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How To Automatically Read A Book Per Week Without Taking Any Additional Time Out Of Your Day

How To Automatically Read A Book Per Week Without Taking Any Additional Time Out Of Your Day
Book

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a whole stack of books sitting around that you’re really going to read some day. Yeah right!

Sure, it would be nice to get some more reading done, but let’s face it: there is usually something more urgent that needs to get done. And when you have to do all the urgent things, there isn’t much time left over for the non-urgent (but still important in the long run) activities like reading.

Did you know that the majority of people in the United States don’t ever read a single book after high school? In fact, if you take all the book sales in the U.S. it’s enough for about one book per person, and most of those don’t even get read. They’re sitting on some shelf like in my bedroom.

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Without continuing to read, how can you stay sharp in your industry and get a raise? How can you keep your brain alert and full of new ideas? How can you master new skills and improve your hobbies?

A book is incredibly powerful because it gives you leverage. The author could have spent years of his or her life studying a subject, reading everything that had already been written, learning from the best, summarizing different theories, and simplifying complex ideas. After ten years of research, thousands of hours and millions of pages can be condensed into a concise little 200 page novel, and little old you comes along to get it for $10.

You can now plug that information right into your brain, just like you’d insert a CD-ROM into a computer. Zap! A few hours later it has been copied, and you’ve just done an amazing thing: gotten the accumulation of the best ideas that the human race has produced for all time. If you had to do it on your own, it would have taken you the ten years and millions of pages that the author went through. But instead you took a short-cut.

I mean, other animals can’t do that. A monkey can merely learn from it’s parents or other members of it’s group. It can’t learn from a monkey that lives on the other side of the world, or even over the next hill, and it certainly can’t learn from monkey’s of the past who are long gone. If the monkey wants to discover a new way to peel bananas, he’s pretty much limited to what he can come up with on his own. With each generation of monkey’s that passes on, great amounts of information as lost because they can’t store and pass on ideas to future generations.

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We as humans have been given this amazing communication tool, and yet so few take advantage of it. It’s really a shame when you think about it.

So here is my long winded answer to getting more reading done that we should all take advantage of: audio books.

You see, every day you have to drive (or perhaps take the subway or public transportation). With a stack of books at home, you can always have something more important to do instead. But you aren’t going to wake up one day and say “I’m too busy to drive anywhere today”. Given the average commute to work alone, you’ll probably spend 45 minutes in the car.

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Life is quite simply too short to spend time listening to Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg, and advertisements for male enhancement on the radio, and as Brian Tracy says “if you aren’t listening to books on tape, you quite simply aren’t serious about being successful in life”.

Almost every high performance person I know listens to books on tape. Probably a number of people who you respect and admire do as well, but you just don’t know it yet! It’s not the kind of thing that comes up in everyday conversation, especially since feels a little bit dorky (to be perfectly honest). But they are still doing it.

Almost every major book you can think of that comes out today is available as an audio book. You can purchase them on websites like Audible.com (the Amazon of audio books) and even get them for free at your local library. Once you start to meet other people who listen to audio books, you’ll start to swap them and get them for free that way.

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Another benefit of audio books is that many people retain information better by listening than by reading. Were you the type of person in class who preferred to listen to the teacher or to read the text book on your own? Personally, I always found reading text books in school to be boring, but I have no problem listening to someone talk (especially if the topic is interesting) and tend to learn better that way. Everyone is different, but it was a big advantage for me.

With the amount of time the average person spends in the car, it’s not unreasonable to finish an additional book every week. Since you have to drive (or commute, or go to the gym, etc – there are plenty of other places besides driving), the chances of forgetting to read or not having enough time go right out the window.

How would your life be different if you read an additional 50 books per year? Do you think you might get some good ideas? Do you think you might learn a few tips that could help your life?

Get started right now by going out and purchasing an audio book.

Brian Armstrong became a financially independent business owner within one year or quitting his job. You can learn how to start your own home based business in 30 days with less than $100 at his website.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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