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Productivity / Professional development

Challenge: Read a business book a week

If, like me, you devour novels somewhat easier than business books, and yet a niggling little part of you knows you’re missing out, join my challenge.

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Starting this week – and for a trial period of 12 weeks – I intend to read a business-related book each and every week. I’ve amassed a little mountain of ‘must-read’ tomes and frankly the pile is bugging me. Here’s my plan:

I’ll create the environment

I reckon 40 mins a day Monday to Friday is all I’ll need and the best time for me is first thing. Awake and uncluttered. In other words: After coffee. Before email.

Three days a week this will be at my desk, two days I’ll be comfortably settling back in my chauffeur driven blue Mercedes. Or limping into town on the bus, depending on your point of view.

The book will know who’s boss

I’m not going to be precious with the books I read. I’ll scribble in the margins, highlight sections with a texta, tear pages out for future reference and skip boring bits altogether. What’s more, if a book simply isn’t doing it for me I’ll drop it off to Vinnies without a second thought.

"I reckon 40 mins a day Monday to Friday is all I’ll need and the best time for me is first thing. Awake and uncluttered. "

Completion trumps reverence in this challenge.

Want more articles like this? Check out the professional development section.

I’ll speed read

Some years ago I attended a full day speed reading course and learned the secret in two minutes. By running a finger or ruler of some sort under each line as fast as I can comprehend the text, dramatically increases my reading speed. And it’ll work for you too (plus save you the course fees).

Don’t believe me? Let Howard Berg, the ‘World’s Fastest Reader’ show you how.

Praise where praise is due

As I complete a book I enjoy, I intend to take a few minutes to praise the author. I’m on the receiving end of a trickle of niceties from readers of our book and it’s massively reassuring to know you’ve hit the mark.

 Interestingly, it’s only by complimenting Michael Gerber and Dan Pink on their awesomeness that each willingly read our book AND generously supplied testimonials. Mr E-Myth even popped in for an interview.

Use the learning

Aside from gleaning whatever I can and storing it between my ears, I’ll use the inevitable thought triggers that come up as fodder for my own writing. Who knows, I may even attempt a book review or at the very least share my thoughts in the forums or on our social networks.

So, that’s my plan. Will you join my challenge?

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo and helps soloists stay upbeat and energised. He’s recently published The 1-Minute Commute, is a presenter and facilitator and works one-on-one with those needing a refresh. Find out more about his skills and services and his Olympus Trip 35 camera side hustle or connect on LinkedIn.

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