The Art of Learning Efficiently and Effectively - A Reading Masterclass | Gareth Evans | Skillshare

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The Art of Learning Efficiently and Effectively - A Reading Masterclass

teacher avatar Gareth Evans, Teacher & YouTuber

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

21 Lessons (1h 4m)
    • 1. Welcome to the Class

    • 2. Become a Reading Machine

    • 3. The Hidden Benefit of Reading

    • 4. One Trick to Change How You Read Forever

    • 5. Think of Reading Like an Interview

    • 6. Mindshift For Reading Effectively

    • 7. The Secret of Supercharged Learning

    • 8. Staying on Track

    • 9. Creating a Learning Ritual

    • 10. How to Stay on Top of Your Reading

    • 11. What Should You Read?

    • 12. The 3 Types of Books You Need to Read

    • 13. The First Critical Step

    • 14. The Three Different Ways to Read

    • 15. What Not to Read

    • 16. Instantly Read Quicker

    • 17. Remember to Think

    • 18. The Art of Taking Notes IN the Book

    • 19. The Art of Taking Notes ON the Book

    • 20. Remember What You Learn Forever

    • 21. Your Reading Challenge

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About This Class

Whether you’re at school, just starting a new job, or trying to achieve your life goals, we never stop learning. As a result, it is those individuals who are able to learn most efficiently and read most effectively that are going to get ahead. In short, knowing how to learn and how to read is a superpower that can create significant positive changes to your life. The crazy thing is, we’re never actually taught how to learn or read in a way that delivers results and drives us closer towards our dreams. Most of us will pick up a book, read it from cover to cover, before forgetting everything you read within a matter of days. 

In this class, I will take you through the well-kept secrets of how to learn efficiently and read effectively, such that by the end of the course you should be able to read a book a day while remembering all the critical points that each of them communicate. We’ll break down (1) why you should be reading one book a day and how the most successful minds in the world utilise reading to propel them to greatness, (2) how to shift your mindset and the way you think about learning/reading, utilising the pareto principle and higher standards to your advantage, (3) what to read and when to read so you are using your time wisely and giving yourself the best opportunity to live the life you want. Finally, you will create your own personal action plan that will enable you to quickly understand and summarise the books you read and never forget any of the critical points they teach you. 

Using the principles in this course I was able to secure a first-class law degree and offers to study at both Oxford and Cambridge university. They have also enabled me to grow one of the world’s largest student learning platforms, Digestible Notes, and a six-figure marketing business by quickly learning some of the core principles from the greatest minds in history. 

I am super excited to meet you and will do everything I can to help you throughout your own learning journey! Take your time working through the content and I will do my best to read and reply to all your questions, concerns, and contributions.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Gareth Evans

Teacher & YouTuber


Hi there,

I'm Gareth (25), a law graduate with a passion for education. I've spent the last few years building Digestible Notes - helping thousands of students along the way - and a 6-figure digital marketing agency, Osito Media.

I'm working on creating Skillshare content that helps transform the way you learn and ensure you can be in the perfect position to achieve your biggest dreams and aspirations. 

If you'd like to find out more, please do follow my Skillshare profile, and if you're a fan of my content and you've got ideas for classes that you'd find useful, drop me a message/email and I'll see what I can do

See full profile

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1. Welcome to the Class: If there's one thing that can significantly change your life, it's the ability to learn efficiently and read effectively. And I didn't quite understand how important this was until I heard the story of Henry Ford. Henry Ford was a regular guy working in a factory alongside some other guy. But 25 years later, that same guy will still working in the factory, whereas Henry Ford, now the richest man in the world. And so I wondered what could explain such a big difference in people's lives? And I noticed that a big part of it was knowledge and information. It's no wonder then that a lot of rich people and a lot of successful people credit their success, or at least a very large part of it to reading and learning. So in this course, we're going to cover four main areas and the promises that by the end of the course, you will know how to read about a book a day, or at least in my case, about 300 books a year. As the founder of digestible notes, one of the largest online student platforms for learning. I've been preaching this information to students for a number of years. But this the first time that I've actually packaged everything together into a single course. The first area of this course, we'll cover why you should be reading a book a day. And then the second area of recovering the mindset shift that you're going to need to be reading effectively. Before moving on to a third area where we discussed what exactly you should be reading and when you should be reading before finally creating a personal action plan. So you can put all this principles, all this knowledge into practice before trying out the class project, where you will be trying to read a book in an hour and take notes on that book. I will also be hopefully providing some bonus videos to help you get even more out of learning and reading. I'm so grateful and humbled that you've taken the time to go through this course. Now, if you take what you learn here and you apply it, it can transform your life as it has done with mine and many other people across the world. And also really love to hear about what you're reading and make sure you put lots of comments below so I can get back to all of you and help you out as much as possible. So let's get started. 2. Become a Reading Machine: Let's first talk about why you need to become a reading machine. Now, when I was at school, I was actually getting to education's. The first was taught by professors and teachers and the other was taught by people like Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, and some of the world's smartest thinkers. And that's when I realized how important and how incredible books are. We take books for granted because, you know, when we're a school board, university were assigned so many books that we have to go away and read. But when you really think about it, it's amazing that we can learn directly from some of the world's smartest minds. For example, Elon Musk, the co-founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla, three different billion-dollar companies, attributes his knowledge of rocket science not to a master's degree or any school education in the formal sense, but to reading books and speaking to people. And Charlie monger, who's Warren Buffett's business partner and a billionaire himself, said that he has known no wise people who didn't read all the time. And Napoleon Hill, who's book on success has sold over 70 million copies. Said the person who stopped studying merely because he has finished school is forever hopelessly doomed to mediocrity. No matter what may be his cooling, the way of success is in the continuous pursuit of knowledge. And Will Smith said that the keys to life are running and reading, reading because there is no problem you can ever face that someone else hasn't already faced, mastered it and written about it. I'm giving you the key to life right now is running and reading the reason. And there have been millions and billions and billions zillions of people that have before Allah, but there's no, no problem. You'll get your Paris with store with anything. There's no problem you can have that someone has in Ireland and wrote about it in a book. In the end, most successful people have their love of reading in common. It's no wonder Nat Warren Buffett will spend up to eight hours a day reading. And Bill Gates will assign one week a year solely for reading too. So if you want to do big things, if you want to be successful, reading isn't just a nicety. It's a must. 3. The Hidden Benefit of Reading: Now I want to point out another reason why reading is just so important that a lot of people just completely mess. And you've probably seen in movies, we've read books about the importance of positive thinking. But what actually allows us or enables us to think positive thoughts in the first place. Because if I just sat there and thought, OK from now on, I'm just going to think positively. I'm going to have no negative thoughts. Is not going to work because your thoughts are like a train. And once it's already moving in a certain direction towards negativity, then it's just going to continue moving in that direction. We have studied 60 thousand falls every single day. So the question is, what shapes our 4s? And the answer is what we put into our mind. For example, if you were to watch the news every single day, that's a lot of negative stimulus coming into your brain and say that's likely to affect to Outlook and probably make you have a lot of negative thoughts. But if you're feeding a lot of positive thoughts into your mind, that can completely change the way you think. You know, you'd be thinking positively about things. You'll be excited about what life has to offer. So this is really the hidden benefit of reading that, that most people can completely mess, is that reading can stimulate your mind to think in the correct way, in a positive way, okay? If you're reading the right things, it makes you have positive thoughts and it makes you stoked about life. It makes you want to get up, get going, and start pursuing your dreams. And that's what I want people to realize. That, you know, if your read and write things in reading a lot of the right things, you're gonna be in the right mental position to achieve whatever you want. I wanted to tell you all of this to give you a little bit of extra motivation and to take it to heart. Because reading is something that will give you hundreds of new ideas every single day that could radically change your life. And it will also be stimulating your mind in a way to start thinking more positively that allows you to have the tools necessary to execute on those ideas. So I hope this video gets you excited about reading more, learning more. Now in the next video, I want to build on this and share with you the things that completely changed the way that I looked at reading. So let's jump into that now. 4. One Trick to Change How You Read Forever: My goal or this part of the course is to change how you are looking at reading. Because when you start looking at reading differently, you automatically begin reading differently. So in this video, I want to share with you what you're learning for in school and university. They give you a lot of information just so that you can have an intelligent conversation about it, or just write about it in an intelligent way. They give you all this information, but you can't really act on it. You just have to regurgitate it in your exams. But what we're talking about here, and what I want you to do is to read for action. You want to read only for the actionable takeaways. That's what books need to be. They need to be tools that can guide you to take the correct action. Thus why you should always be thinking when you ever, whenever you're reading a book, how can we actually apply this? And if you can't apply the information, then that information is purely entertainment. This course is really based on the idea that a single idea, if thoroughly applied, can revolutionize your life. While a 100 ideas or theories or simply just confused you. The whole point of this. To be able to get through a number of books and to extract all the relevant information. So you can actually apply it to your life and achieve all your dreams. A few days ago, for example, I was reading a book and I gaba halfway through the book and nothing was applying to me. It just didn't seem relevant to me at all. And it would've been quite easy for me that up that stays to just set the book to one side and think I'm not reading anymore. However, I did press on and about three courts the way through the book. I got an idea that I knew if I took it and implemented it into my life, it would be worth about 10 thousand pounds to me, and it was very easy to implement two. And so this is the point. Most people would've taken the book, read it from cover to cover, and forgotten about it the next day. But if you get just one idea from a book like I did, and you can apply it to your life to make it better than it's completely worth your time. So that's what you need to do when you are reading. Remember, you're not reading to have a conversation about it like you did AS good OR university, you're reading for action. And this is something that I really want you to remember and understand as you move through this course. This is a complete mindset shift from what we were taught us school and how we were taught to learn at school to the point of learning then is to take away actionable things we can apply to our life. As the great business philosopher, Jim Rhone set, don't let your learning lead to knowledge. You'll become a full, let your learning lead to action. You'll become wealthy. 5. Think of Reading Like an Interview: In this video, I want to get you thinking about active reading in a slightly different way. I want you to think of reading as an interview. So don't think of reading as reading. Think of it as if you're trying to get to know an expert in something. Because reading is like an interview. You're interviewing the author of that book. The other reason why it's like an interview is because you're also interviewing the book itself. Okay. You're not trying to get every idea out of the book, book to see if it's a book that you actually wanted to become friends with because you want to visit that same book over and over again, because you want to get to know it really well and the points that he makes over the long term. So instead of having the mindset that you need to sit down and read a book for ten hours to get every single point out of it, you just want to think about getting the main points, the best ideas, ok? You want the best paths that you can take from it to make your life better. You want to take those things and apply them to your life, reflect on them, and tie them to the other points from other books that you've also read. So importantly, you go through a book to determine if it's one of those books that has such a deep impact on you that you are want to return to that book over and over again. So the pressure is truly off. The point isn't to get every point out of every book. The point is to determine if it is one of those books. The book that you're currently reading is one of those books that you want to ingrain so deeply into your mind that it becomes part of you. Now, you're obviously going to get a lot out of every book that you read. But the few amazing books that you do want to return to over and over again. Other ones that are going to add the most value to your life and gonna propel you towards your goals. 6. Mindshift For Reading Effectively: When I was at school, I probably read max four or five books a year. But this all changed when I had a guest speaker come to my school and someone asked him, how do you read so much? Because every five seconds he was referencing this book or this study. And he said, look, I think the biggest misconception people have when they start reading is that they need to get from page one there, flip over to page two, and then three, all the way to the end of the book. And he said you've got to realize that a book is a tool, okay? And your goal isn't necessarily to read every single page and every single word. But you've got to extract the information that you need to help you move towards your own goals in the most efficient way possible. Now this really, really does change how you read, okay? Although some books going to be easier to read, a harder to read depend on how it's actually formatted. The important point is that if you're using the book as a tool, this is a key phrase, or using the book as a tool. You don't need to go through the book from cover to cover, going through each page one by one, you need to find this particular sections that are relevant to you and dive into them and apply those principles. And the points are, are made to your life directly as the book, as a tool you're going to want to write all over the book. You're going to want to make notes are going to want to write in the margin, scribbled some notes. You're going to want to underline stuff. Okay, gotta remember this is a tool, not a textbook. So many people think they need to read every single word that is put into the book. But I would rather apply something known as the Pareto principle or the 80-20 rule. I would rather spend 20% of my time getting 80% of the points made in the book, rather than a 100% of my time trying to get 100% of the points made. So let's stop worrying about trying to be perfect one reading and start worrying about getting the book done and forget about reading every single word from cover to cover. 7. The Secret of Supercharged Learning: So far in this course, I hope you've seen that whether you are learning at school right now or not, you need to start taking education into your own hands. Now it's funny because when I was at school and I'm sure the same is the case for you. You'll often ask yourself like, when am I actually going to use this information? And I'm sure that a helps to develop your mind learning math, earnings, science, always other topics are great. But I'd rather be learning something that not only develop as my mind, but also allows me to take action on the information that I've learned. You've probably sat in the classroom wondering why you're spending all this time learning all this outdated material, which likely cost you thousands of pounds of thousands of dollars when he could quite easily just pick up a book from your local shop or from the library and apply that information right away. Now these faults made me realize that when I was at university, I needed to make sure I was spending enough time reading the books that I wanted to read and start pursuing my goals. I didn't want to have to spend time in class to get in the way of that. When I knew that I had the power right now to pick up the books I wanted and start learning the things that I could directly implement into my life. Ok, drive me towards where I want it to be. What I came to learn at school and at university was that if I wanted to get top grades, whether that straight A's or first-class degree. I needed to raise my standard. Okay. So I need to set my standard that I was doing to get a first-class law degree and anything else was going to be a complete failure. Now, in this course I am going to be teaching the tricks to read faster and what you can do to get the most out of your reading. But one of the biggest things that you can do right now is to set a higher standard for reading. My standards for reading is a book a day. And if I do anything else, I will feel like I haven't done particularly well. So what you need to do is to change our standard. Now for most people, their standard as about one book a month or maybe one book every couple of months. And so if this is where you're going to place your standard, that is probably the result you're going to get. So if you set your standard as a book a month, that chances are you will end up reading a book a month. But for me, any book that takes over a data read is probably a long book. And although I won't always achieve my standard, although I won't always read one book a day. I know that my standard is still a book a day and you should be adopting a very similar mindset if you want to start learning more and reading more. Just by doing this, I promise you you're going to read a lot more books. Because if you need to read, let's say a book a day, you're going to automatically come up with new tools, new tricks, new ways to read faster so you can achieve that goal. So the first step then is to set your standard for reading. Now my personal recommendation will be a book a day, but you can change that to fit your lifestyle a little bit better if need be. But I still think that all of you can achieve one book every single day. But the tools, tips, and tricks that I'm gonna teach you on this course. Then was come up with us Duncan reading, I would recommend that you share it with everyone in the discussion section below. 8. Staying on Track: In the last video, I talked about the secret to becoming a learning machine, which is all about setting yourself a standard, a standard to read one book a day. And in this video, I want to share with you how I went about learning to read 300 books a year. You see your standard is your potential to read. And when I first started trying to read 300 books a year, I would do pretty well for a few days while read a book a day or read a book every two days. But then there would be times where I would end up picking up a book and they're not reading from a week or two or even months before picking up again and keep going. So this was a big problem and how did I fix that? I fixed it using goals. It really is as simple as that. Set yourself a goal. You see when I first started out trying to read a lot, that was literally all I set myself the challenge of doing just read as much as possible. Ok? And this didn't work out because I didn't really have a quote. I didn't have a particular benchmark of where I needed to be and what will success and what wasn't. So I quickly found myself just sort of veering off in the wrong direction and not reading for weeks or months at a time. So you need this bigger picture to actually make sure you stick to your reading goals, which is when Jeff White, when January came around this year, I set myself the goal of reading 300 books by the end of the year. It may not be January when you are listening to this, it may be June, for example, but if it is June, you can set yourself that goal of reading 150 books for the next six months or the remaining six months of the year. But I like going by the calendar and setting out, seeing what day is today are all month it is today, and seeing how many books I can read until the end of the year. So this is really critical. I want you to think to yourself right now, how many books do I want to read this year? Now this is really important because it allows you to see the bigger picture of the goal itself and helps you stay motivated when you're feeling like, why am I doing this? What is the angle? You will know what the end goal is because if already written it down, so take a second now, write that down. And if you want to get ahead of the game, I would recommend you leaving that exact number in the discussion section below, where other people can help you stay motivated and achieve that goal. 9. Creating a Learning Ritual: In this video, I want to talk about how to make sure you're always learning. And there's a great quote by Jim Rhone when he says, motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going. So as he watched these videos, you've probably motivated and already have a goal as to how many books you want to read every year you already have your standard for reading set. But the point is, we all only have so much willpower and that motivation isn't going to last forever. There will be days when, you know, you can't be bothered or quote, unquote, too tired. And you just don't feel like it's so this is why you need to spend some time right now while you do have the motivation to set a habit. And you gotta get yourself into a mindset where reading is no longer something you have to think about. It just is done automatically. And you do this by setting yourself a daily ritual. What I suggest you do is to have a little think about your current daily routine and the events that happen throughout your day, every single day. If you're someone like me, your wake-up and you'll go downstairs and have some breakfast. You then want to attribute a trigger to an event that happens every day of your life. For example, the eating of your breakfast, QP the trigger that I'm on about, or it could be getting dressed or it could be getting back from school law, from university, or even work. And that trigger than invites you to start reading. Let me share with you my personal morning ritual to give you an example. So every morning when I wake up, I will go downstairs or grab myself a glass of water. And that will help me to sort of feel energized and ready for the day. And then I'll go grab myself some porridge on a piece of fruit. And once I finished eating that, I will come upstairs, set my phone to do not disturb, and placed the timer on my desk and set it for 50 minutes. And at that point, I will just sit and read for 15 minutes without destruction. Now, I don't always finish a book within that time. Usually I would do. That's why my goal of 300 books and not, you know, 365 books. But sometimes if I do have a bit more time during the day or during the weekend, then I will do a little bit more reading, but that is just the cherry on top. So you really need to set up a reading ritual. So before you move on to the next video, uh, we need to have a little thing right now about what you're reading ritual is, hey, what is the thing that is going to be the trigger that's going to commence your reading. So if it's like me is going to be eating breakfast is gonna be the trigger that starts your reading. And I would highly recommend using an electronic timer and not a phone. So there's nothing to distract you. You can then spend that chunk of time every single day reading without anyone or anything interrupting you. This one habit will completely change your life. I promise you that you will learn way more than you've ever learned before. And you will have ideas that you can take action on. And it will stimulate your mind in such a way that you start feeling excited and positive about everything life has to offer. So go ahead right now and decide what you're reading, which is a, once you've decided it, make sure you leave a comment in the discussion section below. 10. How to Stay on Top of Your Reading: In this video, let's talk about how to perfectly keep track of your reading. So let's go over to Excel and look at the excel sheet that I use to keep track of the books I have read, the books that I want to read, and my favorite books that I want to review every so often because they are extremely important in shaping my life and how I do things. So here we are in Excel looking at an Excel sheet that I made coud 300 books. Let me point out the things that are important about this that I want you to do as well. Now, firstly, at the very top of the page here, I have my goal for the year. Just to remind me what it is I want to do is here and why I'm keeping track of this sheet and updating it every single day. So at the top, I have the goal of reading 300 books this year. Then every day when I read a book such as awaken the giant within, I will write it down in here. Let's measure we spell that correctly. And I then put the date next to it here. So let's say it's the first of January whenever that book, I put one slash one and now implemented the first of January next to it. Then the next day I will put another book. So let us say atomic habits. And then I'll put the date in there as well. So let's say it's the second of January and the next day and the next day, I'll keep doing this. And then every seven days, I will then review the books I read for the last week just to keep it fresh and remind myself of the things that I really liked about it, all the ideas I want to take and apply. The other thing I'd like to do is over on the right-hand side of this excel sheet. Anytime I hear about a book, whether I'm listening to a podcast or reading a blog, or even if one of my friends makes recommendations, I usually just bind up but right away because I warned that book and don't want to forget about it. But any book idea I have, I will implement it right here. So let's say someone told me about this great book called Shoe Dog. I will just write that down in there. And then let's say I read a blog post which said to read the book rest, then I would also implement that in this list as well. So this way I can keep track of the books I want to read that I haven't read yet. And also that way I don't have to think too much like, okay, I finished his book. What's next? I already know why can read, because I've got a list of books ready for you. Form it, forming. And by the way, something else I do, that is part of my quote, unquote ritual is that I take out the book I plan on reading the next morning and put it on my desk so that when it is time to read, I don't have to spend at the beginning of my day deciding what read as I have already set that in place. Now there is one more thing I want to point out about this excel sheet. I have a list of my favorite books, okay? So anytime I read a book has a huge impact on me. I write it in this category in the middle of the excel sheet. Preferably I want this category to be anywhere between 25100 books. They should be the books I want to review over and over the books I want to get to know so well over the years that they literally become ingrained into my mind. Because you've got to remember that books are tools and it cannot just think that you can read it once and it got it forever. Like Peter Drucker says, knowledge must be constantly improved or vanishes. And that is why I want to make sure that the knowledge that I want to keep in my mind, I want to ensure I keep refreshing it and building on it. So anytime I read a book that I really like, and it's one of my favorites. I will add it to this category just to make sure any downtime I get our common Review one of those books, or at least my notes for those books. And I also take notes in such a way which we will go over later in this course that I can review any book like that and maybe 20 minutes. So I want to make sure I set aside some time to review my favorite books so they stay my might and become part of my life. So let's say my favorite books of this comfort zone. And Think and Grow Rich. We'll just write it in here. And that way I've got them written down so that I know these are the books that I want to come back to am review at some point. Anyway, I hope this was useful. It's been incredibly helpful for me and helping to organize my reading and keeping track of everything. And it's also been extremely motivational to keep track of it all and to check in every now and again. It's also like Jerry Seinfeld. He, he wanted to create new jugs every single day and he wants to make habitat for birds. So what he did was he created while he printed up a massive candor and stuck it on his wall. And every day that he made a new joke, he would just cross it off. And pretty soon he build up a chain of days where he had been creating joke off the joke, often joke. And at that point, not only did he have a ritual, but he had the motivation that he was creating this chain of jokes. And in the same way, by crossing off your days of reading one per day, for instance, you're going to create a ritual under habit, and also you're going to have the motivation to continue. So when you start filling in this excel sheet and you filled in the first 30 to 40 books. What happens is, is that to begin with, you feel great because you've read more books than your friends are going to read over the next two to three years. But more importantly, keep that motivation going because once he started building this chain of books that you've read, you just want to keep going and going and going. So what I've done is I've, underneath this video, I've included a link to download this Excel sheet I've got and I've shown you in this video so that you can implement your own Excel sheet of books you've read that you want to read, and also a list of your favorite books too. So I hope this was helpful. And in the next video, I'm going to show you what to read. 11. What Should You Read?: In this video, we're going to cover what to read because it is more important what you read then how quickly you actually read. It's like what the great management thinker, Peter Drucker said. You need to know the difference between being effective and being efficient. Being efficient means doing something well, in this case, reading quickly. But being effective is knowing what read and what not to read. There are really two things that you need to think about when deciding what to read. The first, I want to show you by sharing another idea by Peter Drucker. Peter Drucker said in his book, The Effective Executive, that you can be truly world-class in one or two areas, ok? So you have to decide what those one or two areas are going to be and then dedicate ten or 20 years of your life towards it. Now, what are those areas in your life that can provide the most value to the world and provide the most value to your own life. For example, Warren Buffet is world-class in investing, and Tony Robbins is world-class in neuro linguistic programming. So where does talent meet opportunity? Because at least half of your reading should be dedicated to delving deep into those areas. It's like what Brian Tracy said in his audio program, psychology of achievement. If you spend three years, one hour a day, really about a subject that will make you an expert. If you spend five years, one hour a day reading about a subject that will make you a national authority. And if you spend seven years, one hour a day reading about a subject that will make you an international authority. But the person who says they want to be really good at everything, and that's quite common now a lot of people say they want to be the best at lots of different things. They are indispensable and they're not adding much value to the world or tool because it's the specialist, the person who is world-class at that particular area that is irreplaceable. And there will get paid the most and they will produce the most value to the world. So you don't wanna do what most people do, which is just read a wide range of topics. It's better to go deep than to go wide. Going deep should be at least 50% of your reading. The other half is learning all the big ideas. And Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's right-hand man recommends learning all the big ideas in all the big disciplines. He talks about the idea of holism, which is an idea that Aristotle summarized when he said that the whole is different than the sum of its parts. And even if you want to specialize in one subject, if you want to know that subject in greater depth than you really need to understand all the big disciplines pretty well too. So what I'm recommending that is, although you should be focusing on one area, I'm be dedicated to becoming a world-class. That particular area, you'll never truly going to become world-class without having the holistic understanding of the main areas in the main disciplines. So to summarize, there are two main categories of books you want to read. The first category are those category of books that are going to lead to become a world expert in a certain area. And the second category is learning about all the big ideas from the greatest minds in history. And in the next video, we're going to delve a little deeper into this idea to talk about the three specific types of books you're going to need to read. 12. The 3 Types of Books You Need to Read: Let's talk about the three types of books you need to read. The first type of book is biographies and autobiographies. And to be honest, for the longest time, I thought there was no point reading biographies and autobiographies. And in fact, the other day I was speaking to a friend who said that they wanted to be an actor and so I asked them, have you been reading any books by your favorite actors and actresses to know exactly what the process is, to lead them from where they were when they were child to where they are today. And they responded by telling me that they knew their general story. They'd read Wikipedia, and that was enough. And for the longest time, this exactly the way I thought about. But here are the benefits of reading biographies and autobiographies. Firstly, you're going to learn specific things, little details that you can apply to your own career and your own life that aren't in a general one-page summary on Wikipedia or in the headline of a newspaper. Secondly, you're going to learn exactly what it takes to succeed. And not just what some marked are awesome, clever book title wants to make you believe is true. We're always told, here's the way succeed, here some get rich quick scheme. But when you read a biography or autobiography, you know, you're reading the true story, you're reading what it really takes to him and reach the top. And most importantly, you get into that person's mind. Remember how we talked about in an earlier video, how reading can stimulate the mind. It can make you think more positively and help drive those goals that you want to achieve. Well, when you read biographies and autobiographies, you learn exactly how that person things and you can implement that their way of thinking into your own mind. Just like in the real world, do you become just like the people or think like the people that you are surrounded by. So if you're reading about the people who you want to be and you want to follow their same success, then you can cut literally years of your own personal processes by following, unlearning about what they did in their own personal books. So do make sure you include biographies and autobiographies in your list of reading on your Excel sheets. The next category of books you definitely want to read are specific skill or how to books. And remember in the last video that we talked about the need to read about stuff that you want to become world-class in an international authority, in an R, in this particular category of books, you are learning those skills and they aren't necessarily people's opinions. They can be quite difficult to read. They live it dry at times, but they're going to give you loads of great ideas and stimulate your mind in the right way. But regardless of whatever the particular area you want to become world-class in, I would highly recommend really about accounting, finance, investment, copywriting, direct marketing, and sales, and maybe even a book about taxes. Because even if you have someone else doing your taxes is really important to have a general understanding of it. The third category, or what I call success books, they are perhaps a little bit more debatable. Maybe they are management or business bestsellers, or maybe they're just books on happiness and psychology. And these birds can range from anything from tao te ching written by lot say in the fourth century BCE. Or Good to Great, written by Jim Collins in 2001. Now I call the success books because even if they don't teach you specific skills, they do give you a lot of action that you can take and apply to your particular life to help you get the most out of your life. In the previous video, we talked about splitting or reading into specific skills you want to be world-class in and general reading. And here we're talking about making sure you dive down into three particular categories of reading. Those are associated with autobiographies and biographies, those about specific skills and those books that are about success. And so what I want you to do at this point is to really think about what is it that you want to be world-class in? And to write that down in the comments section below, because then I and other people can help find you books that you should be reading, the help deliver on these specific areas. Whether that's to help you drive your specific skills associated with where you want to be world-class in or whether it's a more general book about, you know, success, I can help power you on towards your goal. So I hope these last two videos have been helpful in making Think about what you need to read in the first place. Because the worst thing that you can do is learn to read quickly, but not actually be reading the right thing. Because if you do that, you're going to be wasting a lot of time and you're going to be polluting your mind at the same time. So you're gonna be getting the wrong kind of stimulation. 13. The First Critical Step: Brian Tracy said that the first 10% of the time you spend planning and organizing your work before you begin will save you as much as 90% of the time getting the job done once you get started. In a sense, when you start to read, you want to plan. And what you want to do is preview every book before you even read it. Before I tell you how, let me tell you why, okay. First of all, it determines whether or not the book requires a more careful reading. Because if it doesn't, Maybe you can just spend ten or 20 minutes getting the core principles, the core points from the book. And then you're pretty much done with the book as it is. Second of all, if you do want to go deeper into that book, it gives you a good idea of what going to read. And it does actually make it substantially quicker when you do actually go through the book properly. And third of all, and perhaps most importantly, it determines how you're going to go through the book, How fast are going to go through the book, and what particular sections of the book you should be focusing on. Here's how it works. So you begin by reading the summary on the back or in the inside cover of the book. Then you read the table of contents all the way through and dip into the main sections from the table of contents that interests you most. Then he can just flip through the book again and can find the parts that are most relevant to you. And at this point of view of reading, you do want to be reading any more than about two or three pages at any one time. So as you're flipping through the book, could sort of just picking out small sentence has small paragraphs and sort of get a general feel for the book. And there are three main questions that you should be asking yourself as you preview the book. The first question you want to ask yourself is, what is the main idea of the book? And the second question is, what do I need from the book? What do I need from it? Remember your reading for action. How do you expect this book to make your life better? Because when he knew the answer to that question, you're going to know how to go through the book on what the important points are from the book itself. So it means you will be spending more time reading through the book and going through useless information. And the third question that you need to ask yourself is, which parts should I read? Sometimes it will be all of the book that is an unusual. But asking this question gets you in the right state of mind where you're thinking there are some parts of this book where I might not actually need to read this. And so it allows you to think a little bit more freer and allows you to think that you do actually need to read every single word, sort of taking you away from the mindset that you are taught at school or university where you felt like you didn't need to do that. So what you want to do then is to spend 5-10 minutes before starting any book by previewing it. When he knew the answer to those three questions, you're going to have a much easier time actually reading the book. You're going to do the main ideas before you even start. And you're going to know the sections that are most relevant to you and that you can apply to your life straight away. So when you know what you need, you're going to know what you don't need from the book too, so you can skip those sections as well. Now, there are three main ways of reading books, and this is what we are going to be looking at in the next video. 14. The Three Different Ways to Read: In this video, I want to share with you why there are three different ways to read and when to use each. Now, like we talked about in the previous video, the first way that you can read a book is to just preview. Use previewing. And you just ask yourself, can I extract the information that I need from the book in this particular way? And I love the time you can look through a book and discover that you can find all the information you need from just 20 minutes of reading, you've looked at the contents, you looked at the summary in found the main paragraphs and the main sections that you need to apply it to your particular life. But occasionally, this won't be enough. So what do you do them? Well, the second way to read is to use a process of scanning. And you use your preview to go deeper into the sections that are most relevant to you. For example, if after previewing the book you discovered that there are some sections that are particularly relevant to you. You would dive deeper into those particular sections and only then would you decide whether or not you should be moving on to other particular sections. But scanning is a little bit deeper and more meaningful than previewing. What you do when you're scanning is you find each either paragraph or each sentence and you determine from that quick review of each sentence on each paragraph whether or not the content within that paragraph or within that chapter is worth reading in more depth. And only then do you dive deeper into that particular paragraph or chapter. There's no pointers reading everything willy nilly, when you knew it was gonna be a lot of useless informations as scanning is a process of going through each chapter, each paragraph from the relevant sections in a little bit more depth and identifying the information that is most relevant to you from each paragraph. The third way to read is actually reading, that is to say reading the book from cover to cover. But even then, you're going to want to skip excessive descriptions, skip random stories, art. You've already got the main point from the particular chapter or paragraph you're in. That has to say skip points that you have no interest in or have no application to your life. You should determine what to read and don't just read stuff simply because it's written down on the piece of paper. Okay. That was a waste of your time. Remember this isn't school and you're not going to be graded on how well you remember everything. Or if you just read everything at all, this is your life and your grade is determined by how well you execute on what it is you want to do. And that means identifying the applicable information to your life right now. So just to recap, then, preview every book. If that's enough, then you can just stop there and you don't need to read the book anymore. You've already extracted the information that you need. If not, you need to start scanning the book, which means skipping entire sections and selecting what you need to read. But if that's not enough, then you can start reading the book in more depth as willing it from cover to cover, and as a process of deciding what to skip. So the difference between scanning and reading them is in scanning, you skip deciding what to greed. And with reading, you read, deciding what to skip. 15. What Not to Read: Let's talk about what to skip. I hope you've got the point by now throughout this course that the point of reading is not to read a book from cover to cover. The point is to extract the information that you need that you can apply to your life to make it better. So it's better to spend 20% of the time either set before extracting 80% of the information than it is to spin 100% of the time, took struct 100% of the information. So here are a few things that you can skip while reading. First, if you understand the point of a section or a paragraph, or it's just not something that's interesting to you, or it's not going to help you develop in any particular way, then you can skip it entirely. For example, I was reading this book by Anthony Robbins and there was a chapter in this book about mastering your time. And I'd already read quite a lot of information about this particular topic. So I thought it wouldn't really add much to me to read more information about it. So I skip that chapter entirely. And even within each of the chapters within that book, There's lots of small headers which allowed me to quickly determine whether or not that information would be applicable to me and my life and my particular goals. So I can quickly and easily skip those particular sections. If the book contains a list, usually there's like a description underneath that lists that explains that list in more depth. And so if you find from the particular list that's given to you with it in the book that not every detail within that list is interesting to you, then don't read the pass in the list that are applicable to your interesting two, you just get them entirely. And another thing that books tend to have a lot of stories and examples. And once you've understood the main point, There's no point really going into those examples or stories in more depth. Just extract the point that's being taught to you and then move on to the next. And lastly, I want to remind you about the distinction between effectiveness and efficiency. Remember, efficiency is doing something quickly, whereas effectiveness is doing the right thing in the first place. Because if you're doing the wrong thing and you're reading the wrong thing, you're going to be wasting your time regardless of how efficient you are. So it is incredibly important to skip things in books. 16. Instantly Read Quicker: Five or six years ago, or maybe even longer than that before I was even really into reading. I read a book called Power reading. And there's one huge takeaway I've taken from that book and remembered ever since, literary doubled my speed and read, and it's doubled the speeding we'd, of nearly every single person I've taught it to. Now it sounds really simple, but I promise it works and I will explain why it works as well. So the trick is, every time you read, make sure you have a pen in your hand and use it to lead your eyes along the line. Now the reason why this work is if you don't use a pen, the way your eyes work is to sort of just flicker on the page. It'll just take snapshots as it moves from one line or one section of the page to the next. But when you're using a pen, it ensures your eyes move in a more continuous motion. So it's kind of the difference between looking at different pictures or watching a movie. Clearly, you can go through a movie a lot quicker than the count through a bunch of different pictures. There are two benefits of using this trick. The first is that you want your book to be a tool where you are writing notes in the margins, you're underlining things, you're keeping tabs of all the important information. So having a pen in your hand makes his process substantially easier. Secondly, having a pen in your hand makes reading an active process. Now we talked before about how the biggest mistakes you can make when reading is making it an overly leisurely activity. There is a time and place for Leslie, Leslie reading. But what you're trying to read to extract relevant information and to apply it to your life, then you don't want to be doing it in such a Leslie money, you want to be actively reading. So with a pen in your hand, you're kind of in the zone and you're making your reading instantly faster. One question I get asked all the time is how about if I've read on a computer? Now? First of all, if you are really going to compute, then you're going to want to follow each line with your mouse. Now this doesn't work quite as well as the pen, but it does work. But I personally do prefer to have everything printed out or have a physical copy of the book when I'm reading. But either way, just make sure that you're following each line along with something and you will instantly increase your reading speed. 17. Remember to Think: I try to remind myself that it's better to read a little and ponder a lot than to read a lot and ponder a little. Now, this isn't to say, don't read lots of books. But what I am saying is try to spend some time using your mind and not just trying to memorize all the information and just trying to get through the book without actually extracting what you need from it. So what you want to do as you read a book and he come across different concepts that really hit you is to stop and pause. You want to have a little thing about what exactly will set. So you want to think about two specific things. The first thing that you need to think about is, how can I apply this? A lot of the time when you read something, there would actually be anything to apply, an econ applied, but it's only when you stop and think, what does this mean? How does the actually applied to my life that you're actually going to have the big breakthroughs that make a big impact on your life. The second thing you want to think about is, how does this tie into the other things that I've already read? Did I read another book recently that made the same point? Or perhaps you read another book recently that made the opposite point. You want to think about how these different concepts and these different ideas tie together because you then end up remembering it better and you are able to apply it to your life in different ways. And now I'll give you an example. The other day I was reading the book, Predictably Irrational. And it's all about humans act in an irrational way on a predictable basis in certain situations. Now one chapter was called the high price of ownership. Why we overvalue what we have? And immediately this reminds me of something that Charlie Munger once said about the 25 causes of misjudgment or human misjudgment. And one of the 2025 points was excessive self-regard bias, which essentially is the same thing. So scribble down next to the chapter title, excessive self-regard bias. And so it allowed me to tie those two concepts at those two points made by separate people on the same page. And it tied the concept up in my mind as well. So don't just plow through a book without stopping to actually think about it. This leads on nicely onto the next video about taking notes, because when you stop and think about a book, you're going to want to take notes on it. 18. The Art of Taking Notes IN the Book: In this video, let's talk about how to take notes in the book. So when you go through a book, your goal should be able to go back through that book at any time and be able to extract all the information you need out of it as well as he did the first time you read it. So I can review a book that I've read based on all the pages I folded, all the underlines or the comments I've made in about 20 minutes or less. And as we said previously, you're going to want to review the best book. So when you're filling out the excel sheet, you could fit out your favorite books. And these books are the ones that you want to come back to periodically. So you want to make sure you have decent nose and they'd been written well so that you can, every time we dip your toe into those books, you can quickly understand and extract the information you got out of it the first time you read it. It's really important than that you meet your book your own. You want to write all over it and make sure you use that book as a tool. So here are a few things that I like to do. First of all, I like to underlying things. So anything that I find particularly important want to extract that information for later use, or we'll just simply put a line underneath it. The other thing I do is I use brackets. So if there's a particular paragraph that I particularly like, then are a big bracket in the margin surrounding that paragraph so that I need to know to come back to at a later date. And usually I'll scribble and the margin next to that bracket, a quick summary of the paragraph in a couple of words are. So also, I have something called a three-star system that helps me to keep in track of the most important information. Now, if something's only a little bit important, I do want to remember it. I will put one star next to that sentence. But this is particularly important and, you know, I need to remember, I need to apply it to my life. Then I will put two stars next to it. So next time I read it, I can see that was a key bit of information. But if there's sin is absolutely mind-blowing, something that could sort of completely changed my life, then that will be, that will have three stars next to it. I'll be selling that. I want to make sure every time I go back to that book, I am going to focus on that particular information and ensure that I have talked to memory. Now, by having this three star system, I can very quickly identify what information was most useful to me the first time I read it. And hopefully at that point it refreshes my mind to know what sort of areas I should be focusing on. What particular sections of the book are going to be most relevant to me every time I tried to refresh and review that information. Now last if there are particular pages I think are crucial unimportant, then I just put a little fold over the end of the page or I put a little sticky tab on that particular page. So I know to put extra emphasis on those pages when I go back to review those books. So these are the tools that I use when it comes to making notes in the books that I'm reading. And it can help me to review them and extract the relevant information that I need to keep my mind fresh on these particular ideas. As we begin to approach the end of the course, I really want you to try and put these principles into practice. So why would highly recommend you do right now is to grab a book that's close to you or the book that you're currently reading and find a chapter that you think could be quite useful to you. And I want you to go through that chapters. It's just a chapter to underline, put stars next to them, put brackets around particular paragraphs and fold particular pages so that you've created a very quick system of memorizing an extracting important information from that paragraph. And then once you've done that, I want you to leave like a little comment below in the discussion section to say how you found that and what particular tips and tricks you have for other people who are trying to do the same thing. 19. The Art of Taking Notes ON the Book: In the last video, we talked about how to write notes in the book. And in this video we're gonna be talking about writing notes on the book itself. You've got to realize that when, whenever you write something down in your own words, you begin to assimilate and understand and remember that information a lot better. So in addition to writing notes in the book itself, you're going to want to write down the one to ten main points from the entire book that you can then apply to your life. And make sure you just write these points down on the title page of the book. That way you are helping yourself too. The main points from the book, and whenever you go back to that book at a later stage, you already have the key points identified at the very beginning of the book itself. So as soon as you open it, you can see what you learn from the entire book Glass time. And people sometimes ask me, should I be writing in the book or should I be writing in a notepad or whatever, all open up a Word document and write my notes on there about the book. But the truth is, you should just be writing inside the book and why? Well, as I said before, your book is a tool and it's not a textbook. So you can write in the book, you can say whatever you want and write it exactly next to the inflammation within the book itself and summarize that straight away. So you can come back to it at anytime. And you can sort of find the key takeaways from the book without having to dig around for different notebooks, different word documents, et cetera. So it's a lot easier just to put it straight into the book. And it allows you to very quickly see what you learnt last time. And you can write things both taken directly from the book itself and also ideas on realizations you have while reading the book. And on the screen right now you can see a couple of examples from the title pages of books that I have recently read. 20. Remember What You Learn Forever: Let's now go back to our reading excel sheet, where we keep track of all of our reading. And let's really talk about how we can review the books. So it's really important that you focus on your favorite books, even though we're talking about reading as many books as possible, is not just about the quantity, it's also about the quality. And your favorite books, the ones that can really impact your life. In this middle category here, you want to review over and over again. So as you go through the Excel sheet, filling in the books that you read every week, anytime you find one as a huge impact on new, make sure you add it to your favorites section and then come back and review those books in that favorites action by effectively taking those in and on the books. As we learned in the previous two videos, you can review your favorite books quickly because you've done a good job taking notes on them and writing down. The key idea is that you want to take away. So keep up with that favorites list. And any book that is on the list should become deeply engrained into your mind. 21. Your Reading Challenge: Randy Pausch, a professor from Carnegie Mellon University, talked about in his famous lecture, head fakes that a lot of the time we think we are learning one thing when in fact we're learning something entirely different. For example, if you played rugby or football as a kid, you may think that you are learning that particular sport. You may think that you're learning broke, but you may think that you're learning football. But in reality, what you're really learning is teamwork and hard work and dedication. So the question is, why do we read? We read to make our dreams happen and to live the best possible lives. But if we stop there, then we're not going far enough. You're, you're selling yourself short. Because the real goal in life is to make society better, is to make the world better. It's to make a difference and we make our lives better, to make the world better. And I believe this is what this course is really about. So you've made it this far in the course. Congratulations, but this is only the beginning and this is what I want you to do now. Firstly, I want you to attempt the course project, which is the set aside 50 minutes as determined by your reading ritual, to try and read one book in 15 minutes and extract the one to ten main points from that book and share those points with everything, everyone else in the class, project gallery. Second, make sure you keep checking back in with this course to see further bonus videos I will be adding. These video should be just as important as the rest of the course. So I'm excited for you to go through those two. Thirdly, can you help share the cost with as many people as possible? You see, I really believe in this and I want to share this message with as many people as possible. And since most people will choose to enroll in this course based on the reviews they see. I would be very grateful if you could leave a review of the course. And fourthly, and lastly, this is a community of thousands of students who also want to get through a lot of books and learn as much as possible. So as it go through the books yourselves, please post in the discussion section that books you're reading and what the actionable takeaways are from those books. And I will be in the discussion section as much as possible to respond to any comments and queries and just to generally engage with everyone who wants to engage. Anyway, I'm really glad that you took the time to go through the course. And a really hope you've got a lot of value from it.