Reading at work?

Not sure where to file this, but I’ve wanted to channel my inner Warren Buffett and get more reading done at work/for work, for a long time.

Unfortunately my attention is always carried away by the latest and loudest. My instapaper has become some awful pergatory for thousands of unread articles, and I want to get better.

Anyone have any solutions that are working for you?

I read online articles or ebooks (through iBooks) on my pomodoro/deep work session breaks - usually 5 to 10 mins. I’m not sure what your exact issue is - are people distracting you at work? Close email/Slack for ten mins to get some reading done. New articles making your backlog huge? That’s another issue. Recently I outright deleted my whole reading backlog and keep 5 unread at a time as a rule.

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I’d be lost (distracted, unproductive, chatty) without these. They also help people think more about interrupting you.


I spend a lot of time reading for research purposes, and I’ve have a few suggestions:

  1. Plan your reading. You have a stack of things that interest you, I’m sure. Make a list of what you have and prioritize it in terms of most relevant to your work. Make an excel sheet. I’m serious. Getting more structured about your reading means having an agenda about what you want to learn.

  2. Block out your reading time out on a calendar. I try to read an hour or more a day, but often find that big blocks of 3-4 hours a couple days a week work just as well. PROTECT THIS TIME. It’s non-negotiationable.

  3. Pomodoro techniques work, but I like blocks of 40 minutes or so rather than the recommended 20. Put your phone in Do Not Disturb. Your Mac too.

  4. Notes notes notes! Reading is only part of increasing your effectiveness, you have to put the knowledge to work. Regular review and reworking your notes is just as important as consuming content.