My process for reading and digesting books final part 3

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To get the most out of this make sure you have read Part 1, Part 2.

Now onto the last part.

People fail to get the most out of a book because they don’t have a system in place to get the most and best info from the book and carry out the key ideas from the book that will benefit their lives. I have two systems, one for extracting key ideas and principles from the book and placing them in a system so they are not lost and another system to integrate new ideas into our lives. This is why I have come to the place of being ok to put a book down if it is not good in my opinion. My time is too valuable to read something that is not full of benefit for me.

The first step is to capture key ideas and principles. Fortunately, there are some tools available for use which can be adapted to help in capturing ideas. Personally I prefer to use a Evernote to capture ideas and principles from the books I read. The result is a collection of easily searchable notes I use to integrate new ideas and principles into my life.

The second step is to have a system to carry out and integrate those ideas into my personal life. Knowledge without application is useless. It’s only as we allow new ideas and principles to change our lives that we become wise. There is nothing that will cause you to grow more than when attempting to put new ideas and principles into action. I do this using a “Action list” which I review daily. I review this list every morning to orientate my day and I then attempt to apply some of these principles throughout the work day. I do this until new habits are formed. Usually around 21-30 days.

Other strategies I use to help with implementation are:

1. Teaching others these new ideas and principles. To teach is one of the best ways to learn and clarify new ideas.

2. Create reminders and check ups, in my calendar.

To integrate and apply what we learn requires us to be intentional, setting aside time to practice, experiment and apply new ideas. To systemise then I use the following key principles:

1. Extract key ideas and principles from the book.
2. File them into a system so they can be easily located when required.
3. Use a system, a step-by-step approach, to carry out and integrate these new insights into my life.
4. Set a deadline for the implementation.
5. Develop reminders, questions or even posters to keep you motivate and focused.
6. Teach what I have learned to others.
7. Experiment with the ideas and principles as I wrestle with implementation.

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