Turning Books Into Action

I advise people to always be reading books, including career books.  One of the problems however is we can read so much that our latest reading falls out of our mind as soon as we finish it and pick up a new one.  So here a few tips for what I use to turn what I learn in a book to action.

1) If a book has exercises you can do while reading them?  Do them.  This lets you get as much out of the book as possible and keeps it in your mind fast.

2) If a book has exercises you can't do until you're done, do them IMMEDIATELY or very shortly after finishing the book.  Keep the book with you if possible for a reminder.

3) Review the book after completion to make sure you integrate the lessons.

4) Keep notes while reading for things to do after you read the book.

5) After you finish the book (or during) write up an action plan to put what you read into action.  Include what you truly need, don't include everything unless you feel you have to or the book works best if you do all exercises.

Reading and getting the most out of a book is a matter of active engagement.  A plan to get the most out of a book makes sure you are engaged.

– Steven Savage