The samurai-ninja-gangster way to ingest and digest ridiculous amounts of information is by saying:
1) “Hell No” to reading non-fiction books cover-to-cover, and
2) “Oh, Hell Yes” to non-linear reading.
You can get 80 percent of the knowledge you need from a non-fiction book, in 10 percent of the reading time, by using one of the below methods:
1) Read the introduction, the conclusion, and then the first and last paragraphs of each chapter.
2) Three to five summaries of the book that come up when you type “summary of [book name]” into a Google search. (I’m a fan of Blinkist and GoodReads)
The obvious exception is when you want to read (or listen to) a book cover-to-cover, because you really do want to read every word. Simon Sinek has been my go-to for that fix lately.
Mindfulness books as well. That’s the exception. . .
So that’s fast-reading. Fast learning, for me anyway, involves a second step: copy/pasting summaries into a separate document (I use Evernote), and then turning those summaries into 1-2 pages of bullet points. That’s how I studied for the bar exam and that’s how I learn from non-fiction books now.
And if you want to cement concepts in your brain really efficiently, learn the technique of mind mapping.
For more on the different ways to read, check out:
- How to Read a Book
- The “4 Hour” Books by Tim Ferriss will teach you how to learn (and do) literally anything faster
And here are some Summaries I’ve made in just the past few weeks using the above methods (all really great books on leadership and money; strong recommendation from me for anyone who wants to lead, have influence, and/or improve their financial game: