“Weren’t you supposed to read that book on procrastination today after you got home from work? “
“Don’t worry, I’ll read it tomorrow at lunch break,” my procrastinating mind replied.
The next day at work during the lunch break.
“Didn’t you say yesterday that you’d finally get started today? “ an inner voice reminded me.
“I’m too tired, plus the job will start soon. I won’t have enough time. I want to get started and finish the same day. We’ll be better off at home on the couch. ” The procrastinating mind suggested.
At night at home,
“Here we are, you have no more excuses now. We’ve got to get on with reading.” The inner voice said.
“At least let me take off my jacket and rest”
“What the hell, it’s not that important. What will happen if I don’t do it? »
That’s what I told myself a few hours ago after having passed the pile of books in my library without touching it. AGAIN
Yet I know these books contain a gold mine of information, but I can’t get started.
How can you read a non-fiction book when you don’t like reading?
What is the problem?
Most advice on how to overcome procrastination
They put forward the logical reasons why reading is useful: intelligence, culture, discovery.
However, this is not enough, because the roadblocks are much deeper. They occur at the level of emotions, at the level of beliefs.
They materialize under the form of resistance to take action with quick thoughts in the background such as: “What’s the point of reading?” “it’s meant for others, it’s not meant for me” “It’s boring.” “I’ve got better things to do.” “I don’t need this.”
Thus, procrastination with regard to reading is neither a problem of time management nor of organization. To take action, we must attack the root of the evil.
This can be done in several steps
Step 1: Mental Preparation
By far the most important step when starting out, it is the most neglected. It reduces psychological resistance and prepares the ground for simplifying action.
Here are some simple and quick techniques that will allow you to get into the swing of things in just a few days.
Tactic 1: Visualization
Visualizing the scene helps to reduce the fear of mental suffering (boredom, complexity) by anticipation.
You are on holiday, imagine yourself arriving at the beach, taking the book out of your bag as soon as you arrive and reading the first page you come across.
Vous êtes dans les transports en commun, imaginez-vous assis, sortez votre livre de votre sac, ouvrez n’importe quelle page et commencez à le lire.
Tactic 2: Programming through consuming interesting content
Listen to podcasts about reading on a topic you like. Read blogs on topics that naturally interest you.
This will gradually build the idea that “reading is not that bad”, “if you do it on this topic, why can’t you do it on another”.
This helps to reduce the psychological resistance to reading this non-fiction book that you have to read.
Example: if you like video games, read magazines and blogs that talk about these subjects.
If you like fashion, read women’s magazines and other blogs about clothing.
Tactic: Define a clear expectation before opening the book
What do you hope this book will bring you? What is your objective? Is it just to entertain you? Is it To gain more theoretical knowledge on a given topic? Or Is it to find a trick that can unlock you and apply it right away?
It’s very important to keep the end in mind, because it will help you to be efficient. You won’t invest energy in wanting to read everything.
There is a misperception that you have to read everything.
This perception usually stems from the fact that you want to be able to argue with others. And because you don’t know in advance where you will be questioned, you think you have to be well-prepared in everything. This generates additional stress and greatly increases our procrastinating behavior: the path seems so difficult and the end so far away.
Although this is a laudable goal, it is an Ego motivation.
The most important thing is to start reading for YOU FIRST .
Step 2: quick action
Tactic 1: Reward yourself before you start, but don’t finish the reward before you finish
You’ve planned to read a passage at 3:00, but when the time comes you don’t feel like it. Instead of forcing yourself mentally by repeating to yourself many times “I should do it, I’ll start soon”, pivot like this:
Go take a reward you like (coffee, tea, drink, cookie), start eating it without finishing it. Your lack of desire to read will temporarily disappear.
Come back and open the page you need to read.
Continue in this way, alternating between reading and rewarding without ever finishing the reward. You can read almost 10 pages with this method.
Tactic 2: The ” …One Move Away” Rule
This rule stipulates that the document to be read must be accessible in a single movement, with a single intention. It reduces the activation effort. The fewer barriers you put between you and the book, the less likely you are to change your mind when the time to read comes.
In addition, it increases the number of opportunities to read, even unconsciously. Just knowing that you have a book available quickly triggers a sudden urge to take action several times during the day.
If you are at home, the book should be on the visible table.
On the bag, it should be in the pocket that can be reached in 1 or 2 gestures maximum.
At the beach, make sure you take it out of the bag and put it in evidence as soon as you arrive.
Tactic 3: Insert the moment of reading just before an activity you already like to do.
The negative association you have with reading contributes to the brake you feel. By positioning it just before an activity that is already well established (in your habits), you will create a more positive anchoring.
Example: You like to swim, read 3 minutes before going diving.
You like running, read 3 -5 minutes before going for a run.
If you are more of a piano player, read 3-5 minutes before you play.
You like to sing, read 3-5 minutes before you sing.
Step 3: Maintaining consistency
Tactic 1: Always be active when reading
This is a serious mistake we all made. You read a book and after a few pages you are unable to remember anything because you have “witnessed” the reading instead of “participating” in the reading. The reason is that we run away from the difficulty of having to stay focused.
However, by injecting a minimum of our attention into the action, we build a more solid imprint of what we read.
It’s all about making the process fun.
Read each line with a pen or pencil to accompany our gaze
Have a post-it next to you, summarize each page you read in 3 -5 key expressions, and paste the post-it on the corresponding page.
Tactic 2: Define a fixed and flexible reading frequency
A dramatic mistake we’ve all made is putting too much pressure on ourselves. When you already manage to read a few pages on a regular basis, you have to project yourself over the long term and admit that you will have constraints from time to time and that it is normal not to be able to read every day.
An average frequency of once every two days is therefore more appropriate. This will prevent you from generating unnecessary stress and guilt because you’ve “skipped” a day.
You will be able to compensate by reading a few more pages, because by then you will have already started the habit.
Tactic 3: Use “punch” techniques if you lose the rhythm for too long.
There will be moments of laziness when the desire to read will drastically diminish. This can happen because you have taken too long (more than 3-5 days) without opening your book. No matter how hard you try the previous techniques, they will not be enough, because the resistance that causes inertia will have become very strong again.
To the great evils, the great remedies.
One of the simple ways to decrease it is to evacuate the emotions that you have accumulated in the background. It can be a mixture of fear of difficulty, boredom, lack of interest, inability to understand.
Here is the technique: Automatic writing
Take a pen and a sheet of paper
a) list what you want to do and what you do instead
Example: I want to read, but I always end up going to YouTube or Netflix despite my many tries to concentrate.
b) list the feeling all the emotions that prevent you from doing so (repeat each sentence 12 times)
- I’m afraid of the effort of concentration that it required of me
- I’m afraid to invest my time for nothing because I find it terribly boring…
- I’m angry that we were given such a boring book…
- I don’t like to try to figure out bits and pieces.
- I’m afraid of the complexity that’s in it.
This exercise may take you 15 to 25 minutes, but it’s worth it.
On the same day, you’ll start reading by a combination of circumstances, without even having planned it.
Don’t trust me , try it by yourself.
So tell me, which book gave you the most trouble, but which one did you read and which you were most proud of?
Author : Aubin HEUDOU
Publisher: Ghislain ABBEY