Well, this is part of the problem. When you have a piece of interesting content nearby, you consume it.
You may even keep track of how many books you’re reading — you’ve got a certain goal you want to read this year.
You may even read a book (or more) a week. Or maybe you read countless blog posts.
It’s great that you love reading.
But if you are plowing through a lot of content at a rapid pace, you can’t really reflect on it or apply it to any part of your life can you?
In some cases, you may actually learn something.
But in most cases, you just get a slight variation on something you already know. Or maybe it goes in one ear and out the other.
This is especially the case with nonfiction.
Have you read ________ book? It’s great.
So you pick up the book.
Instead of doing your own work, you spend time consuming content.
The cycle continues.
Now I know my credibility is questionable at best and I am somewhat a hypocrite stating this as a nonfiction author myself. Heck, even writing this post makes me somewhat hypocritical. Just hear me out.
But not all content is created equal. Some books are absolutely filled with fluff. Some books are essentially blog post and then a hundred pages of padding. Some books are great. Some blog posts are great.
But don’t rationalize what you know is really procrastination as learning.
For the past three months, I’ve been on a nonfiction break.
This break has resulted in many great benefits:
- I’m more creative.
- I’m not remotely worried about what other people are doing.
- My confidence has increased in shaping my own path.
And it feels very refreshing.
A friend of mine only reads books that are not popular. I love this approach, but even too much of that is a bad thing.
When you fill yourself with the same things everyone else is consuming, you will never reach your creative potential.
When you go to the buffet, you fill up your plate and probably even go back for seconds. Just keep filling the plate. Dessert? Sure, why not.
Afterwards you feel bloated and tired, right? You ate too much.
You can apply this concept toward the content you consume.
This is not to say stop reading altogether.
Or maybe you need to.
You have to be completely honest with yourself.
This means asking some really tough questions.
- Are you really procrastinating?
- Are you a content curator or a content creator?
- Are you reading books about leadership instead of actually leading?
I don’t know about you, but it’s time to quit reading (or talking) about the work and start doing the work. It’s time to call out procrastination and not rationalize it away.