If you want to out-create, out-innovate, and think better than your competition try these 7 strategies to give you a different vantage point to attack your day to day problems.
1. JUST READ.
Most people simply do not read. Many skim blogs, browse newspapers and gloss over headlines but people picking up a book or article today is becoming an endangered species. Most just want the highlights, key take-aways or some superficial summary of content. However, those that go deeper and take the time to read get rewarded with knowledge, insight and even mental benefits.
2. READ CLASSICS
Everyone is trying to reinvent the wheel. However, many things simply have not changed (despite what people say). A wheel is still round and the sun is still yellow. Many books today are a spin on the classics. Going back to these gems is a good way to ground yourself in what pioneered thinking in many of these fields…
3. READ LESS POPULAR.
Everyone likes to read what is popular. While there is good reason these books are popular, reading what is “fashionably in” or a “NYT Best-Sellers” is a sure fire way to think like, and act like your closest competitors. Read the same, think the same, act the same. Try reading what others DON’T read is a way to get some competitive insight and fresh new perspective. Don’t get caught up in reviews, don’t google “best books for _____”. Simply go to amazon, type in your interest, and click deeper into the pages to find relevant reads. If you are gully enough enough go to google scholar.
4. READ DIVERSITY
Most people only read what they like and have an immediate interest it. Consuming a book from an adjacent field can push your thinking to new levels by providing novel insights, solutions and perspectives. Interest tends to limit the diversity and exposure which is why pushing your book boundaries beyond your typical category can outfit your mind with new perspectives. Yes, it may be uncomfortable at first but give it a shot and you will be amazed at how different genres can accelerate and diversify your thinking.
5. READ SCIENCE.
Many books are derived from a series of peer-reviewed scientific publications. While it’s more enjoyable and easier to read a best-seller book layered with personal anecdotes and stories, many times you can get un-fluffed facts by going directly to the source. I will be the first to admit I have not read “Thinking, Fast and Slow” but have read the key publications which are scientific basis for the book. This is certainly one way to get unfiltered facts with less opinions while saving time in consuming knowledge. Go to the Amazon.com, “Click to preview the book”, References, Locate in Google Scholar.
6. DON’T OVER READ.
Everyone know the benefits of reading. However, we often overlook the downsides from TOO MUCH READING. I noticed 3 issues with excessive reading:
- Can’t think for yourself. If you read others ideas, it can cannibalize your ability to think for yourself.
- Paralyze our ability act. We all probably know a heavy reader who reads endlessly but can’t act on what they read.
- Time consuming. Reading is simply a time consuming sport.
7. WATCH OUT FOR AUDIOBOOKS.
Audiobooks are HOT! Although listening can help you churn through books be sure you are actually processing the content. It is easy for audiobook attention to diverge to other tasks. Reading books require conscious focused attention, whereas audiobooks freely flow into our ears whether we are attending to the content or not. Audiobooks can give us a perception of productivity and multi-tasking but in many cases our attention diverges elsewhere.