Contributed by Jenny Oberhaus
We’ve all listened in awe as the most successful people in our industry nonchalantly reference how many business books they typically devour – one per week, six per month, 100 per year – the numbers are staggering and often intimidating. “I’d be thrilled if I could finish one every few months,” we think to ourselves and then rarely happens because life tends to get in the way.
Enter: A Business Book Club.
A book club-generally speaking- is a great way to connect with friends, meet new people, hone public speaking skills, learn to appreciate others’ opinions and, most importantly, read more books. For all the same reasons, the book club model translates well to a professional setting.
And now you’re thinking, “Great! Now if someone could just magically stop time for an hour each day, I’ll have the time to read.” While-trust me- I’m with you on that, there are actual, logical ways to fit reading into your busy schedule.
- Set a timer. Physically defining a span of dedicated reading time will help keep you focused. Situate it directly in front of you so you can snap back on task if your thoughts to wander to your ever-present To Do list.
- Make it a priority. Does that mean watching less TV in the evenings? Perhaps. Does it mean getting up a little earlier? It might. But when something truly is a priority, we find a way to make it happen.
- Reach for a book instead of the phone. How many times a day do we find ourselves passing idle moments by looking at our smartphones? What if we reached for a book and read a few pages instead? Bill Gates, arguably one of the most success (and undoubtedly busiest) people of our time always has a book with him and reads every chance he gets. If Bill can do it, surely we can, too.
- Join a book club. Yes, I realize this is a post about why you should join a book club, so it rings a bit redundant- but bear with me. Accountability to a group is a powerful incentive. The act of committing to a book club will help you carve out time to read. The club meetings will give you a timetable to plan for and, the commitment will help to keep you accountable.
With some planning, a firm commitment and healthy dose of focus, you’ll be checking off titles and feeling more accomplished in no time. If you’re interested in joining the WICT Southeast Book Club, check out the one in Knoxville on April 24th. Visit our WICT events for more information on how you can get involved.
Jenny Oberhaus works at Scripps Networks Interactive as a Digital Ad Sales Marketing Activation Specialist, based in Knoxville, Tennessee. She originally became a member of WICT in 2007 but has recently rejoined after a hiatus from the industry to spend time at home, raising her two kids. She is a lover of travel and any competition cooking show- especially “Chopped.” She would love nothing better than to eat her way around the planet with her husband of 16 years, Jason.