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Reading professional and self oriented books in the cubicle?

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  • Reading professional and self oriented books in the cubicle?

    My day is quite full of actions I own a business but go to my office daily as I'm an executive director. In the office I have meetings, as well as "work as it shows up" meetings I try to work off my action lists as well in this environment of constant interruptions. At home I have children so no so called discrete time either. That's just to describe my situation.

    Now. I have a few books I need to read. Professional, self and children oriented. Never ever so anyone reading in the office (I used to work in many companies before). So my question is when are you guys reading professional books and magazines? Do you hide in the toilet or what?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Zharova View Post
    So my question is when are you guys reading professional books and magazines?
    I work for myself and work at home so my solution isn't reasonable for most folks. I read some in the morning before going out to start daily work and I read at night for 15-30 minutes just before I go up to bed. Plus, I consider reading the professional magazines I get (Graze, Stockman Grass Farmer, The Shepherd, Home Power, Interweave Knits, PieceWork, Spin-Off) to BE part of my work so I have no problem doing that reading during the day. Just because for most folks knitting and spinning magazines are hobbies doesn't make it so if you sell yarn and wool. I learn a lot about grazing and farm management from magazines as well.

    I do keep the set of unread magazines to a set small physical space on my desk. If they expand I make an apt. with myself to sit down and read or at least triage the articles in them.


    • #3
      Here are some suggestions.

      Read while waiting for a bus or while riding a bus.

      Many books are available as audio tapes. Listen to these while driving a bicycle or car.

      Carry a book in your pocket and read it at any odd moment, such as while waiting in line at the grocery store.

      Read while eating lunch at work, and at coffee break.

      Bring work-related reading material to meetings. Read it before the meeting starts, and maybe divide your attention between it and the meeting if the meeting strays onto topics that don't directly concern you.

      Be selective about what you read. Skim some things, ignore some things, and choose a small amount to read with full attention. Learn to find the most important parts of an article.

      Most parents sleep fewer hours than their children, so you may be able to read while your children sleep. Just before bedtime is often a good time to read. However, many adults need more sleep than they think (see the book "Sleep Thieves"), so it's not worthwhile cutting into your own valuable sleeping time.

      Read for 2 minutes or 5 minutes at a time while standing in the kitchen. Children will let you get away with this much more easily than if you sit down to read. Stop when the time is up: this teaches the children, subliminally, that they don't need to interrupt you.

      Make a deal with the children: spend 10 minutes reading aloud to them from a book they choose (or 10 minutes for each child), then 10 minutes of you reading by yourself while the children play quietly. (Or you get your 10 minutes first.)

      Teach your children to read, and have a reading time each evening when they read to themselves and you read to yourself. At the end you could all talk to each other about what you've read. You could try to briefly express something you've just learned in terms that are understandable and interesting to a child, maybe in a single sentence; that could be good practice in communication for you, help you understand and remember what you've just read, and help the children learn about the world of work. (Or could help you realize that what you're reading is a waste of time.) And the children could have fun telling you about the stories they've just read, or reading them again aloud to you if they feel like it. Here's my page about teaching children to read:

      Take the children to a playground and spend part of the time reading while they play.

      Read for hours while flying in an airplane, riding a train etc.

      Decide not to read. Maybe you have more important things to do than read, these days. Spending time with the children is very important. Well, teaching them to respect your quiet time while you read for 10 minutes every evening can also be important: that's teaching them patience etc. You can do some of each.

      Discuss stuff with your co-workers or other people. Get them to tell you the most interesting information from what they've read, so you don't need to read it yourself. Get them to recommend what are the most important things to read.

      Go ahead and read in your office if it's part of your work. The question is not whether anyone else does that; the question is whether it's the most worthwhile
      thing you can do for your job right then.

      These are all just suggestions. You can choose any that make sense to you.


      • #4
        Reading in the office is just fine

        If what you're reading is work-related of course. I've scheduled a reading time to catch up on journals/magazines for first thing in the morning every second Tuesday. It has helped me get through a few things.

        I also usually eat at my desk and read at lunch. Usually I read for pleasure (right now I'm almost done the Complete Works of Shakespeare, again) because it gives me a great break, which I really think breaks need to be. But sometimes I'll read work-related books and longer articles at lunch. I'm lucky to have a door I can close, so you may need to remove yourself to a boardroom or the cafe down the street to get some reading in, if you work in a culture that thrives on interruptions.

        I read a lot of personal fiction/non-fiction in the evenings and on weekends. With kids, I say the more books around the better and the more often my son sees me reading the better!

        In my opinion, reading a variety of media/genres/types etc opens your mind, helps keep you engaged and in the end is a benefit to you, your family and whatever organization you work for/with.


        • #5
          Reading a book at the office where I work would be viewed as time wasting.

          Recently our boss asked us to read a business book ("Fish") and I just couldn't fit it in at home due to other commitments, so I purchased the audio book and listened to it while driving to & from work. It worked well and it even helped my driving.


          • #6
            If the book is important to my professional development I read it during lunch at my desk or will schedule a meeting with myself to provide the time.

            I am an outliner so audio books don't work well for me. I need the book in front of me, preferably while I am @Computer so I can outline it electronically.



            • #7
              So, can I conclude that executing a task requires a fraction of the brainpower that planning does? And vice versa, that planning is an order of magnitude more difficult than executing?


              • #8
                I second the suggestion about audiobooks. I read in the car while commuting, and I read while running.