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Reading – A Lost Art In An Interrupt-Driven World

We live in a world of Instagram messages, 30-second sound bites, and streaming videos.  While information is critical, the volume and choices are more challenging than ever, with “banners and beeps” flowing past our senses every waking moment.

That non-stop information doesn’t just impact our work lives – it also has become entangled with our personal lives.

Think about it.  When you’re outside of work, how many times do you check your phone or computer?  What are you interrupting (dinner, golf, walks, kids)?  How often do you then discover that most of the time, whatever it was had no impact on what you’re doing at that moment?

But it did have an impact – the interruption itself.  To step away from the constant information stream, I’ve taken a few steps to improve my non-work time – with getting back to reading.  These are the guidelines I use:

  • Turn off social and electronic media during your personal time so you can concentrate and enjoy where you are at the moment. (The exception being texting with kids and other similar communications.)
  • Read something that interests you – preferably an actual book or magazine, or newspaper you have to hold. Avoid an electronic device if you can.
  • Exclude news, politics, and similar opinion-based topics from your reading selections – and focus on something fun, educational, or that provides an escape.

Reading provides a unique opportunity to escape and concentrate on something that hopefully brings joy.  It can deliver tranquility, letting our mind focus on a topic without continuous external bombardment from the world constantly interrupting us.  Reading can actually “rest” your mind  – making you better prepared for your hectic life.

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx

One of the few things I miss about my frequent flights to the coast was being able to dive into a book for a few hours.  Reading has always helped me drift to sleep faster than a blue screen or a TV does (except, of course, those times when the book hits my head).

I highly recommend getting back to reading.  Whether you choose a book, a magazine article, a newspaper – whatever, take the time to read it.  You may be surprised at how much joy or knowledge it may offer.   It may be just the “break” you need.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

Here are a few things that I’ve recently read that you may enjoy:

Truman by David McCullough

Know What You’re FOR by Jeff Henderson

IN AWE by John O’Leary


Thank you for taking the time to read this post!