I want to talk about how to learn faster.
Here’s what I mean: when I was 17, a motivational speaker yelled at me and said, “if you want to be a success, read a book per week for the rest of your life.”
So like any ambitious teenager would – I obliged.
Now to put that in context, I hadn’t read any books through high school.
I skipped most of those types of reading a book
And asked the person next to me or asked a friend what the book was about and get the summary.
So, when I then jumped in to try to read the books, to accelerate my reading success, the problem I had was…
…I was struggling to retain the information.
And maybe you can relate to this when you’re reading lots of things because everyone says it read as a leader if you want to get ahead you need to learn more and I wholeheartedly agree with that.
However, the problem is for me anyway, I was reading so much you can see me so many things that I struggled to even retain the information.
Someone asked me several weeks or months after I finish that book. “Hey, have you read this book?”
And I’ll say “Yeah, but I really remember nothing from it.”
So I want to teach you a method which I use and I teach the students about how to read more but also how to retain more information.
It’s not just about pumping through books as fast as you can like I used to.
It’s about actually what you remember and what you can apply.
So I want to go through and give you an example of how I can see more of a content but actually remember it and how it works in my favor.
So, whenever I pick up a new book whether it’s a hard copy book or whether it’s a Kindle book the first thing I’m trying to do is understand what are the one to three main things from this book.
Typically, a book is made up of several maybe three or four main parts and they become chapters in subcategories.
I’m trying to get the gist of what are the three main things from this book.
Now so the first time I read the book, I try reading the entire book in under an hour. I don’t really read it.
Instead, I’m looking at the title, I might read some reviews. I might get the outline and the title of the contents to understand what the main idea of the book is.
So, for example, this book Pitch Anything, a great book on science and psychology and the persuading prospects, I could read through here.
Look at the table of contents and get a pretty good idea of what the book is about. I can scan that page. I might look at the intro or the forward if it’s by a different author and then I can look at the final closing mark to have a summary.
This is what I call the first pass of the book.
Sometimes the first pass is all I give a book, not because it’s necessarily a bad book, a bad writer but typically because I’ve got what I need to get out of that book.
Another hack you can do if you use Kindle in the first pass is going to popular highlights.
That’s what the other thousands of tens of thousands of writers have highlighted and you can pretty much guarantee that the popular highlights would be the best nuggets of the book.
So past number one, quick read, get the idea of it so I could teach the two or three main points to somebody.
If I like the book and want to go deeper or it needs more analysis for me to go deeper into it, I’ll put it aside for at least a day and then come back to it and read it a little bit more detail.
Now what I do on that time, on the second pass is if I like something I just fold the page down my bottom corners and I use it an Asterisk method, I think I saw Tim Ferriss talk about and he’s got like a 1 2 or 3-star rating.
So one is pretty good, two is really good and three is like one of the top 10 ideas of the book.
So in the second pass, I’m on speed reading but I’m already most of the book in detail.
I’m looking for either of 1, 2 or 3-star things and I’m marking that and come back to that later and I might read like 50% of the words, 70% of the words.
If you study speed reading, you can look at how your eyes can glance ahead and get the general gist of the page much much faster.
And when you go back to normal speed reading your eyes and your brain is trying to go deep into that.
So I suggest you look into speed reading if you want to consume and retain more information.
Now on the third pass, typically if you go to a second pass, you will go to a third pass.
On the third pass, I will then come back and typically, on the first page I wrote my top 10 lessons.
So go back again a few days later which helps my brain just let it sit and come back to it when I’m fresh and I’ll come back and summarize, for me the two and three-star items.
Something I’ve also started doing is putting into a program called Work Flowy. You know, I’d do another video on this but essentially now if I’m reading a book from an author 50 years ago on productivity, I can categorize it under productivity and when I read a brand new book, I can also add productivity to that.
Work Flowy just helps me to go back and think “What was that quote from that book, Pitch Anything” I can read, I can search for the hashtag styles and that will all come up.
So that’s typically how I structure my reading.
For me as well, the biggest thing that helped me get more out of learning and retaining was when I switched my thinking to the fact that reading is working for me.
If I can expand my pride and get new ideas and get new stories and new things to teach my team and to teach my clients that is work.
So instead of thinking “oh I can’t read because I have to work” make reading upon all of your work because it is.
So, to wrap it up.
The first pass I’m looking for the general idea quick 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes read of an entire book.
The second read, I’m getting a pen out and I’m making notes and making the book messy and running things inside of it.
The third pass, I’m summarizing those notes so I can come back to it later.
I really suggest this style of reading, three passes instead of just one because sometimes you if you read second pass you can still learn something great.
My theory is if someone’s put the whole life’s work into a book and for 20 dollars I can get just ONE one idea out of it, that’s an incredible return on my investment of time and the 20 or 30 bucks I spent on the book.
If you have any questions post it right here I’ll answer them myself and I’ll help you out as soon as I can.
I hope this is being helpful!