Make it your business to read one book a week, just like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Stop in for some helpful tips.
Mark Zuckerberg made $15 billion last year. You could say that he’s been busy. But despite leading one of the most valuable companies in the world and a hectic work schedule, Zuckerberg claims that he manages to read a book every week. In fact, he makes it his business to do so.
But why? Zuckerberg believes that reading a book every week gives him new perspectives that allow him to do better in business and in life in general. And there’s no denying it seems to have paid off. Reading for the Facebook billionaire isn’t just about entertainment – although that’s probably a driving force – it’s also about getting an edge over the competition and gaining new insights to push his company, and his ambitions, forward.
Most of us would like to read more. But reading a book every week? Is that even possible? Reading 52 books a year isn’t just possible – it’s something we all can do to entertain us and sharpen our minds at the same time. But how? Take a look at some of these ways Zuckerberg manages to read a book a week as Facebook boss.
Read In Quick Bursts
Our bodies have a natural rhythm of concentration. We can focus on a task for between 60 and 120 minutes, and then, after that peak concentration, we go into a lull. Those who love reading should be aware of this. They need to be careful observers of themselves – just as Zuckerberg is – watching out for the times of day when their focus is highest, like mid-morning, or early in the evening. They should then take advantage of these opportunities, powering through as much material as possible in 20 to 60-minute intervals. Not only does getting into a routine like this help develop a habit to read every day, but it also means that you’re using your reading time as efficiently as possible and not falling asleep with a book in your lap.
Taking notes while reading might sound a bit extreme. But if for whatever reason you want to remember something crucial that happened, it’s a good idea. Putting pen to paper helps out brains consign information far more effectively than just skimming a page with our eyes. The act of writing something down is important. It helps us to concentrate and retain information, whether we’re reading something for pure entertainment, or if we need to recall what we’ve read so that we can apply it in some other situation.
Always Have Your Next Book Ready To Go
As CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is used to a phenomenon psychologists call “decision fatigue.” It’s particularly common among CEOs of companies who have to make decisions all the time, but anybody can get it, especially in a world like ours saturated with choice. You’ve probably got a dozen books you could read next, but sometimes choosing a new book to read can be an arduous activity. Which to choose?
To avoid decision fatigue, create a timetable in advance for the books that you’ll read over, say, the next 20 to 30 weeks. If you’ve got 30 books that you haven’t read standing by, this isn’t so much about making a choice of which books you’re going to read, just the order in which you are going to read them.
Keep Costs Down
When Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004 under the name “theFacebook,” he didn’t have a lot of money – certainly not the billions he has today. As a result, he needed to be careful about all his expenditure, including the money he spent on his weekly book habit. In order for a weekly read to become sustainable, you need to find ways to keep costs down too.
Use sites to get cash for your books, read e-books, grab books for your local or university library, and sign up for monthly subs that reduce the cost of reading overall. The last thing you want is for the expansion of your mind to be interrupted by lack of money.
When You’re Up Against The Clock, Skim
Skim reading is a skill. It takes time to build. But it’s usually something that comes naturally to people as they read more. If you’re reading something for work, or something you need to learn, skimming probably isn’t such a good idea. But if you’re reading for leisure, then you might want to try skimming, especially if you’re reading fiction and you’re up against the clock. Skimming means that you can get onto the next book faster.
Start Using Technology
Most of us grew up surrounded by physical books. Nothing beat the feeling and the smell of a book and being curled up in a corner reading it. But carrying a book around with you everywhere you go is a little impractical, especially if you have to be all over the world like Zuckerberg does. As a result, it’s a good idea to turn to technology and use e-books. The great thing about technology is that you don’t actually have to physically look at the screen anymore. Audiobook services have turned the majority of fiction and nonfiction books into audio files, giving you the ability to listen to your favorite books while standing up on the subway or riding your bike through the park.
Only Read Books You Enjoy
Forcing yourself to read books because you think you have to isn’t a good idea. Sitting down to work your way through Catcher In The Rye because you think you have to, just because it’s a classic, is a recipe for disaster. Reading a book takes commitment, and it’s hard to commit to books that you don’t find alluring from the outset.
With that said, your tastes will change naturally over time. You might be interested in pursuing a particular genre or topic in one month, and then you might learn all you need to know about that and pursue another in the next month. You never know which books are going to help you in the long-term – something which Zuckerberg is keenly aware of.
When you’re really struggling, just come back and remember these tips….