With so many distractions in the twenty-first century, it can be difficult to find the time to educate yourself on important financial information that could affect your business. Regardless, even if you do find the time to sit down with a helpful book, white paper, or article, many people find it difficult to devote their attention to the text and absorb all of the wisdom contained in those pages.
But exercising your mind is just as important as exercising your body, and the best way to ensure that your brain is in tip-top shape is to introduce it to new and engaging advice that can boost your business. The problem is that most entrepreneurs don’t have a plan of attack for absorbing information the same way they have one for tackling the market.
Fortunately, there are several simple and easily implementable tips that you can use to absorb financial information. If you’ve been struggling with turning off the voices in your head or blocking out all of the distractions around you, this post will help you sharpen your mind and develop better concentration skills.
Keep reading to find out how.
5 Tips for Absorbing Financial Information
- Turn off all electronic devices. Either shut down your cellphone or put it in another room. The same goes for your computer. Plenty of studies show that invasive electronic messages via email or text have seriously detrimental effects on your IQ and concentration. If you want some background noise, put on music without lyrics like jazz, classical, or electronic. Music with lyrics will distract you from the words on the page.
- Take notes, underline, highlight. Maybe this takes you back to college, but, as it turns out, your college professor was right. Engaging with texts on a tactile level helps to ensure that you will retain key information. So mark-up important passages, ideas, or portions of the text where you have a question.
- Understand a text’s structure. All well-written texts should be constructed in a way that aids their readability. If you want to grasp the most important information in a piece of writing without reading every single word, first look to the beginning of the text where the author usually states their intent and then to the end of the text where they wrap up their major points. Look to section headings, bullet points, or lists for passages in the middle of the text that contain pertinent information as well.
- Use a proven method. If you’re having trouble concentrating for extended periods of time, try a method that people have sworn by for years, like the Pomodoro Technique. It works like this: Set a timer for 25 minutes. Read your text for the allotted time with zero distractions. When the timer goes off, put a checkmark on a piece of paper, and take a 5 to 7-minute break. Then concentrate on the text for another 25 minutes. Once you’re done, repeat the process. When you get 4 checks on your piece of paper, then take a longer, 20 to 30-minute breather. Breaking up your time like this makes concentration much easier.
- Teach the information to someone else. Even if your pupil is makebelieve, being able to teach the information you’ve learned to someone else means that you’ve really absorbed it. Some experts call this the Protege Effect, but regardless of the name, being able to teach the information you’ve learned to someone else involves explaining the key ideas in a coherent and structured way, which increases your ability to retain the most important facts.