Because you HAVE to.
Imagine now that you are starting your own company. And you need to get up at 7:00 AM to start working. You hate it and you just hit snooze on your alarm. You still have to do it but it’s gonna be there even if I wake up at 9:00 AM. So you postpone it.
To change this, we need a system.
A simple system consists of 3 things:
- Easy Daily Action
And that’s it. You just need these 3 things to have a system. And here are the details on each and every one of them
Easy Daily Action
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
To have an efficient system, we need to base it on a daily action. We will take book reading as an example here.
The point of daily actions is to make it a habit. And habits are all about repetition.
It is not about doing a lot of work in the small amount of time, it is about doing a small amount of work but doing it consistently. That’s why it’s important for the action to be easy. If you had to read 5 hours every single day, you wouldn’t even start. But 30 min a day? It sounds like nothing. And it adds up over time and at some point, it becomes our character and we do it automatically.
“I run every day.”, ” I read books every day.”
“I’m a runner”, “I’m a bookworm.”
“What gets tracked, gets done” – Peter Drucker
The system needs to be easy to track. I constantly see people who make their trackers so complicated that it makes me and them sick. And of course, they create them once and never open them again.
When you track what you do, you know that you are on the right track. You know how much of that activity you did, when did you do it, how much impact it had, how much time it took you etc.
That’s why we love games.
We know when we did progress because that bar moved or we leveled up. Companies already started to leverage this through gamification so why not use it on yourself.
The system needs to be simple and easy to use. You don’t want to spend 50 minutes reading every day and then spending an extra 50 minutes filling out your system. The system is there to help you save time and be efficient, not spend it.
“What gets measured gets improved” – Robin Sharma
There are 3 ways of measuring book reading and here are the examples:
- I will read ___ pages of a book daily
- I will read ___ minutes daily
- Did I do my best to read today
The first one is measured by a number of pages you read. I do this for my book reading and it’s 20 pages minimum a day.
The second one is measured by the number of minutes you read daily. Keep this number low, between 30-60 min. Remember, it’s about consistency, not intensity.
The third one is measured from 1-10 and it falls into the category of self-assessment. There are days when you swamped with a lot of things and maybe you only read 5 pages or read for 10 minutes but it was the maximum you could do on that day.
So you give yourself a grade of 10 there.
Other days, like a nice Sunday afternoon with no obligation and you can read 100 pages or read for 5 hours and give yourself a grade of 9. It depends on your daily schedule.
I read a minimum of 20 pages of a book every single day. With this, I would read 7300 pages in a year.
Considering that an average book has around 200 pages, I would read 37 books in a year.
So I started on 20th of December of 2016. I’ve read my 20th book on 5th of June 2017.
And once I created a system, it was easy following it. I’m a slow reader so it usually takes me around 50 minutes for 20 pages of a book.
Sometimes I read more, sometimes less but here are the overall statistics after a year:
9273 pages read
25.4 pages a day on average
And it was easy. You can do it too.
Just create a system and let me know how’s it going.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.