Tip #1 – Learn how to speed read.
You don’t have to be a super hero to absorb the main ideas from your books, articles or journals in a short amount of time. Speed reading is a skill, and once you develop it, you’ll shave hours off of your reading time (plus you can amaze your friends at parties). Check out online speed-reading resources and software (there are hundreds), or contact your local library to see if they offer a course for free!
Tip #2 – Schedule reading time. It’s Task Management
Your books need a date – and you don’t even have to bring flowers! Schedule regular reading times (even if it’s only for 20 minutes) throughout the week. Look at it as a health benefit!
Research shows that the act of reading can help train the brain, relieve stress, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and increase concentration (among other things). And don’t forget about audio books! Keep them handy for those daily commute times or carpool lines.
I have actually set up a project on Teambox for Reading. All those important items I want to read have an assigned task with specific date.
Tip #3 – Get help!
You can actually benefit from other people reading for you__. We’re not making this up. They’re called business book summary services – sort of like CliffsNotes for busy professionals, and there are plenty of them out there to choose from.
Although this type of service has been around for decades, the demand for them keeps growing. Why? Because the number of business books published each year continues to rise. For example, over 11,000 business books were published in 2013 alone. That’s enough to make your head spin!
By subscribing to a book summary service, you can benefit from regular, condensed abstracts of popular business books, highlighting the main focus or themes in a variety of formats, depending on your preferences: video, audio, PDFs, or a combination of all three. Here are some of the fee-based services we found:
- Business Book Summaries. Provides summaries in many formats, including PDF, MP3, HTML and PowerPoint. Institutional or individual subscriptions available. Prices range from $9.95 for individual summaries, to $225 for a Premier subscription. Website: www.Bizsum.com
- GetAbstract. Offers five-page summaries in a magazine-format, and specializes in additional compressed finance summaries. Silver and Gold subscription levels range from $89 to $299. Website: www.GetAbstract.com
- AudioTech Business Book Summaries. This service provides audio summaries (usually 45 min.), and can be purchased by title, or by annual subscriptions. Classic, Silver and Gold levels range from $149 to $249 per year, including eight free summaries. Website: www.AudioTech.com
- Summaries.Com. Subscribers receive eight-page executive summaries, and can choose from monthly plans (4 for $12), up to the Platinum Plan (850 summaries for $425). Website: www.Summaries.com
- Soundview Executive Book Summaries. Provides business book summaries, author summaries and author webinars. Subscriptions range from Online ($99), Premium Online ($199) and Premium Audio ($229). Website: www.Summary.com
Help Us Help Others Be Productive
We’d love to hear more about your reading habits, and how you manage to stay on top of your reading wish list! If you have any recommendations, send us a note and let us know about them!