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How To Read Over 300 Books In a Year with Instaread

How To Read Over 300 Books In a Year with Instaread

There’s nothing like getting lost in a book. Although reading is an inherently valuable activity, we aren’t spending as much time with books as we should.

A study by the Pew Research Center found that Americans read an average of 12 books per year.[1] Keep in mind that the average in this case is the sum of all the books read divided by the number of readers in the study. The mean inflates the data because it includes information from a subset of voracious readers. The median number of books that Americans reported reading was 4. That comes out to reading one book every three months.

Many people who wish to read more don’t have the time because of their other responsibilities. Now there are so many forms of entertainment like movies and facebook competing with books that it seems like there aren’t enough hours in a day.

Imagine if you could finish a book in the span of 20 minutes. If you read every day, you’d be 365 books smarter by the end of the year.

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Being well-read isn’t a state reserved for people with excessive spare time. There are ways that even busy people can increase the number of books they read.

Instaread helps you read more books.

If you wish that you could read more, but you don’t have the time, the Instaread app can help you increase the number of books you finish each year. The app gives you access to summaries of the best-selling nonfiction. Experts read the books and summarize the key points into a convenient format. Think of Instaread like the next generation of speed-reading.

Let’s look into the details how the app helps you read more in no time.

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Get Key Insights and Summary of Any Book

The interface is easy to use, and you won’t expend energy seeking out and lugging around a physical book. From books about business, to self-help books, to fictions, in 15-30 minutes, you can take in the key insights and a summary of any book that’s been sitting on your “to be read” pile.

    Access Audio Version of Book Summary

    One of the best features of Instaread is that it gives you the ability to access audio versions of the book summaries. If reading during your commute gives you a headache, you can listen to the books instead. Audio versions are also available for offline use, which means that spotty reception won’t stand in your way. Think of how many more books you’ll be able to read during your commute time alone.

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      Keep Track of Books You’ve Read

      With Instaread, you don’t have to worry about losing track of what you’ve read. You can add titles to your library for easy reference. Select the “Library” icon at the bottom of your screen to browse titles you’ve read and those you’d like to read. If you’re worried about using too much data with this app, never fear. Download your favorite titles for offline use.

        Discover Any Books You Want

        You never have to worry about running out of reading options when you use Instaread. New book summaries are added every day. Since the summaries typically come from books on the New York Times Bestsellers List, you’re guaranteed to have the most buzzworthy titles at your fingertips.

        Whenever you come across a title that you want to read, you can search for it in Instaread. If you need some inspiration, you can also browse reading options by genre by clicking on the “Discover” icon.

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          Reclaim Your Reading Time

          Even if you’re busy, there are probably lost minutes in your day. Reading summaries of the best and most influential books is a great way to turn moments that would otherwise be wasted into productive reading time. Read through a summary on break, or listen to one during your commute. You’ll be the most well-read person in the office before you know it.

          You can download Instaread here through the App Store.

          There are two subscription options available for the service. You can either pay $8.99 per month with a one-week free trial, or you can opt for the yearly fee of $89.99.

          You may be wondering if it is worthwhile to pay the subscription fee, but it’s a small price to pay considering that you’ll have unlimited access to such a vast library. The app gives you the chance to make the most of your time and achieve your reading goals–even when your time is scarce.

          Instaread is currently only available for Apple devices, but the developers are making an Android version as well.

          Reference

          More by this author

          Brian Lee

          Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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          Last Updated on April 19, 2021

          The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

          The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

          Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

          The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

          Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

          In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

          When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

          Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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          1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

          When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

          As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

          That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

          The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

          What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

          Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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          There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

          So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

          2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

          When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

          No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

          3. Move Your Body

          A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

          It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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          So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

          4. Connect With Another Person

          Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

          One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

          Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

          5. Use Your Imagination

          When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

          That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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          And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

          Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

          Final Thoughts

          Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

          Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

          More on the Importance of Taking a Break

          Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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