A budget for my brain
Every month I design a personal budget for various aspect of my life.
I won’t explain in this post my boring budget for my boring expenses, electricity, water or my never-ending mortgage
I am going to share with you another budget I created. A budget that I created back in November last year. This is an unusual budget, this is a cheerful budget, this is a budget for …. my brain!!!
What does it mean? I conceived I was missing some investment in my body, and I don’t refer here to a budget to go the gym
What I realized is that I didn’t have a budget for my brain!!
I started to think about this concept last summer, however I did only implement it in November 2015. My description of a budget for my brain is:
a budget for books!
I’ve been always a vivid, avid, zealous reader, however for different reasons I dismissed during the last lustrum my books. But lately I’m catching up! During 2015 and especially in 2016 I’m reading quite a lot.
My budget for my brain can be expressed by allocating everything month 50€ in my PayPal account. Those 50€ will mutate in 2-3 books every month!. Those 2-3 books will be the gym for my brain and food for my thoughts
I’m succeeding in reading as average almost 1 book every week, and I read from different topics. I read about themes such as management books, localization books, productivity, science fiction, life style, public speaking, videogames etc etc
It’s a wide range of topics, but the truth is that I’m curious in different fields J Among the latest book I read definitely the ones I can recommend are:
- · Talk like Ted
- · Project Management for You
- · Ready Player One
- · La Revolución de la Felicidad,
- · Video Games Art
- · The Lazy Project Manager
- · Confessions of a public speaker
- · Made to Stick
- · The Joy of Less.
Presently I’m reading Never Eat Alone and The Essential Essays from the Minimalist. This one I’m enjoying it quite a lot. It definitely makes you think about consumerism habits we have in this century.
I’m quite satisfied with my idea of a budget for my brain, it’s amazing how much value I can get with a small investment. These books are full of ideas that serve for inspiration not only for my work activities but also they are very important for me to maintain a balance personal and healthy life.
However, by reading so much lately I realized about something, I need to take an approach not to be a zombie reader. This means that quite often I read a paragraph and my brain is playing mentally a level I’m stuck in Candy Crush!
To avoid this I took an active reading approach. In the following paragraph I’m going to share with you how I do an active reading.
· I read with a critical mind, which means that I don’t have to necessary believe in everything that it’s written, especially for productivity or management books. Just because it’s written in a book it does not mean necessarily it’s totally true. Or it might mean that tip is not applicable for my particular case.
I have my own opinion and I learned to question some statements.
When I determined that this add value to my knowledge I don’t have any problem to interiorize that learning and use it. Reading with a critical mind really helped with some books and form my own opinion
· I have to take notes as highlight does not work for me. What I do is to write some thoughts with my own words about what I understood in a specific paragraph. This means that if I ever have an opportunity to lend you one of my books you would see that it’s full of comments in the margins! At the beginning this was very difficult to do, I had a great respect for the books, and somehow I thought I was mutilating my books by taking notes in margins, headers, footers etc etc but eventually I changed my mind and I learned that I don’t have to respect my books as in a library. I realized that books were more valuable when I fill them with my ideas and thoughts while flipping through the pages.
· I take action. This means that when I find some section/advice/paragraph that it’s really valuable, I highlight that section and I put this pill of knowledge into practice, this might be not only for something I can apply to my daily job but also to my personal life. When I highlight these ideas I can put into action what I read and I can make some tweaks to hack my brain.
We live in an era that reading books is becoming a rare activity; I understand that it’s easy to consume audiovisual content, and that’s totally fine! Youtube is a great source to learn and entertain yourself (specially if you like videos of cats doing weird actions) however I feel that reading books has a peaceful effect in my mind. What about you? Would you consider creating a budget for your brain? J