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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 28, 2020

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

    Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

    One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

    When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

    So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

    Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

    This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

    Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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    When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

    Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

    One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

    Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

    An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

    When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

    Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

    Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

    We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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    By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

    Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

    While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

    I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

    You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

    Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

    When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

    Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

    Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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    Con #2: Less Human Interaction

    One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

    Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

    Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

    This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

    While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

    Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

    Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

    This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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    For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

    Con #4: Unique Distractions

    Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

    For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

    To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

    Final Thoughts

    Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

    We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

    More About Working From Home

    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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