Do you have ADHD and don’t like to read? Me too! But reading is so incredibly important for both career success and personal growth. I love this quote from Jim Rohn, a personal development legend, “The difference between where you are today and where you’ll be five years from now will be found in the quality of books you’ve read.” But what are you supposed to do if you’re like me and hate reading? I asked myself this very question, and that is when I came up with these four strategies. I’ve gone from someone who hates reading to someone who reads a lot. I’m on track to read over a hundred books this year.
These four strategies have radically increased the amount I’m reading. By following my easy tips, you can go from someone who hates reading to someone who loves it too!
Strategy #1 Don’t try to read, get read to.
This is something that you can add to your Amazon Kindle. All you have to do is download the audiobook companion and it will read your book to you. I highly recommend this. As it reads to you it also highlights the words so I can sit on the couch at night with my AirPods in and have a book read to me while following along with my eyes.
Another way to read more by not reading is straight-up audiobooks. You can use Audible or your preferred provider. I have friends that use Scribd. My main provider is the Chicago Public Library. They have a program called Libby that has all sorts of audiobooks. Right now I’ve got two checked out and holds on a bunch of others.
Strategy #2 Start with topics you're really interested in.
If you’ve seen my video on the differences in the ADD brain versus neurotypicals, you understand that for us ADDer’s, we need to be interested in something to get motivated to do it.
So, for me, I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved personal development books. It’s probably because I struggled so much with undiagnosed ADD, but I was smart and wanted answers. Once I realized I could get interesting personal development books and just general nonfiction books from authors like Malcolm Gladwell and Dan Pink, I was instantly in love.
Strategy #3 Insert listening to audiobooks into your routine.
So, let me give you an example. In these times of quarantine and COVID where I’m at home almost all the time, I realized I needed to get my butt out of the house. I’ve started taking morning walks. On these half-hour walks I throw in my AirPods and listen to a book that I’m already super interested in. I have the best walk ever, and I’m getting tons of reading in!
On a side note, I tend to listen to it on what my wife calls hamster speed. You can speed up audiobooks. If you’re like me I need the pace to be faster than the default setting that’s on these audiobooks since I get bored and distracted easily.
Another example of where you could fit in regular audiobook listening would be if you have a regular drive or commute somewhere. It could even be at night 10 or 30 minutes on the couch with your iPad or whatever works for you.
Strategy #4 Use or regurgitate the knowledge within a month.
We’re having things read to us and our AirPods in listening to audiobooks. We’re learning something. We now need to use this knowledge. Here are a few ways I make sure to use the knowledge I’m learning.
I share it in conversation with friends or family. People like to learn new things. If you come across a cool idea or something interesting you can tell them you’ve read this great book and then explain what was super interesting.
Another option is to take some notes as you read or after. It’s almost like journaling. You could even make a mind map of the different ideas and things you remember.
For me writing things down and doing all of that doesn’t work. So, I do this very odd process instead and maybe it’s something you might want to adopt also. Once I’ve completed the book, I find a free book summary online. I copy it into a new document and edit it as I see fit. I then use these notes to record a private 15-minute video of me very clumsily and messily explaining the book to somebody else. I say what happened, like in chapter three there was this cool part where Malcolm Gladwell talked about how in this situation ……and so on.
It’s just a recording of me telling somebody my thoughts on the book. For me, it’s a chance to play the content of the book back. This is a private video that I don’t share or upload. It’s very messy, but it makes my brain access the knowledge and form it into words which makes it stick longer.
So, there are my four strategies for reading more even if you hate reading. What strategies have you found that have worked for you? Put them in the comments below for others. We can then all benefit from your strategies. I’d love to know your thoughts.