Incrementalism is the understanding that small changes, repeated over time, will yield enormous results.
This graphic is an excellent example of the principle in action.
If you could simply transfer 30 minutes in a day, every day, to reading, you’ll have read an enormous number of books at the end of the year.
This could mean:
Watching 30 fewer minutes of television. Staring at social media for 30 fewer minutes every day. Reading while eating a meal. Listening to an audiobook during your commute or while exercising. Playing 30 fewer minutes of a video game or one of those idiotic games like Candy Crush every day.
Also, in case you’ve forgotten, reading is an excellent way to spend your time. We urge children to read more because we know it’s good for them and want to develop life long readers, but for some reason, so many adults either forget this advice or somehow become convinced that this advice only applies to kids.
It does not.
Science has shown us that reading:
- Strengthens and expands the neural network in your brain
- Improves your ability to understand the feelings and beliefs of others
- Increases empathy
- Builds your vocabulary
- Prevents cognitive decline in your later years
- Lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of psychological distress
- Lengthens lifespan
Reading also makes you a more informed, more interesting, and more entertaining person.
As I said in “Twenty-one Truths About Love:”
“Read more. It allows you to borrow someone else’s brain, and will make you more interesting at a dinner party.”
In fact, maybe you should read “Twenty-one Truths About Love.” Borrow my brain for a while!
Or maybe read one of my nonfiction titles, “Someday Is Today” or “Storyworthy.”
Or take a deep dive into my early works, “Something Missing” or “Unexpectedly, Milo.” Or start with my internationally bestselling novel, “Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.”
If you’re looking for a female-centric cast, how about “The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs?”
Or my latest novel. “The Other Mother.”
Reading is a genuinely important, highly beneficial activity that we should all being doing, and most of us should probably be doing more. If we approach reading from the lens of incrementalism, you can change one small thing and truly produce long lasting, life changing results.
I’ll also note that choosing to purchase and read one (or all) of my books is just as beneficial as reading any other book.
A little self serving on my part, but just as beneficial for you.