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Windsor, Berkshire, United Kingdom, 2011/06/07 - Now available in e-book formats – the book by Clive Lewis and Anthony Landale that promises to introduce you to a practical reading strategy that will help you become an Extraordinary Reader and eliminate information overload for good - Illumine.co.uk.
Everyday information gets in the way – phone calls and E:s, pod casts and blogs, letters and magazines. The list goes on. It was only a few years ago that it was estimated people spent around 150 hours a year looking for lost information. Today that amount of time has surely increased.
So what do we do about it? It may be tempting to surrender but according to Clive Lewis, MD of illumine, the answer is to become an extraordinary reader.
The Extraordinary Reader is the title of Lewis’s book and it represents the view that in order to deal with information overload we have to use the latest thinking technologies to deal with it. At the heart of Lewis’s thinking is a new reading strategy which promises to help people navigate through the constant stream of data, evaluate and absorb what is relevant to them and find ways to recall key information once they have read it.
In essence The Extraordinary Reader is all about becoming proactive and working smarter, providing those who use it to develop their productivity and take control of their lives.
INSEAK®: a three state approach:
The ‘3 state’ reading strategy which sits at the heart of The Extraordinary Reader is called INSEAK – the Intelligent Strategy for the Effective Acquisition of Knowledge. And it is this innovative model which provides such a practical solution to information overload.
Said Lewis: “INSEAK recognises that whenever we are faced with new documents we need sorting strategies and reading techniques that can help us to determine their relevance. These techniques are well known but when combined together they add extraordinary value to people who want to harvest knowledge.”
The three states of Lewis’s INSEAK approach are as followed.
State 1: A document arrives and assessment is required.
In this first state, you the reader, are in receive mode. But you do not know whether the document, report, book, magazine or E: that you have been sent requires your attention. So your first objective is to find out whether it needs to be read, needs to be delegated or can be ditched.
To help with this assessment Lewis provides some specific tools – such as how to make a fast initial evaluation, how to conduct a rapid pre-read and how to draft a skeleton Mind Map® – to establish what the documents are about and whether you need to give them any further consideration.
State 2: You now have preliminary understanding of the document.
Your second state when you have conducted this assessment can be characterised as one of preliminary understanding. You know now whether the document you’ve looked at is relevant and, broadly, what it covers. You are still in assessment mode, however, and this will help you decide whether you need to read further and, if so, at what speed and depth that should be.
Your strategies in this process are skimming, scanning and speed-reading including a detailed Mind Map. The critical understanding here is that while some documents may just need a skim read you may also choose to go through others multiple times, building up greater knowledge each time. This process of multi-layering is a key characteristic in becoming an extraordinary reader.
State 3: New knowledge is assimilated.
Your state when you have completed the process above is now one of knowledge assimilated. And importantly you will have generated, as part of this state, a robust review strategy (your detailed Mind Map) which will have clarified and coded all the key information you need for easy recall. The drafting of your Mind Map is also a signal that you have met your knowledge assessment objectives and have completed the task in hand.
Said Lewis: “My focus with INSEAK is specifically on assessment and evaluation of information. This is critical for managing overload. You have to remember that while knowledge and information is the fuel for career success, the skill that executives need is in being able to seek out the gold among all the dross. In this context just consider for a moment … when you pick up a document or magazine what are you looking to get out of it – factual information, learning, current news? You need clear objectives and a fast way to assess the value of the documents you have been sent. And you can be much more effective when you make this a conscious process.”
Managing your state
So far so good, but unfortunately you can’t become an extraordinary reader just by reading a book and recognising the validity of its approach. You have to practice and you have to be prepared to change your habits.
According to Lewis it’s an investment that is well worth the effort. “To become an extraordinary reader you need to be clear that you want it and you need to be able to manage your learning state – but with the incentive that you need never fall victim again to information overload. This is an important ability to cultivate. I have always been fired by the belief that if I can teach people simple but effective thinking techniques they will become far more productive and successful. With the extraordinary reader I have brought together the essential elements of technique, attitude and belief that will help anyone to achieve this outcome.
In hardcopy – The Extraordinary Reader is published by Vale Press. ISBN: 978-1-906070-03-8.
For e-book formats
iBooks Store (through the FREE iBooks app on the iPhone or iPad)
Barnes and Noble (Nook™)
INSEAK® is a registered trademark of Illumine Limited.
Mind Map® and Mind Maps® are registered trademarks of the Buzan organisation.