Isolated room, at the desk. This is work you’re doing.
Get into the flow.
Pen and Paper at hand (fundamental to the method)
Target the WHY. Why are you doing this? No, really, why? Project? Future job? Writing a book?
There must be a good reason for reading this book. 5 WHYs it if needed.
WHYs that do not fly: Because reading is good for me. Because others say it’s cool. Because it’s a good example for the kids. You name it.
All valid reasons but not enough. You must do better than this.
Now, understand that this book stays in the way. It sits between You and your Purpose.
Your goal here is getting it done. No excuses. Remember your WHY.
This is the mindset. You have limited time. Thousands other books are waiting.
You need to get it done.
You’re after 20% of this book that makes 80% of the difference.
Your goal is to extract information as fast and efficient as possible and move on.
Speed read through it like you mean it. Use all the tips on speed reading but don’t obsess over it.
Distill knowledge and take notes. Decide what’s important to you. And cut out the rest.
Be merciless. A paragraph, or a page per chapter might be to much already.
There’s no standard here, decide on the parts worth insisting on, but keep it pragmatic.
The notes are the final artefact, that’s why you’re here, make them matter.
You decide what’s truly important.
There are lots of excellent books out there on a given subject.
Different authors, different perspectives, most of them worth reading.
But there’s limited time.
It’s better to distill 80% of the knowledge that matters from ten books in a week,
than 100% of the knowledge from one book in that same time.
And yes, this is also one method of fighting information overload.
If your purpose is leisure, relaxation, then it’s fine to do it on the couch, wine glass and all.
You probably don’t want to speed read through “A Song of Ice and Fire”, or “Harry Potter”, right? Unless…
Some books are meant to be read in a relaxed setup. And that is fine. But make the difference between them and the rest.
Writing the notes down will store it to your brain and you’ll be able to trigger that knowledge out later when looking over them.
Deciding on what to cut out is important.
Authors will fall in love with their ideas and go around it 10 times to make the point. And it’s all fine.
But that’s their problem. You’re after the essence here.
You’re in control. Remember there are thousands other books out there, as good as this one or better,
all waiting for you to read them. All of those books staying between you and your higher purpose.
And there's limited time.
Q: What's with the wary attitude, dude? It’s like you’ve declared war to books!
A: Have you browsed through the Amazon store yet?
On a subject you care about, or is deeply important to you? Walked into a library recently? What did you find?
Hundreds? Thousands of books? What are we going to do with all that?
There’s two ways to go about it:
1.) Get lost and lose hope.
2.) Conquer them.
Q: What's your take on books?
A: There’s an inherent comfortable feeling that a book instills in the reader. Get rid of it.
As soon as the comfort zone is established, learning becomes inneficient. Fight it by Reading with Purpose.
There's tension associated with learning. Embrace it.
You will fall in love with that book and want to hug it. Make it quick if you must.
And move on. If you loved it so much, pick it up later and read it for leisure. Sleep with it.
Q: Where is this all coming from?
A: altMBA forced me to transform my reading handicap (very slow reader) into a beautiful constraint.
I’m not kidding myself for having invented something here. I’m merely highlighting what we’ve known for a long time.