As I have researched how to improve performance, I have found most books, articles, and papers tell you the “what” of improved performance not the “how.” For example if you want to improve in your given profession, what you should do is consistently practice, read, or research. If you want to improve in school, what you should do is consistently study, write, and review. If you want to strengthen your personal or professional relationships, what you should do is consistently contact or communicate with family, friends, or colleagues. If you want to improve your physical health, what you should do is consistently exercise, sleep, or eat right. There are a lot of “whats” and very few “hows.”
Following is a recent post on LinkedIn that caught my attention:
“I truly want to read more books. I feel like ‘everyone’s doing it!’ Well, everyone but me.
“I know WHY reading is so beneficial. I mean, all successful people read loads of books and wake up at 4:00 AM each day, right?
“In all seriousness, I really do get motivated and intend to read all these amazing books that I see my network reading and sharing on my thread; but, I struggle to make the time to read in my day-to-day schedule like I envision myself doing.
“I’ve got a list of books I plan and hope to read. I DO read - just not as much as I’d like to. My question is less of WHY reading is so good for you but rather, how do you make time to read new books regularly? And when do you do this in your daily schedule?”
This post garnered 28 comments of suggestions on how to read. Interestingly, of all the great replies, most were what to do not how to do it. Many comments suggested listening to audio books, which could be seen as a how; however, when you pull back the covers you see that listening to audio books is more a what not a how. Other comments suggested choosing books that you love to read, again a great what but not a how.
Streaking is the how to all the whats. How do you read more? Streak it. How do you set up a successful streak?
Law #1: Make it Laughably Simple
Law #2: No Record, No Streak
Law #3: Create a Community
Following are several different streaks that people are currently maintain to be readers:
“Read at least one word in a book daily”
“Read at least one paragraph in a nonfiction book daily”
“Read at least one paragraph in any book daily”
“Read at least one sentence daily”
“Write or read at least one sentence daily”
A streak changes your focus from what you are doing to how many days in a row you do it. Your aim changes from what you accomplish to how you accomplish it. Rather than deciding what to read, you focus on how many words or sentences you need to read to keep the streak alive. What is amazing and unbelievable, until you do it, is how much you read through consistently and consecutively completing laughably small activities.
Streaking is the how for improved performance, but don’t take my word for it, I invite you to set a streak and find out for yourself the power of a streak.