Make a start. Keep going. Don’t give in.

You have twenty books you want to read/study, but you’re overwhelmed, you don’t know where to begin, or you keep going over the same material. Here’s something I’m doing at the moment that’s working for me. Try it.

Some rules:

  • Go through each book from the start to the finish.
  • Make a start! Open a book and turn to page 1.
  • When you finish a page or two, don’t close the book. Leave it face-up on the page where you’re at.
  • When you reach an impasse or get bored with one thing, move on to another book.
  • Keep going. Use little snatches of time to read on, or work on a small idea until you’re ready to move on.

What works for me is seeing the pile of books as an open loop (to coin a phrase from David Allen); a tangible representation of what I’m working on. And, where I am with it. If I were to close a book and put it back on the shelf, then there’s always the possibility that I might let it drift off and forget about it. There’s something about leaving a book open that moves me forward; likewise, turning a page. There’s something about closing a book that allows me to close down to it. So I’m using this as a way of tricking myself into carrying on; keeping going; not giving in.

Comments on Make a start. Keep going. Don’t give in.

  1. Will says:

    Great idea, except my wife hates my open guitar books all over the house. :)

  2. haha, thought the same thing. Great idea but my wife wouldn’t be too thrilled abot it :)

  3. Mike Outram says:

    Comments are going well then…

  4. John Gregson says:

    I really like this idea. I have 4 fiction/non-fiction books on the go right now, and about 15 muso books I currently want to absorb ideas from and become Master of the Universe because of.

    Especially the sight-Reading texts, for some reason.

    Osmosis isn’t working, neither is coffee. But your idea seems like a plan – I’m guilty of storing all the studies in what Robin Ince has called his ‘bookshelf of Good Intentions’, and perhaps having a visual reminder of your progress or lack thereof could be a strong motivating factor. I’ll give it a shot!

  5. Laston says:

    True, I’m developing on that, I think it is a strong foundation. My grand father used to tell me that ” Money can buy you a book but can not buy you knowledge” which means a book on the shelf is just there laying, but a book filled in the mind is active and productive. Great !!

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