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6 Tips To Read 100 Books A Year And Get The Most Out Of It

6 Tips To Read 100 Books A Year And Get The Most Out Of It
Reading a hundred books in a year can make you rich in happiness, knowledge, and money.
It’s not easy at first. However, just like any other action you do consistently, it eventually becomes a habit. When reading becomes a habit, opening a book every day will be second nature.
I remember when I discovered the power of reading. A year after I graduated college, my startup had crashed and burned, and I was left lost. I turned to books. The first one I picked up was How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Unintentionally, I started my reading journey with one of the best self-development books of all time.
This book drove my thirst for reading. The next year of my life, I spent several hours every day nose deep in a book. In total, I read a hundred and twenty books that year.
The results in only one year: I went from a startup founder that had been spat out of the tech industry to managing growth at a cutting-edge software company, 22Social, and being the founder and president of San Diego Digital Marketing Experts. Moreover, I was featured on TV as an up and coming entrepreneur and helped a Kickstarter campaign to make over $600,000.
Knowledge is power.
Warren Buffett even notes, “I just sit in my office and read all day.” He estimates that 80 percent of his working day is spent reading and thinking.
There’s no one super hack that will make you successful in a day; it’s about investing in yourself through gaining the knowledge contained in books. To make it easier, here are five tips to read a hundred books in a year and get the most of it:

1. Read every day in the morning

The biggest mistake you can make is not reading at least a couple of pages every day in the morning. The reason is you need to develop the habit; this part is crucial. Once you take several days off, it’s easier to slack off even more. Make opening a book part of your daily routine.
I woke up every morning and made a cup of coffee before I read for an hour and a half. Then after work, I made a cup of coffee and read for another hour and a half. If you set aside a particular time of day to read, then you’re more likely to reach the hundred mark.
Without a precise time, you can put off reading until it’s too late, and you’re too tired. So, keep your reading hours early and consistent, and you’re halfway there.

2. Don’t speed read

The benefits of speed reading are a myth.
Speed readers shorten how long they fixate on a word. They do this by cutting down on subvocalization. The idea of speed reading has been around since the 1950s. This reading strategy gained momentum as people wanted to flaunt how many books they’d read, and many apps such as Spritz and Speed Reader have capitalized on the popularity, too.
The truth is that people who speed read only care about how many books they’ve read. What’s important is enjoying the act of reading and comprehending what you read.
Research has shown that when you speed read words, you don’t understand those words. Keith Rayner’s “Eye movements and information processing during reading” gives great insight into how our eyes work when we’re reading. Rayner believes that the benefits derived from speed reading are not true because our eyes can’t work that way.

Rayner notes:

“You can practice going faster and you probably will, but when you start going too fast you’ll start losing comprehension. Most speed reading methods involve getting rid of subvocalization. Research shows that when you do that and the text is difficult, comprehension goes to piece.”

3. Don’t skip paragraphs, pages, or chapters

You’ll hear suggestions from self-proclaimed reading gurus that you should skip paragraphs, pages, and even entire chapters because it’s information you already know. Just because you read something similar or even exactly the same, it doesn’t mean that reinforcing the information is useless.

In fact, it’s vital for remembering it. According to the forgetting curve, memory retention declines fast as time passes when we don’t reinforce the information we’ve learned.

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forgetting curve

    Without the benefit of retaining the knowledge you absorb, you’ll get discouraged to continue reading. So don’t take the shortcut of skipping over information.

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    4. Try different niches

    It’s easy to get bored with reading if you stick to a single niche. For some people, it’s okay because they have an immense passion for a certain subject – e.g. enough passion for them to read a hundred books about the same topic in one year. For others, anything over thirty books covering a single niche is overkill.

    Even if you read a hundred books a year for the next a hundred years, you won’t reach one percent of the amount of books published every couple of years. It can quickly feel overwhelming. But don’t get yourself riled up about not reading all the best business books available. Instead, have fun with it.

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    Explore topics you might be interested in and ones that your friends suggest. If you can’t find the fun in reading, then the chances are you won’t even read ten books a year.

    5. Apply the concepts

    It’s extremely motivating reading books and seeing the immediate benefit in your life from applying newly found knowledge. For example, if you have a big public speaking appearance coming up, then pick up a book that teaches you how to speak on stage.

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    When I was focused on bringing a young startup to success, I read close to forty books on creating a successful business and marketing a young company. As a result, confidence seeped into almost every business decision I made. Moreover, these business decisions were shown to be the right decisions time and again.

    6. Don’t force yourself to read

    If you’re not enjoying a book, then don’t push yourself through to the end. Read because you love reading- don’t read to say, “I read one hundred books this year.” If you read books to hit the hundred mark, you’ll find yourself miserable.
    Even if you’re halfway through a six hundred page novel, feel free to drop it if the prose doesn’t capture your attention. The only books I regret reading are the ones I wished I had stopped soon after I started.
    This is the no BS guide to reading a hundred books in a year. Are you ready for the challenge?

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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