This post on Stepcase Lifehack made me think of a technique that one of my mentors, Dr. Tom Fillinger (blog | twitter), uses to process what he is studying and make it applicable to himself. Basically, it works like this:
- Take notes as you read or look at something that isn’t purely for leisure.
- After reading/viewing a block, such as a chapter, summarize what was learned and pull out key points.
- Determine how to apply those key points to your own life.
- Determine some way of measuring if you’re successfully applying those key points.
- Apply and measure.
- Evaluate your progress based on the measurements.
Tom is like this with respect to everything from running to spiritual transformation. This man tackles a lot each day and leaves me, a much younger and supposedly more spry guy, in awe. Part of it is focused efforts to apply what he learns quickly and efficiently and then measure to ensure that he is getting the results he expects. This is something I admittedly do not do a good job of and am striving to improve on. For instance, I started carrying a Moleskin notebook that fits easily into my back pocket to capture thoughts and insights that I have when I don’t have my normal tools handy. However, the intensive note taking and application Tom does is something I have a long way to go on.