Strategies to make the most of what you read

All of us want to get ahead in life. However, it’s impossible to experience and experiment with everything and gain all the knowledge that we could. To help with this, there are books. Through a book, we can learn so many new ideas and principles that can help us in so many different aspects of our lives. However, the treasure trove that is a book almost always falls on deaf ears. It’s important to make sure that the ideas from the books we read don’t go wasted, but are implemented in our lives.

Strategies to make the most of what you read

This is a difficult feat, and many of us are not used to it. For that very reason, here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most of the books that you read, and implement the ideas into your daily life.

Make notes and highlight

When you’re reading, highlight the words or phrases that jump out at you. If you immediately notice that some sentence quickly caught your attention, highlight it as it is probably something that interests you. Make notes of ideas that come to you as you read, and make notes about what message the book is trying to send as it will be simpler for you to summarise when you need it.

Read as if you will use it later

Read the book as if you will have to teach someone the ideas that you have come across. Read the book imagining that you will have to use it later, so you will have an open mind that will absorb the new ideas better. Studies show that reading with an expectation of having to explain the idea to someone else makes the mind more accepting of the new ideas and helps the person understand in more detail.

Be consistent

The best way to apply the knowledge that you get from a book is to start small, and remain consistent. Read a little bit every day, and give yourself time to absorb. However, don’t give up on a book. Consistently return and read new parts sequentially, and you will be able to remember the teachings and implement them. Consistency is key in many parts of our lives. Take the example of bodybuilding, we have to spend months and months consistently working out in order to see the expected results. In the same way, make sure you consistently come back to the books you’ve read and built the ideas in your mind.

Make lists

Make a list of actions or strategies that you have in mind that will help you implement an idea that you learned from a book into your life. If you find that it’s not possible to implement it immediately, keep it in your list and continue searching for ways and activities to use the teachings of the book. You can even keep a list of ideas or activities you plan to immediately implement, and a separate list of those that you are currently unable to add into your routine.

Read with intention

Before you start the book, write down the questions that you want answers to, or the idea that you’re searching for. You can make a note like “how do I solve this problem?”, so when you’re reading the book, any idea that could help with that problem will immediately jump out at you and catch your attention. If you can clearly state your intentions to yourself before beginning the book, you will be able to immediately note the ideas or principles that match what you’re searching for. You always find what you’re actively looking for.

Practice them

As you begin to implement what you read in the book, make sure to put it into practice through your own experience. Try to note the moments that you could have applied a principle, and keep those notes so that you will remember to apply it when you get a chance. We’ve all heard that practice makes perfect, so put in the work and practice the principles in your daily life.


Hearing the principles and ideas said out loud allows you to make them your own thought and integrate it into your thinking process. Additionally, try to explain your inspiration to others, as this acts as a sounding board and provides insights into your reasoning process. Telling someone else that you plan to implement these ideas will also help, as it holds you accountable and motivates you to commit to your goals.

Keep reminders

Strategically set reminders on your phone, in your house, and even in your workplace so you see them throughout the day and the ideas naturally incorporate into your life. In this way, your mind is consistently brought back to focus on the mission it has set, and you’re also reminded of the reasons that you want to attain the goal of implementing the ideas in your life.

Take it slow

When you read a self-help or lifestyle book, there are many pieces of advice that are given. A good way to make sure that you don’t end up overwhelmed is to take each suggestion one at a time, and performing the suggested activities to assist you in deciding whether or not you’d like to add it to your routine as a habit.


It’s important to keep the lessons fresh in your mind until they are truly second nature. Re-read the books every year, so you can relearn the principles, as well as grow in your understanding of the book as you continue applying it in your life.

Lock it in.

Finally, you need to do something to lock in the idea and make sure that it becomes a part of your way of life. Creating a mind-map of what you’ve read and understood is a great way to do this, as it is a tool that helps you remember and remain familiar with the ideas. You can make a mind-map either sequentially, i.e. in the sequence of ideas from the book, or in any arrangement you’d like. This will help you remember the relevant details without unnecessary fluff. This will really help in your later reviews of the ideas from the book. You can take the ideas that you’ve mapped out and then apply them to your business or personal life

Following these eleven tips will guarantee that you will be miles ahead of the crowd, because you will be implementing the important ideas and principles of life-changing books, and you’ll be changing your life in ways that many people find impossible, as they are unable to make the most of what they read, and change as needed. Make sure to do all you can to put these ideas and experiences to work, so they can build your life for the better.

Ruth Joseph

Ruth Joseph

An avid reader with a passion for writing. A student of economics with a soft spot for mythology, you’ll find that I’m interested in a bunch of different topics.

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