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Love Mondays 140: My Secrets For Reading Success

Monday Musing:

How could we better retain information from the books we read?


Last Tuesday was World Book Day, a celebration dedicated to revelling in the joys and immense benefits of reading 📚

We all have our reasons for diving into books; some seek solace and escape, while others thirst for the thrill of exploring new worlds. As someone who adores delving into non-fiction, reading, for me, is a gateway to personal and professional growth through being able to tap into the expertise and insights of a variety of different authors.

But when it comes to extracting value from reading, it’s not just about what you read, but how you read that truly matters.

Here’s how I make sure every page I turn is impactful:

  1. Grab What Stands Out: I know I will cop a bit of hate from fellow avid readers for this but I am a BIG highlighter and dog-earer of books. This is considered sacrilegious by some readers but when there’s a key nugget of wisdom or powerful insight I make sure I don’t scoot past it. I highlight it and if it’s really hit me between the eyes I’ll dog-ear the page (aka turn down the top corner), which helps me to do step 2:
  2. Harness the Power of Recall: One of the most effective techniques for retaining information you read is active recall. After finishing a chapter, I pause to recap the main ideas without looking at the text. Jotting down these points can further reinforce the memory. How do you ensure you remember what you read?
  3. Share the Wisdom: They say the best way to understand something is to try and pass it on. After reading, I make it a point to discuss what I’ve learned with others, whether in a formal setting at work or in casual conversation with friends. Sharing not only enhances my understanding but also sparks meaningful conversations. You’ll find people will identify objections or ask clarifying questions that might challenge or refine your thinking about the idea. Who in your circle could benefit from the wisdom you’ve gained lately?
  4. Put It into Action: Whether it’s a new approach at work or a personal development
    tool, using the insights I’ve learned right away cements them in my mind and enhances their practical value. For example: How might that insight on how to have better feedback conversation impact the way I show up tomorrow in a chat with one of my team? So, how could you apply your latest readings to your life or career?

P.S. Check out today’s Love Mondays More to discover more of my personal strategies for the book-savvy leader.

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