I love to read. Like most people I was born highly uneducated. Reading has become an instrumental part of my plan to overcome my early shortcomings. I love to learn and to become inspired. And if you are reading this I expect you do too.
I like reading classic literature because it makes me feel worldly. I liked reading the first three Harry Potter books because they made me feel magical. But then I realized my life is too short to read four more books about a fanciful wizard boy. Today I read a lot of books on self improvement, business, and biographies. I also read healthy portions of magazines like Fast Company and Inc because I find them both creatively stimulating and educational (and I like the pictures).
Several years ago I read an interesting quote from Charlie “Tremendous” Jones that said, “You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet.” And this reading about reading encouraged Adam “Ordinary” Albrecht to read even more.
But today I’m trying to read less. Because I have found that too much reading leads to too little doing. If I fill my time with learning and inspiration I leave no time for action.
When I began The Perfect Agency Project I created a simple rule of thumb that influences my reading today:
Read just enough to learn something new and become inspired. Then act on it.
Since I started following this rule I have accomplished more. I’ve wasted less time. And I’m more excited about my work.
I think of reading now like a pregame speech. One that I listen to just long enough to become properly motivated. And as soon as I am lathered up I jump to work, acting on the inspiration.
That’s when I start writing, planning, structuring, detailing, calling, creating, wizarding or potioning. And what I’ve found is that when I have one hour available, instead of one hour of reading, I can do 10 or 15 minutes of reading. And then I can spend the rest of the hour implementing. And the return on that one hour is significantly higher.
I encourage you to try this for a week. Read enough each day to want to do something new and exciting. Then do it. Then repeat the process. And let me know how it works for you. I’ll read at least part of whatever you write me.