Shortcuts in using what you’ve read

Right now I am getting my reading and learning fix from simultaneously reading both Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Alone and David Allen’s Getting Things Done, both for the second time.

Second time readings are always the ticket to a book’s aha! moments for me. In the first reading I get an overview so I can grasp a book’s big points and I tend to read very quickly because I have to satisfy the immediate hunger to swallow the whole thing. With the second reading, everything I skimmed over makes more sense to me in the context of the whole, and stuff I somehow missed completely the first time around is elevated in importance, perhaps even more than the author had intended.

It happened just by chance that these two books caught my interest separately in the past few weeks, however the combination of the two of them is pretty explosive. The dust hasn’t settled in my brain enough yet to explain more … I will at some point.

This past weekend I could fully immerse myself in the study because my family was absorbed in other things that didn’t include me, and my business line quieted down, so I really got into both books with near obsessive intensity. I felt like I was living this modern day Clash of the Titans. Pure bliss.

I spent the weekend completely re-configuring the way I use Outlook. Midday yesterday my daughter stuck her head in my office to check in with me, and she said, “Oh no, you’re reading something again, aren’t you.” As she walked down the hall I heard her call out, “Hey Zach, I think we can order pizza for dinner tonight.”

Files were scattered around me, a couple of desk drawers had been emptied, my printer was almost smoking, and I had “that look” in my eyes. Post-its with wild scribbling were stuck everywhere, and I was in heaven.

On my About page, you’ll read this:

Some say you are what you read ” very true in my case, for I love to test the theory found in books with actual practice, exploring every nuance of it, and luckily the good stuff becomes habit forming. A book is usually the best gift you can give me, for inevitably reading takes me on a new journey. My friends and clients say that visiting my wish list on is their way of cluing into what leap I’ll take next.

The added dimension to all this has been Blogsville.

On a morning break visiting my Ho‘ohana Community, I had read this on
Adrian’s blog: Tickling Mail in Outlook, wherein he offered a link for
the download to DA’s Workflow Processing using Microsoft Outlook. I
bought the download — a steal at $10, for not only do you cut to the
chase implementing GTD that way (assuming you use Outlook) you find out
about some other features of Outlook that you may have never used
before. Mahalo nui Adrian!

Once again, Blogsville has helped me find shortcuts to immediately start practicing some of the really good stuff I read about. In my case, I then personalized the journey with new relationship-building categories I’d decided to invest in as inspired by Never Eat Alone, for as Ferrazzi says so well in the opening pages of his book,

“Success in any field, but especially in business, is about working with people ” No tabulation of dollars and cents can account for one immutable fact: Business is a human enterprise, driven and determined by people.” [page 7 if you want more context.]

I haven’t blogged enough about Ferrazzi’s exceptional book, but I will. For now, let me just say that if you haven’t bought it yet, you should. Doesn’t matter what work you do, it’ll help you.

I really love when this happens. This morning is like a return to normalcy that will be my version of my “new normal.”

Related posts:

A Dozen Myths About Reading
7 More Ways to get the most from books


  1. says

    Carnival of the Vanities 141

    Welcome one and all to the oldest and longest running blog Carnival on the internet.
    Yes, it’s Carnival of the Vanities time once again.
    This is my very first hosting of the Carnival of the Vanities here at Blog Business World.

  2. Gustavo Caetano says

    Is there any chance you could lend a copy of that PDF? I’m completely broken : /

  3. says

    Aloha Gustavo,
    I’m sorry, however you are asking me to do something that doesn’t sit well with my personal ethics as another author, or as a person of integrity. I don’t specifically recall the exact words, however I’m pretty confident that when I purchased that pdf I was asked not to give copies away, and I agreed to those terms with my purchase.
    If you are interested in learning more about GTD and about using Microsoft Outlook, I’d encourage you to look into the free resources that are available on the web, and reading blogs as you are doing is a great start. Google “GTD and Outlook” and see what you can find.
    A hui hou,