My suggestion – try a book synopsis a week during the duration
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OK – it’s time to admit the truth about this present moment. It is not going away by this afternoon.
We are stuck. We may be stuck until there is a vaccine. Maybe it will take more than one vaccine.
So, in the article The reason why your brain’s so foggy right now, according to a neurologist, we read this:
There’s also something to be said about starting something new in quarantine that you may not have gotten to otherwise. There’s a “fresh start energy” in the air right now. And as psychologist Laurie Santos, PhD, host of The Happiness Lab podcast and professor of Yale’s viral happiness course, recently said a Facebook live, “Wonderful research by Katie Milken and others shows that these new situations and these new moments of fresh starts allow us to form habits better.”
Now, you can be really ambitious:
Learn Japanese, or Spanish, or Arabic.
Take some math courses.
Learn to write computer code.
Learn to paint.
But here is a simple idea that could pay rich dividends. Something practical, and “easy.”
You can learn the key content of books that you have been intending to read.
You can do this by listening to my synopses of some of the very best business books.
My synopses are just over 20 minutes. You can listen to the audio, while following along with my comprehensive, multi-page handout. Print out the handout, get your pen in hand, turn on the audio, and listen as you underline key thoughts and write notes to yourself in the margin.
Now: why is Randy Mayeux qualified to present these synopses? He has presented synopses of business books every month to a live audience in Dallas since April, 1998; 22+ years. (The last two months have been live over Zoom). One guy, reading and sharing.
Twenty minutes a week. After ten weeks, you’ve learned the key content of ten books.
Is it better for you to fully read the books for yourself? Of course. But, you haven’t by now. And this is more than enough to get your thoughts brewing. You will learn transferable principles, you will learn lessons to put to work, and you will become more literate.
These are much more than book reviews. These are quick, deeper dives into the key content of these books than you might imagine.
Here are thirteen titles to get you stated (Three months worth; one book a week for thirteen weeks). This is just a recommendation. I have many other titles to choose from. But this list includes four books on the current New York Times list of best-selling business books, one book that was the Financial Times Business Book of the Year, two selections that were my own choices for the business book of the year, and one book that is the most important book I have ever read (Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning).
Getting Things Done by David Allen.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
Drive by Daniel Pink.
The Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford.
Digital Transformation by Thomas Siebel.*
Radical Candor by Kim Scott.
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell.
Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Great by Choice by Jim Collins.
Range by David Epsein.
Dare to Lead by Brené Brown.
These thirteen would provide a pretty good thirteen week “crash course” on business books. And, there are many, many more to choose from.
Each synopsis is $4.99. Or, you can purchase a subscription, and get all synopses available
Give it a try. If nothing else, it might help you be better prepared for when things return to some other kind of normal,
* Note the full title of Digital Transformation by Siebel — Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction. Pretty graphic descriptive; maybe especially pertinent to this moment.
(Note: in the first many years, Randy was joined by his colleague Karl Krayer; each of them presenting one book a month. Due to health difficulties, Karl had to drop out of the collaboration a few years ago. So, some of the synopses from earlier years available on the web site were presented by Karl).