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Reading Hack: Skip to the Punchline of Any Book

Reading Hack: Skip to the Punchline of Any Book

In many books, authors will preface their “lessons” with stories and parables about their lives or others lives in order to solidify a lesson. Learn how to automatically skip to the ending with these reading hacks and still understand the lesson at the end of the day.

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While learning the broad strokes of a specific subject may be in your modus operandi if you’re reading books purely through a hobby or interest point of view, the devil will often be in the details if understanding said subject is imperative to your job or school work.
With that being said, here are several tips that you can use to skip the stories and get straight to the hard lessons that are often the crux of any book:

  1. Read the reviews.

    Background knowledge of the whole book will help filter any non important information, and will even help determine if the book has information that you are seeking out. Several online book stores often leave the option of leaving a review, so be sure to get a wide variety of opinions, reading both the good reviews and bad reviews before making a decision to purchase the book.

    reading books

    • Skip straight to the ending.

      Ruin the ending and find out the theme of the book. This can be found through either the table of contents, the notary side of the book, or by finding a “Cliff Notes” variation of the book. By doing this you can avoid any stories and get straight to the lessons and bulletpoints that will help you understand whole concepts better.

    • Speed reading isn’t necessary, but it is helpful.

      Like training for a sport, practicing technique is useful, even in regards to reading. “The real idea behind speed reading is that you know how and when to speed up and when to slow down. With a few basic techniques you can get a sizable increase on your maximum speed,” says speed reader and productivity hacker Scott H Young.

    • Look up information you don’t understand.

      If you’re reading about themes that are a bit beyond your current knowledge level, read the sources that the book cites. If there is no citation, Google the terms or phrases that are unfamiliar to you.

    • Use a “swarm” strategy and find other venues for information.

      Learn everything about the subject, not just from a book’s point of view. There will be subject experts that write hundreds of pages within [multiple] books that may take hours to read, but at the same time there may be audio that the same expert was interviewed in that covers the main topics within a half hour podcast.

    • Fill “gap time” with reading.

      If you’re truly dedicated to reading a book, you’ll have to make time for reading, not just have it as an afterthought on your bedside counter. Find time during your day such as that 10-15 minute wait at the dentist, that train commute (e-books on your phone make it easier to carry your books with you), or other noticeable gaps of time where you find yourself with a larger than average break in time.

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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