As busy season comes to a close young CPAs are able to find more time to relax with their favorite hobbies and activities, but as young CPAs, we always look for places where we can grow in ourselves and career. Over the past year, I have been working to grow myself by reading more, which will help with my writing, comprehension, reading speed, and overall knowledge. In researching methods to increase my reading, I found a great article from the Harvard Business Review, “8 Ways to Read (a Lot) More Books This Year.” The article gives few tips on how to increase your reading, some I have already begun implementing including:
- Change your mindset about quitting: I always had trouble quitting a book I’d already started, which caused me to dread reading the book and led me to read less. When there are times where you are dreading the reading of a book or just want to change it up, there is nothing wrong with quitting and picking up another book.
- Take a “news fast” and channel your reading dollars: In the past I have subscribed to up to three newspapers and multiple magazines. These subscriptions led me to spend money and time on reading things that did not result in any value to me or my career. This was especially true with the newspapers, as I began noticing I would read articles of the same topic with few differences in views or content, which took my time from more productive and valuable things.
To read more, I also have started reading more books that help me pursue other hobbies and activities such as running. Recently I read a book called What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, which is a memoir by famed Japanese writer Haruki Murakami describing how he got into running, methods he uses while running, and how running affects his writing and life. His experiences provided me insight on ways to gain more value from running as a pastime. In his book he included a mantra repeated multiple times (which I try to repeat to myself while running), “At least he never walked.”
His words also provided me insight on how to improve my life and career as a young CPA. One quote that particularly intrigued me was, “I’m struck by how, except when you’re young, you really need to prioritize in life, figuring out in what order you should divide up your time and energy. If you don’t get that sort of system set by a certain age, you’ll lack focus and your life will be out of balance.” I try to remember these words, especially when I am participating in something that potentially does not add value to my life or my career.
Reading helps me to relax after busy season, and from it I can learn new things to help grow myself and my career.