Hey, how’s it going, guys? So in today’s video, we’re gonna talk about how to read more books. Now, maybe you’ve already seen my video on how to generally increase your reading speeds. If you haven’t, you can check it out right there. But maybe you have, and maybe you’ve integrated some of those tips into your life, which has helped you get your reading speed higher and higher, maybe even up to that generally accepted cap of 400 to 500 words per minute.
And yet, you haven’tfilled in the other part of the equation, which is building a consistent reading habit. So this video is all about how to do that, and I’ve got seven specific tips that will help you become a more consistent reader. So in my experience, the most important thing you can do to read more consistently is to have a certain number of pages you’re going to read every single day and to turn it into a habit.
I was actually out in colorado a couple of weeks ago on a ski trip with a few friends and we were in the Airbnb one day after skiing ended, and I remember my friends Matt and Ben were talking about books they’d read recently, and both of them are entrepreneurs so they’re really busy, just like me, and yet they had all this time to read all these books, and I was asking like, dude, how do you guys find so much time to read when you feel like you’ve got all these things to do? And Matt told me, dude, I just wake up every morning and I have my coffee, and I read 25 pages.
And after four days that’s100 pages, after 40 days it’s 1,000 pages. It really adds up over time, and it works better than goals like saying I’m gonna read one book a month or two books a month, because then it’s really easy to justify pushing all your reading off later into the month because you’ve got a lot of work to do right now.
Moving onto tips two and three, I’m gonna group these two together because they have to do with how you schedule your reading time. Now, personally I know the later that it gets in the day, the less likely it is for me to read. My motivation starts to wane and other things start to take up my attention, so I try to schedule my reading time very early in the morning.
But, tip number three here, I do it after exercise. And that’s because the book I’m reading right now, which is called Spark: the revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, talks a lot about how exercise primes your brain for learning. Exercise balances the levels of chemicals in your brain known as neurotransmitters, which in turn improve your ability to pay attention and prime your brain to more efficiently absorb and remember new information. And I take advantage of this by going to the gym first thing in the morning, and then doing my reading.
Now tip number four is to do whatever you can to make the process of reading as enjoyable as possible because from what I’ve learned about how motivation is affected by the rewards of tasks, rewards can really be split into two different categories. Number one, the reward you get at the end of the task, whatever the result of the task is, but number two, the enjoyment you get from doing the task itself.So personally I go to a coffee shop and I get a latte and I read while I have those things with me and that makes the process much more enjoyable than trying to do it at home.
Moving along to tip number five, now if you’ve chosen to read after exercise, your ability to pay attention and inhibit distractions at it’s the peak, but you do wanna cut out as many distractions as possible just to give yourself the best possible chance for focusing on your reading until you’re done.
So, for me that means turning my phone onto do not disturb mode, and packing it away in this bag here, everything goes in this bag and it goes down by my feet. Everything is off the table except for the book when I’m reading so it just focused interaction with the book and nothing else. Now, distractions are one of the biggest things that can derail your ability to get your reading done, but there are certainly others.
so tip number six is to anticipate and remove as many barriers to your success as possible. For me, that means making sure my bag is packed every single night before Igo to bed, and making sure the book is in there, and also making sure I have everything I need, like my book flags for making notes and highlights, and my headphones just in case the coffee shop is noisy. Basically, I want to anticipate anything that could give my brain an excuse to not read, and cut it out.
And, finally, tip number seven is to externalize your motivation, and sort of take the choice of reading out of your hands by making yourself accountable to somebody else. Now I do this in a couple of different ways. Number one is I have told my roommate Martin, who reads way more books than me, that if I do not read 25 pages a day every single day for at least the next three months, I will pay him $100. So if I skip even one day, I’m gonna lose out on a lot of money.
And secondly, I have made a public page on my website where I will be updating my progress every single day in an embedded Google spreadsheet, so every day I have to record how many pages I read, and anybody can see that and call me out if I don’t.
Now in last week’s video, we talked about why it’s a bad idea, in general, to tell people about your goals, but I do think when you build accountability into it, and you’re talking to people about your progress, rather than your big grand vision, it can actually be much more motivating than if you kept it to yourself. And I’d be curious to hear what your thoughts are on that.
Anyway, if you’d like to have a look at my progress page, there’ll be a link in the description down below, and you can do this yourself even without being publicly accountable by using a tool like Habitica or Coach.me. There’s lots of habit-tracking tools that can basically get you the same result, but I have decided to be publicly accountable about it.
Hopefully, you enjoyed this video and found it helpful. If you did, give it a like to support this channel, and if you’d like to get new tips every single week on being a more effective student, you can click that big red subscribe button right down there. I also wrote a book on how to earn better grades, so if you’d like to get a free copy sent to your email you can click the picture of the book.
And if you missed last week’s video, we talked about why in general it’s a bad idea to tell people about your goals, so check it out if you missed it. You can check out the full article for this video and get the link to my reading progress page by clicking the orange button right there. And, lastly, if you wanna connect, I’m on Instagram and Twitter @TomFrankly,or you can leave a comment down below. Thanks for watching it.