Productivity Day Special: Five Steps To Becoming Smarter – Part One

I bet if you were granted one wish, it would be that you want to become smarter.

No surprise there. Smart people always know the right thing to do at the right time, they devise ingenious solutions to dumbfounding problems, they appear to remain calm in nerve-raking situations, and they live happier lives.

The secret is out there though. Now anyone can become smarter, better, and happier just by allocating a small amount of time of their busy lives to the activities that help them become smarter.

The secret, as I said, is already out there. It’s been out there for centuries. It just has been an elusive little secret that remains hidden from us despite being around us all the time.

I have identified five aspects of the secret to becoming smarter, that has helped me a lot. There could be more. it’s just a matter of recognizing its footprints among numerous other patterns and following them with dogged persistence.

So, if you have been thinking that there is actually some secret to becoming smarter, something like a magical charm that will transform you into an uber genius, I am sorry to tell you that it’s nothing like a magical formula. Though, if you take out an a hour a day and do any of the five activities, you’ll come back after a year and thank me for the advice.

This is a series of five posts (this one being the first). In every post, I’ll describe an activity that will ultimately make you a lot smarter than you currently are (No jokes, I am serious).

Activity number one: Read a book everyday

Book Reading

I am sure you are disappointed because this seems like a no-brainer, but let’s be honest, what was the last time you read a book? Do you take reading seriously? Are you always on the lookout for inspiring and informative books?

We all know, and have always been told, that in order to become smarter than everyone else around us, we must read, and do so everyday, yet there is a reason why we remain just like everyone else around us.

The first resolution you are going to make is that you’ll try to you’ll always find time for reading, be it reading business books, literature, scientific books, fiction etc., It is a wonderful experience to tap into the knowledge contained within a single book. Good books change the way we see the world, they teach us new ways to tackle the routinely tasks, help us find solutions to daunting problems, fill us with energy, and – yes – make us smarter.

Where to get the books? If you have money, it’s preferable to buy the books of your own choice. Otherwise, go to your local library and start fetching the books that catch your fancy.

You can also fill up your iPod with audio books and listen to them while doing anything else that doesn’t require a lot of concentration i.e., when driving, digging your garden with a shovel, or when having lunch.

The ebooks age has also set in, so you may want to read right on your computer screen. But then again:

A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you. Daniel J. Boorstin.

When to read? Reading in a conventional way requires planning. I find the time just before going to bed a lot better than any other time. It’s the most peaceful time with minimum distractions, and all the worries of the day out of my way. You may find any other time more suitable for studying because of your work routine. Just experiment a little and you’ll know which time suits you best.

How much time you invest on reading is up to you. Usually an hour a day is more than enough for me. If you have a good reading speed and the book you are reading is less complicated, you will consume 40 to 50 pages per hour with ease. That’s eighteen thousand pages every year!

Once you develop the habit of reading (or listening for that matter) you’ll find that your fascination for the books has increased, and you eagerly wait throughout the day for the study sessions.

Note: The title “Read a book everyday” does not imply that you should read a whole book everyday, read only as much as you can, but the everyday part is a requirement.

On next Monday, I’ll clue you in about another activity on your quest to becoming smarter. Grab my RSS Feed if you don’t want to miss the rest of the series.

This post was written on Productivity day.

24 comments so far and counting

  1. Audio book musings » Blog Archive » Productivity Day Special: Five Steps To Becoming Smarter - Part One
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  3. Five Steps To Becoming Smarter - Part Two
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