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How to Read Like a CEO Without Breaking a Sweat: 47 Books a Year

You’re reading How to Read Like a CEO Without Breaking a Sweat: 47 Books a Year, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

  “I read a book one day and my whole life changed” – Orhan Pamuk Yes, it’s true. You can a read like a CEO without breaking a sweat. And I know this because I do it. And it’s easy. I didn’t believe it at first but a year and 47 books later, it became true. Let me first tell you that an average CEO reads about 40 books a year while an average person reads less than 10 books a year. And the difference in income is more than 400 times bigger. But this is the info you already know. You want to know how so let’s go into it.

Create a system for book reading

You decide you want to start doing something. You know it will transform your life for better. And you start doing it. Day 1 goes great, Day 2 ok and on Day 3 you are already quitting.
Day 7 and you totally forget about that thing you wanted to do. Does this sound like you or everyone that you probably know? Of course, because this is how we usually operate. We rely on our willpower which depletes quickly. And because of that, we quit. Only relying on our willpower will bring us nowhere. So we started to create systems. Systems which would shift the focus from ourselves and our willpower to the system. Here is an example: Imagine that you have a job. And you need to get up at 7:00 AM to go to work. You hate it, grudge but you still do it. Because you HAVE to. Imagine now that you are starting your own company. And you need to get up at 7:00 AM to start working. You hate it and you just hit snooze on your alarm. You still have to do it but it’s gonna be there even if I wake up at 9:00 AM. So you postpone it. To change this, we need a system.

Book reading system 1
My book reading system
A simple system consists of 3 things:

  • Easy Daily Action
  • Tracking
  • Measuring

And that’s it. You just need these 3 things to have a system. And here are the details on each and every one of them

Easy Daily Action

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle To have an efficient system, we need to base it on a daily action. We will take book reading as an example here. The point of daily actions is to make it a habit. And habits are all about repetition. It is not about doing a lot of work in the small amount of time, it is about doing a small amount of work but doing it consistently. That’s why it’s important for the action to be easy. If you had to read 5 hours every single day, you wouldn’t even start. But 30 min a day? It sounds like nothing. And it adds up over time and at some point, it becomes our character and we do it automatically. An example: “I run every day.”, ” I read books every day.”
“I’m a runner”, “I’m a bookworm.”  


  What gets tracked, gets done” – Peter Drucker The system needs to be easy to track. I constantly see people who make their trackers so complicated that it makes me and them sick. And of course, they create them once and never open them again. When you track what you do, you know that you are on the right track. You know how much of that activity you did, when did you do it, how much impact it had, how much time it took you etc.

That’s why we love games. We know when we did progress because that bar moved or we leveled up. Companies already started to leverage this through gamification so why not use it on yourself. The system needs to be simple and easy to use. You don’t want to spend 50 minutes reading every day and then spending an extra 50 minutes filling out your system. The system is there to help you save time and be efficient, not spend it.  


  What gets measured gets improved” – Robin Sharma There are 3 ways of measuring book reading and here are the examples:

  • I will read ___ pages of a book daily
  • I will read ___ minutes daily
  • Did I do my best to read today

The first one is measured by a number of pages you read. I do this for my book reading and it’s 20 pages minimum a day. The second one is measured by the number of minutes you read daily. Keep this number low, between 30-60 min. Remember, it’s about consistency, not intensity. The third one is measured from 1-10 and it falls into the category of self-assessment. There are days when you swamped with a lot of things and maybe you only read 5 pages or read for 10 minutes but it was the maximum you could do on that day. So you give yourself a grade of 10 there. Other days, like a nice Sunday afternoon with no obligation and you can read 100 pages or read for 5 hours and give yourself a grade of 9. It depends on your daily schedule.  

My system

book reading system 2
Click on picture for a full-screen display
I read a minimum of 20 pages of a book every single day. With this, I would read 7300 pages in a year. Considering that an average book has around 200 pages, I would read 37 books in a year. So I started on 20th of December of 2016. I’ve read my 20th book on 5th of June 2017. And once I created a system, it was easy following it. I’m a slow reader so it usually takes me around 50 minutes for 20 pages of a book. Sometimes I read more, sometimes less but here are the overall statistics after a year: 365 days 9273 pages read 47 books 25.4 pages a day on average And it was easy. You can do it too. Just create a system and let me know how’s it going. Cheers, -Bruno

You’ve read How to Read Like a CEO Without Breaking a Sweat: 47 Books a Year, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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About Darren Webb

Hello & Welcome to my blog. My name is Darren Webb and i'm on a magical successful journey and also helping others have a more stress free relaxed life. I truly hope that you find a lot of useful information on my blog and that it helps you through your life. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

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It is widely known that eating a healthy diet benefits our physical health. But less is acknowledged about the psychological benefits. We have all tried exotic ingredients or foods that make us feel happy. But, how is our mood actually affected by what we eat? And, how can it end up influencing our creative thinking?

Pay attention to your body and your mind right now. Are you working at your maximum potential? Now recall what you had for lunch or breakfast and how it may be affecting your productivity. Now put this into perspective. Because this is something that is happening over an extended period of time and not instantly.

The role of glucose as our brain's fuel

The award-winning psychologist, Ron Friedman, explains in one of his articles for Harvard Business Review how "food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon."

And this happens because "about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alert. When we’re running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused and our attention drifts. This explains why it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach".

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Turning fruits and vegetables into well-being

Research conducted by the University of Otago in New Zealand recruited 400 people aged between 17 and 25 years old, to try to define the association between fruit, veg and well-being. For 13 days, participants reported their consumption levels of fruit, vegetables, sweets, and chips, as well as their well-being, curiosity, and creativity. Researchers discovered a correlation between higher fruit and vegetable intake and higher average well-being, curiosity, and creativity levels among the participants. But what is more interesting, is that their fruit and vegetable consumption on one day, didn’t improve their well-being the following day. This therefore emphasizes the need to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet consistently.

Foods that boost creativity

The studies mentioned before, prove that foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals promote well-being, curiosity, and creativity. But what specific foods should we consume to improve our productivity and consequently our creative thinking?

Vitamin C is an essential factor in the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that underlies motivation and promotes engagement. Foods with vitamin C are not only oranges but also strawberries, pineapple, mango, kiwis, papayas, brussel sprouts, bell peppers, and broccoli.

B vitamins influence feelings of vitality and engagement. You will find a source of vitamin B in tuna, Swiss and cottage cheese, shrimp, sardines, mussels, oysters, clams, salmon, crab, trout, herring, beef, chicken, turkey, whole-grain oats, and milk.

Antioxidants such as vitamins E help reduce bodily inflammation, improve memory, enhance mood, and may help prevent depression. Ingredients with vitamins E include almonds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, butternut squash and olive oil, among others.

Finally, spices are such an important part of our daily diet. Cinnamon, for instance, makes your neurons stronger for a longer period of time. Research from the University of California at Santa Barbara shows that a sprinkle of cinnamon in your meal can help blood flow and stabilize proteins in the brain, improving blood glucose.

In conclusion, our creative thinking is affected by a number of external elements, but the food we eat is such an important part of it. Choosing a diet with ingredients that are gradually processed by our body are crucial to staying productive. At the same time, our diet will also affect mental energy and positivity, and the combination of these factors will determine our levels of creativity.


You've read Scientific Studies Show How Nutrition Influences Our Creativity, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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