It’s been proven that when you read a book, your brain power increases. This is due to a few different reasons. Incredibly busy entrepreneurs have found that turning off the phone and reading a real book is a nice break from digital info overload. There is a romantic kind of relationship that we have with books too. Even the front cover can invoke a feeling based on a special memory. Reading a paperback can bring you back down to Earth, ground you, and give you the brain power to do deep work.
What Too Much Media Does
You know that when you’re on media for too long, you start to suffer in other aspects of your life. You are distracted, and when family or friends try to talk to you, you feel agitated. Looking up from your screen, your eyes are noticeably more tired, and it’s hard to focus on anything past what you’ve been looking at on your screen.
Books offer a slower form of information going to your brain. This can alleviate that digital info overload. Make it a part of your day and see what happens. Reading a book in bed instead of flipping through Facebook will change the way you dream, and sleep.
Problem Solving and Reading
Reading books gives you a chance to reflect and think. It helps you to focus better and promotes creativity so you can solve problems, which is usually something you deal with daily as an entrepreneur. It is important that the brain gets a break, and books can actually assist you with that. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin says that reading a book burns 42 calories an hour. Taking in new information like you would when you’re surfing the net will burn about 20 calories more per hour.
Further research on reading and the brain has found that reading a novel improves how your brain functions on many different levels. This includes the ability to think about other people’s feelings. It also helps you to be more imaginative and innovative. Even if you are reading fiction. Elon Musk has shared his reading habits on several occasions. He has talked about how he would spend up to 10 hours per day reading science fiction novels. We need to stay innovative to keep up with competitive business markets. So go ahead, read a novel on your favorite topic for business’ sake.
Reading is the most effective way to get creative. You can take a necessary break from dealing with digital information and relax the mind. Here are some of the ways you can implement reading into your life.
1. Hide Your Device
If you can’t see your phone or you shut down your laptop, you’re much less likely to bounce onto it and fall into the digital world. It isn’t easy to stay away from your phone, I mean let’s face it, you might miss something. Every time your phone sounds off a notification, you’re getting a dopamine rush. This implies a slight addiction to your phone. It’s going to take some practice to peel yourself away from it and do something the mind perceives as less exciting. Know this, your device was designed to feed this addictive nature in you. This has been proven time and time again. Don’t fall victim to this trap. Take time away from your phone and notice how this feels. You may begin to feel free.
If you legitimately have a hard time freeing yourself from your phone, you may want to get a book to help you. There are plenty out there, because this is actually a real problem. Try this though:
- Put your phone on silent.
- Don’t hang out on Slack.
- Only use one laptop in a meeting.
- Put your phone out of sight during times you don’t want to be interrupted by its existence.
2. Read a Little Bit
It’s kind of meditating in the sense that if you try it for one hour at the beginning, you may not be able to meet your own commitment. Just set out a few times in the day when you’ll read a little bit. Your life may simply be too hectic to take an hour out of a day to read. Still, this is an important point stated by Professor Adam Grants,
“Leaders who don’t have time to read are leaders who don’t make time to learn.”
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs out there, who happen to have a lot on their plate, read. They want to keep learning and growing because they know stagnancy is a killer in business. Read instead of watching Netflix. You’re going to feel so much better for it. Research shows that we let information soak in better when we read in short intervals throughout the day.
3. Choose What You Read Consciously
You are going to want to choose what you read wisely. It has to be something you genuinely care about. A book that captivates your mind and heart. There is no point in reading a book you’re only half-hearted about. It won’t keep your attention, which is sort of the whole point. You want to be absorbed in it so you can get into the state of mind known as the “flow.” This is when you are at an optimal state of consciousness where you can feel good and perform your best.
It’s not always easy to find a great book that you can fall into but bookstores help you with laying out the most popular. You may be looking to improve your life somehow, so go look for a self-help book that inspires you. Part of the fun is doing that bit of research on a book by reading the back page. There are even reviews right in the book so you know what other people thought about the book.
If you are a productive leader with intellect, you will enjoy reading a book as a pastime. It allows your mind to recharge and get information the old fashioned way. It is slower and therefore slows everything else down in your body. This is a great way to just chill and let yourself go. When you take the time to read, you will be far more productive and creative. Find a cozy chair with a book you’re excited about and enjoy the calm.