Have you ever tried to apply whatever you read in your life? Are you successful in it?
There are a lot of people who try to read more books, but also there are some more people who are successful in adding reading books to their routine activities. Although they’re having problems with using what they read in their life.
One of these people is Katie. First, she had a problem with reading books. Every time, she decided to read a book she preferred to see a movie instead. But one day, she started to read step by step in 4 or 5 minutes. After that, Katies becomes a good reader that enjoys reading books in her free time besides watching Tv.
Even though, these days, Katie has trouble with using what she read in her life. She tells herself, ” I guess I just spend my time with no use.”
So, she decided to search for some techniques and reached these results:
1. Choose the right book for your life situation
You can’t apply irrelevant knowledge. By reading a book that has no connection to your current circumstances, there’s no way you can integrate new knowledge into your days.
When you try hard to find applicable lessons, but you can’t find any useful advice, it’s not your fault. Instead, it’s either the wrong book or the wrong time for the book.
So, Katie asks herself before starting any book:
Which big questions do I face in life, right now?
Which skills do I want to build?
Thus, if a book doesn’t promise to deliver on your topics, skip it. You won’t be able to use the lessons. Do your research before reading a book. Choose wisely, then, read thoroughly.
2. Become an active reader instead of a passive one
In Shane Farnam’s blog post about how to remember what you read, he makes an excellent distinction between passive and active readers:
“Passive readers forget things almost as quickly as they read them. active readers, on the other hand, retain the bulk of what they read. Another difference between these two types of readers is how the quantity of reading affects them differently. Passive readers who read a lot are not much further ahead than passive readers who read a little. If you’re an active reader, however, things are different.
3. Take notes
Why would you take notes on the books you read? Unless you capture your ideas you’ll never capitalize on them.
When you don’t capture things that you find value in, what might have been worthwhile insights eventually fade into oblivion. But if you capture what catches your attention, you’re more likely to remember and act on it.
Katie starts using some techniques like marginalia (handwriting notes in the margin and marking up key patterns for follow-ups) or sketch notes (drawing notes and ideas) to make her a more active reader and help lock information in her memory.
Also, she uses Tiago Forte’s system of progressive summarization. The simple version is as follows:
- Transfer what you underlined
- Bold what strikes a chord
- Highlight what you want to remember
- Create a summary of the main points in the book
- Rewrite what you learned in your own words
4. Discuss what you read with other people
Discussing books with other people is invaluable. It’s why people who are in mastermind groups get far more value from the discussions than the information. Discussion illuminates things you’d never see.
She starts to discuss the books that she has read with friends.
She’ll recommend books to friends. They think she is being helpful. But her motive is partially selfish.
5. Do the exercises in a book you read
All of us have books filled with exercises we couldn’t wait to apply to our lives. But we finish a book, forget about the exercises, and put the book back on the shelf.
So, start doing these exercises like Katie in your free time.
6. Reread life-changing books
Many people treat the number of books you read as the level of your wisdom. This logic is flawed. It’s not the number of different pages you can get through that will make you happier, wiser, and healthier.
When you focus on the number of finished books, you tend to rush through the content. With a goal of completion in mind, it’s easy to overlook meaningful passages.
By rereading a book, Katie can check which parts she applied and which sections she’s forgotten. She can then focus her effort on the parts that need more application.
7. Commit to regular reading sessions and block distractions
Katie understood she needs space and time to read actively. And to hit her daily reading goal, it can help to block distractions like social media and entertainment sites while she’s trying to read.
According to a University of Michigan Health study, at a minimum, people should be reading for 30 minutes a day. Not only does this help you get through books quickly, but consistent reading has also been found to increase attention span, develop deeper connections, and make us more empathetic.
Today, by using these methods, Kathy is more successful in reading books and becomes an active reader. So why don’t you start like her?