How to Read 7,000 Pages per Year the Easy Way

Or any other Number. 7,000 is Just what I Happen to Read.

Do you wish you could read more but can’t find the time? Or do you ever feel embarrassed that you aren’t more well-read? If so, I’d like to show you how to devour books in the least amount of time possible. And it’s not through speed reading. It’s not through audio books, either. Not exactly. I’ve used this process to read more than 7,000 pages per year each of the last three years.

Headphones plugged into book

To a small minority, reading 7,000 pages per year is no big deal. To a vast majority, however, that is a shockingly large number. After all, 28% of Americans don’t read a single book in a given year. The median number of books Americans read per year is 4, meaning they maybe read 1,000 pages/year or so.

Whether you’d like to read 4 books pear year or 40 books per year, the method I use will help you achieve your goal. Here’s the method, followed by my answers to questions/objections you might have to it: (more…)

5 Reasons Your Team Should Quit Email, Text, & IM and Slack Instead

Slack is a More Efficient way for Teams to Communicate

If 18 months ago you had told me that my team would no longer need email, text messaging, or instant messaging to communicate with each other, I would have thought you were crazy. No IM, maybe. But no email and text? No way. Yet here we are, with no need of those tools anymore. And it’s all because of Slack.

Coworkers thinking and talking

In this post I’ll explain what Slack is and how my team uses it. Then I’ll share 5 reasons why I recommend it for your team, too. (more…)

How to Increase Efficiency with Context-Optimized Tasks

There are many ways to approach the tasks on your to-do list. The relative urgency of tasks can’t fail to play a role. The importance of tasks should play a greater role. But in this post I want to focus on an often-overlooked aspect of task-management: context. Most tasks are well-suited to being worked on in certain environments but ill-suited to others. Working on tasks optimally suited to the context you are in at any given time can greatly increase your overall work efficiency.

Scrabble-type letters spelling "context"

In this post I’ll explain what I mean by “context” and show how to increase efficiency by choosing tasks well-suited to any given context. (more…)

Save Time with these 2 Strange Gmail Tricks

How to Use the Gmail Plus Sign and Dot Tricks to Save Time

A number of folks have recently signed up to receive my emails. Looking over the subscriber list, I see that about two-thirds of you have Gmail addresses. I wanted to share 2 time-saving Gmail tricks that you might not be aware of.

Gmail logo

The following two tricks work for Gmail and some other email providers as well: (more…)

How to Save 20+ Hours/Year with a Free Password Manager

And My Recommendation for the Best Free Password Manager

How annoying is it when you can’t remember a password for an online account you need immediate access to? If you’re like this survey’s respondents, you find forgetting a password even more annoying than misplacing your keys or having your cell phone battery die.

Man yelling at laptop

Nearly 40% of sampled workers waste a whopping 24 hours per year entering passwords. If you don’t have that substantial problem, then your problem may be even worse. You may use the same password for everything. If so, you’re giving the keys to your financial accounts to folks at eBay, Facebook, Skype, etc.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is a simple solution to all of the above problems. The solution is a password manager.

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Multitasking Works in 2 Ways that Experts Fail to See

How to Know When to Multitask and When Not To

Multitasking used to be cool. People thought it possible and aspired to it. Now, however, so-called productivity experts condemn multitasking. But the picture of multitasking they paint is woefully incomplete. The experts fail to acknowledge two ways in which multitasking is not only possible but very efficient.

Mother multitasking: talking on phone while cooking and holding a baby

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How to Live the 80/20 Rule for What Matters Most

Why the 80/20 Rule is a Key Principle for Having More Time and Money

The 80/20 rule states that 80% of effects are determined by 20% of their causes. The rule is also known as the Pareto Principle, after the 19th Century Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto noticed that 80% of the peas in his garden came from 20% of the peapods. (Weird thing to notice.) He also showed that about 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.

Man contemplating how he can use the 80/20 rule to achieve 80% of the result with 20% of the input

The Pareto Principle is not a law, like gravity. It’s a rule of thumb. It fits a wide array of phenomena. Consider, for instance, these applications of the rule across a variety of fields: (more…)

You Can’t Afford Not to Have a Personal Assistant

And How You Can Hire a Top-Rated Virtual Assistant for $5 per Hour

Have you ever wished there were another “you” to help you get everything done? If so, you need a personal assistant. “Personal assistant!?,” you scoff. “Aren’t personal assistants for millionaires and CEOs?” Yes, they are. But not only for them. Not anymore. Nowadays, you and I can afford an assistant as well.

A generation ago my suggestion may have been preposterous. But times have changed. Consider these three differences: (more…)

Why Procrastination Increases Efficiency

And How You Can Achieve Greater Efficiency and Other Benefits Besides without Procrastinating

Have you ever been up against a deadline and found yourself accomplishing more than seems humanly possible? Final exams used to spark that feeling for me as a student. Now, my biggest work projects do. I also recall getting a million things done in the days leading up to my wedding.

Lots of pressure can be stressful. But for many of us, it is also energizing. Our focus skyrockets. We become super-efficient. We feel intensely alive.

Do you ever wish that you could live “in the zone” more often? After all, final exams, big work projects, and weddings don’t come around every day.

I’d like to discuss three approaches to being super-efficient more often. One I argue against, and two I argue for. (more…)

How to Save 40 Hours per Year with One iPhone Setting

How to have Your iPhone or other Smartphone Read to You at a Faster-than-normal Rate

If you regularly consume written content such as articles, blog posts, and email, it is possible to save over 40 hours per year. The trick is to have your iPhone read to you at a faster-than-normal rate. Utilizing this one iPhone setting can save you the equivalent of one work week per year.

Girl on bike listending to iPhone read to her

Here’s how to enable this powerful feature: (more…)