“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.”
– Mark Twain
How to read a book a week
Reading is something that most people claim not to have time for. This always surprises me. A $20 book can hold a million dollars worth of wisdom.
Right now I’m reading MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom, by Tony Robbins (click here to read a great review of it). The book is over 600 pages long and I’ll have it finished within a week.
That sounds really difficult, right?
It’s actually pretty simple if you have a plan. Looking at a book, or any project, as a whole can be incredibly intimidating. Deconstructing it and attacking piece by piece will make the task much more bearable.
For my Tony Robbins book I’m reading 33 pages in the morning, 33 pages in the afternoon, and 33 pages at night. That’s 100 pages a day. And I’ll meet my goal very easily.
Where to find time for your hobbies
Nobody pays me to read books. Thumbing through paperbacks is my hobby, not a business. Copywriting and ghostwriting come first. And some days this can eat up all my time.
You probably have a schedule that’s just as busy. Going to school, working for yourself, pushing towards a promotion. Those are all activities that take huge chunks of time and a lot of effort. You aren’t going to abandon your career to go read in the park all day.
Compromises need to be made.
However, I have some basic tips for finding more time for your hobbies and goals. Here are three that I use almost daily:
- Extra time
To read my 600 page book in a week I’m waking up an hour earlier and going to bed one hour later. It’s a very minor adjustment but one that allows me to meet my goals. Most people sleep in as much as possible and they end up missing out on some great opportunities.
An extra hour or two is still a lot of time. If you’re doing entry-level freelance writing that’s about $24 a day. That’s an extra $168 a week just from getting up earlier and staying awake for an extra 60 minutes. Over the course of a year that’s close to $9,000! Not too shabby if you’re a student or just starting out.
When I go to the gym or grocery store, I listen to audiobooks.
If I still had a job that required me to commute I’d do the exact same thing. The last book I listened to was A Clockwork Orange. It was about eight hours in length. If you go for a walk everyday, or drive to work, you’ll have an eight-hour book finished in about five days.
While some books require your undivided attention (ever read philosophy?) lighter reads can be knocked out on car rides and jogs. I’ve gotten through hundreds of books this way. It’s fun and better for your brain than the latest pop music.
- Time management
99.9% of all “busy” people that I’ve met have been victims of poor time management. They’d play video games, watch TV, and loaf around. Then they’d wonder where the day went.
Make some proprieties and go after your most important tasks first.
If learning about investment strategies that could potentially make you wealthy is your goal, study those. If playing games is more important, do that.
There’s no lack of good information. The tools are all there. You just need to pick them up.