I really enjoy reading business and personal development books. There are so many good ones out there that I got into the habit of feeling like I had accomplished something when I could finish one book and already have the next one waiting to get started. How many could I read in a year?
I also loved to have the audio version of some of the books so I could listen to them when I was in my vehicle or working out. But the real blessing came when I discovered Audible.com. I continued my reading habits but my books on audio were supercharged. I was able to read and listen to so much!
But a while ago I was listening to Darren Hardy and had a paridigm shift. He addressed exactly what I was doing and suggested that rather than reading 32 books in a year it would be better to read one book 32 times. He said that we should try to read less and study more. Rather than just reading a book and moving onto the next one, make sure you have really learned what the book is teaching. How are you going to implement the ideas? What actions are you going to take?
It really made me think about what I was doing. If I really liked a book I often read it a number of times or also got the audio version and listened to it a few more times. But if I really want my reading to help me improve in a specific area or reach a specific goal, I love what Darren Hardy teaches.
We each need a specific plan to develop and improve our skills. Darren Hardy suggests that we set quarterly goals and determine the skills we need to learn in order to reach our goals. He suggests that we buy the top five books, three audio programs and one seminar on that topic that we will study for those three months. During that time we need our own plan or schedule for both reading and listening. He suggests 30 minutes per day, no more, no less. In The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson suggests 10 pages per day. Whatever it is, just make sure you stick to it 100%. As Jeff Olson would say, this is the part that is easy to do, but just as easy not to do. Make sure you do it!
Also figure out your listening time. Whether it’s during your workout or while you are driving spend that time learning. My suggestion with the audio books during this time would be to listen to them as many times as you can to really absorb the information. You will pick up new things each time you listen to a book. Don’t just hear it, learn it!
Whether it’s from your reading or your listening, pick out the top three things that you get from each book and implement them right away.
Though I’m easily distracted and become anxious to read or listen to the next great book I hear about, Darren Hardy’s plan is great and will help me develop a much better understanding of my area of focus for that quarter.
I love learning from Darren Hardy. These are two books that I would suggest reading if you are interested in any of his work. Click on the images below to learn more.
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