This is a post for any researchers who might be feeling:
That they simply don’t have time to read enough
That their ‘to read’ pile is getting bigger and bigger, no matter how much you read
(Being totally honest) their reading choices are shaped by fear of missing out (FOMO) – or fear of getting caught for not having read something.
I know these feelings all to well.
For those of you who prefer a video, all the key points below are in a lovely 10 minute video on my YouTube channel.
The ideas that follow are very much shaped by what I heard by colleague Julie Robert explain to research students a few years ago. The four labels are not my invention, I heard them from her.
Don’t read lots, read smart
I eventually recognised that my reading practices were not serving me well. I was reading based on FOMO, rather than based on my needs. I was defaulting to reading all articles from start to finish, or when I skipped sections I felt extremely guilty.
What I needed was a way to spend quality time with the literature, but to make sure I wasn’t wasting time either.
Reading smart isn’t about just reading the same number of books, papers, paragraphs or words in less time. It is about choosing purposefully how to spend that time.