If there’s one habit that almost all high-performers share, it’s that they read books. A lot. It’s crazy to realize that you can literally grab a book for less than $20 and learn in just a few hours what took the author years to learn. But unfortunately, most people struggle with reading consistently.
For years, this used to be the case for me too. I wanted to read more books, but I just simply couldn’t find the time, energy or willpower to read consistently. But all of that changed as soon as I created a morning routine. Nowadays, I read for at least 15 minutes every single morning — and I discovered some amazing benefits from doing so. That’s what I’m going to share with you in this post.
Most People Want To Read More. This Is How…
The key to reading more books is to read for just 15–30 minutes in the morning. By creating a solid morning routine, you carve out some ‘you’ time in which you can work on your self-improvement and on your goals. This is incredibly powerful, as it becomes harder and harder to work on your self-improvement later on in the day.
When you’ve worked all day, chances are that you’re too tired to read, your willpower has depleted and your ability to focus has decreased, so it becomes harder to pick up a book and read without getting tired or distracted. Or maybe you still need to do groceries, cook dinner and spend quality time with your family so you don’t even have the time to read.. All in all, for most people, it’s a lot harder to read later on in the day compared to reading in the morning.
Ps. Did you know that by simply reading 15 minutes every single morning, you’d read approx. 18–23 books per year? That’s the power of consistency. You don’t need to read for hours and hours on end (even though, you can), as long as you are consistent with your reading.
You Start Your Day Inspired & Motivated
Another big benefit of reading in the morning is that you start your day on fire. Usually, when I read a business or self-help book in the morning, I feel motivated to go out and crush it that day. It’s almost like I can feel the passion of the author flow through the book and into my own mind.
Whether it’s because I gain new ideas and I can’t wait to implement them or because of the inspirational story of the author, reading in the morning is one of the most effective ways to get me into a motivated state of mind to perform at my highest levels that particular day (much more so than watching TV or Netflix in the morning).
It’s Much Better Than Watching TV In The Morning
When you have the habit of watching TV or Netflix in the morning, like most people do, resolve to replace this habit by reading a book instead. Don’t forget that watching TV simply puts your mind on pause. It numbs your thinking, reflection and creativity. When you start your day by watching TV, you start your day by distracting yourself from what’s really important.
In my opinion, watching your favourite series on Netflix has its time and place in your day. But the morning is probably the worst time to do so. Rather, try to turn Netflix into a reward after a day filled with meaningful hard work instead of it simply being a habit that you automatically do. This way you’ll enjoy your watch time a lot more, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it too.
You Gain New Ideas & Insight To Implement During The Day
The cool thing about books is that you can learn in a few hours what took the author many years to learn. This way, you gain new insights and ideas that can potentially change your life (if you actually implement them). Imagine how many new breakthroughs you can get if you read every single morning, even if it’s just for 15 minutes..
For example, in my own book, Stop Procrastinating, you can learn in about 3 hours how to break the procrastination habit and powerfully get things done, while it took me years to research and master this life-changing skill.
The powerful thing that I notice when I read in the morning is that I gain valuable new ideas or insights that I usually implement the exact same day. Doing so has given me a lot of growth in my business, finances, health and relationships.
However, when I read later on the day, the ideas and insights I gained from that reading session are usually put on a ‘do-this-someday list’ — of which only about 20% of the things on that list gets done. Simply because I don’t have the time or energy to implement these new ideas in my day anymore, I end up not doing them. This is truly a shame. The power of books is not just in the knowledge that you gain from them, but in the knowledge that you actually put into action. As Tony Robbins said:
“Knowledge is NOT power. Knowledge is only POTENTIAL power. Action is power.”
Tip: To get the most out of a book, I highlight the most valuable insights and ideas and write them down on my SmartMarks, which help me grasp the concepts much better. Then, after finishing the entire book, I summarize those highlights into one Google Drive file so that I have my most valuable lessons in one place. Then, based on those lessons, I pick out a 5–10 action points that I want to implement within 30 days. This way, you can get much more out of a book compared to just reading it and not taking any notes.
Reading Is The Key To Accelerate Your Personal Growth
I dare to say that the biggest reason for why I am where I am today is that I’ve read 100+ business and self-development books. If it wasn’t for reading books, I’d still be stuck in a 9–5 job that I’d hate, have limiting beliefs about myself and about life, and I’d probably still be broke.
All in all, in my opinion, reading is the key to self-improvement. In fact, I dare to say that I’ve learned 10x as much from reading self-help books than I did from my entire university education.. And yes, I did pay attention in class!
Therefore, I highly recommend you read at least 15 minutes every single morning. I guarantee you will accelerate your personal growth much faster than ever before. Some books will open your eyes to new things that you didn’t even know existed. By reading more, you’ll be better equipped to excel in business and life. You’ll be able to get an edge over your competition, you’ll be better than your past self and you’ll be able to finally make your goals and dreams a reality. That is the power of reading.
How To Read When You ‘Don’t Have Time’
First of all, I think most people have a lot more time than they realize. It’s often just a matter of prioritizing what you spend your time on. Some of the world’s busiest people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have the same 24 hours in a day as you do, and they manage to read 50+ books a year too.
But, if you truly don’t have a lot of time in the morning, I recommend you listen to audiobooks (using Audible for example) during your daily commute to work — or download an app like Blinkist, through which you can get the key takeaways from non-fiction book in a matter of a few minutes!
Now Do It
All in all, reading is an essential habit that has helped me (and millions of others) create a more fulfilling life. And by reading in the morning, you truly maximize the benefits of this powerful habit. You’ll start your day inspired and motivated, you’ll gain valuable new insights and ideas that you can implement right away, and you’ll accelerate your personal growth much more than watching TV or Netflix.
So, as an action point for this article, for at least 15 minutes, read a non-fiction book (maybe my book, Stop Procrastinating) tomorrow morning!
Let me know in the comments which book you’re going to read 🙂
To Your Personal Growth,
Founder Personal Growth Lab
Ps. Do you want to receive the most valuable lessons from the best business and self-development books that I’ve read, straight to your inbox? Then join the PGL Book Club! You’ll get immediate access to my entire ‘digital library’ of most valuable lessons – and every month I’ll add a new book summary.