I’m excited about this phrase from the latest James Altucher book and I almost cannot keep it to myself because …well, I’d been thinking about how we can actually sharpen the muscle of ideas we come up with. Someone else had corroborated my thinking! So I share with my colleague George and we burst into a discussion around the subject of ideas. Then he pauses for a second and then asks the familiar question he has often asked, ‘how do you find time to read books’.  Of course, I know where the question is coming from. I spend half of my days tinkering with code, the other half responding to the gazillion emails I receive everyday. I then borrow another half of a day to slug in the thick Lagos traffic.

The many times I get home famished, tired as a mug and then it’s the next day. Within that 24 hour space, I realize I actually don’t have the time to read books as I would like to. It almost seems like the older you get the less time you have for yourself. But I have let this excuse not take over my need to read.

But there are a few things to consider when you want to fight the urge to be lazy about reading.

What do you want to achieve

 

The answer to the question of what you want to achieve by reading needs to be as loud as an auctioneer. Do you want to know more about the Startup Ecosystem? Do you want to know more about growing a small business? Do you want to know more about Africa? Do you want to improve on your social skills? If you have a yes to your question, how important is it to you?

Timeliness

I often hear people talk about how they want to read a book a month. I am not sure how effective that is. Maybe to some it is easy to accomplish. Either ways, giving yourself a timeline to finish a book, series of books is equally important.

Kill your major enemy

Aha! Got you there! This is not your typical enemy! This is the enemy that disguises as your friend! YOUR MOBILE FREAKING PHONE! Switch it off! Here is how– tell yourself you’d dedicate say 30 minutes or 1 hour to read then switch off your phone. Or at least kill all notifications. And for once, this once in your life, you need to know that your life will not melt if your phone was away. Trust me!

Change your environment

When I change my environment, I am able to either increase or decrease the effectiveness of my reading. Grab a drink, your book, kill your mobile phone and go to Orchid Bistro or wherever it is that captures the ambience you love.

Whenever I tell myself I don’t have the time to read, I respond to that lie by telling it I haven’t gotten something I am really interested in reading.

How does it work for you? Or do you also buy in this lie?