On my way back from another business transaction yesterday, I thought the book on e-Myth Mastery by Michael Gerber which I forgot to pick on my way out of home so I could read during waiting times… Ok, that’s not true I had left un-read at home countless number of books, eBooks, charts and lots of stuff ( let him who does not have unread pdfs, cast the first stone!), so much that I feel like getting a book on how to manage and read books…lol.
Welcome to the age of information; we do not just have access to information, we are swimming. We are in the information age. I don’t know if you are like me, with a number of partly-read hardbacks and countless number of eBooks, each with their powerfully crafted topics, promising the power to change you/your environment, business and finance, only if you have the patience and TIME to read, remember, and apply them- those are the major problems. How about the amount of other information that is coming through my ears in discussions, movies, mp3s, phew! …we are truly swimming in the age of information.
It is rather unfortunate that it is not the people who have the information that shape the world. I mean, two out of four birds decided to jump, you know how many will remain? Four. Because two birds decided, we never knew if they actually did. Likewise lots of us buy books, attend seminars and falling in the hands of other people selling information, copying and downloading every free PDF-looking file on the net, packing and stuffing our hard discs and flash drives with information…hoping one day we will get to read the stacks of books. Swarming in the midst of this all, it’s hard to find time to develop yourself, build value and dissipate the same into the environment if you really do not have a plan for it. How many times do you go to learn time management, pay o learn how to explore an opportunity
One of the fundamental reasons why we amass lots of books is because we have never realized the fact that all books are good. Ok not all, but an awful lots and loads of them. But we have not come to terms with the fact that we need to be strategic in handling the information that enter into our minds. Imagine that books are like footballs. Why have stacks of footballs on the field without a goal post? It is important that we have well defined life objectives that the amount of information will help you fufill. If you already have one by praying and planning then it should have been broken into bits and the necessary skills needed to achieve them identified. Furthermore, supporting books can thus be identified. I mean the one that will best address the skill.
For me, I need to develop myself in the field of project management, and I have access to about 26 eBooks, totalling 326MB on my system. After defining my objective I need to find that book, the book that covers most of the areas of the subject matter I am interested in. I eventually chose the PMBOK (Project Management Book of Knowledge) and a Q & A support for it. After reading that, I can skim through every other book on the subject.
The problem we have in applying strategies to our lives is not to read more books, but to pay attention to and apply the existing knowledge we have to develop ourselves in the particular area. Do we pay attention to the daily attainment of our goals? Do we set an agenda for the habits we want to develop/stop?. Assigning a month to learning about managing finance ensures I read only books that address the subject matter. Ensuring that I go to a seminar because I INTEND and really will begin using the knowledge at most a week after I have been there. Most of us jump into opportunities when it is already public news, by then, it’s already late- the losers are rushing in.
All information should be tailored to meet the goals and plans for your own personal development.
What do you plan to do with what you’ve learnt? If you are paying money for a seminar or book have you determined how desperate you need the information? I once finished two books of an average of 350 pages per book in 48 hours while working 6 hours every day. Why? I had to defend a proposal on the subject matter in about 2 days. The content of the information was important and necessary to win the proposal. If there is a demand on the knowledge or an impending consequence of not having or applying the knowledge we are geared towards focusing on the task at hand. I started being an early say starter when the demand for time
Another thing to consider is to define per month how many books to read and which topic to cover; and specifically which books to read. Most times now I discover when I get to borrow books, I read them faster to beat the deadline given by the owners. It is important to you know the direction in which you want to develop yourself and how. Keep a journal where you write stuff you’ve learnt from. If you love it use a highlighter to decorate the wise sayings from your own copy of the book, and make sure you are able to track your progress along the line. Probably refuse to read a new book until you’ve finished the ones you started reading.
I have to stop here so I prepare the proposal I will be taking to meet a client tomorrow. I’m also putting things down for the end of the year and Nigeria in particular. Stay with me…