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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 November 19, 2019

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

    If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

    1. Create a Daily Plan

    Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

    2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

    Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

    3. Use a Calendar

    Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

    I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

    Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

    4. Use an Organizer

    An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

    These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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    5. Know Your Deadlines

    When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

    But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

    6. Learn to Say “No”

    Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

    Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

    7. Target to Be Early

    When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

    For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

    Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

    8. Time Box Your Activities

    This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

    You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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    9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

    Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

    10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

    Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

    You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    11. Focus

    Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

    Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

    Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    12. Block out Distractions

    What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

    I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

    When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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    Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

    13. Track Your Time Spent

    When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

    You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

    14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

    You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

    Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

    15. Prioritize

    Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

    Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    16. Delegate

    If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

    When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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    17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

    For related work, batch them together.

    For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

    1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
    2. coaching
    3. workshop development
    4. business development
    5. administrative

    I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

    18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

    What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

    One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

    While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

    19. Cut off When You Need To

    The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

    Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

    20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

    Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

    More Time Management Techniques

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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