Productivity Hack: Read One Chapter of a Book to Get 90% of the Value

Here’s a fairly reliable productivity hack if you’ve picked up the latest self-help, management theory or sweeping sociological interpretation of our times: only read the second chapter because it routinely contains 90% of the book’s value. Here’s how these books usually go:

Forward by Influencer – obviously SKIP

Chapter 1: Author’s Credentials – author introduced themselves, makes case for why they’re qualified, and evangelizes their path to discovery of their new idea

Chapter 2: THE IDEA

Chapters 3+: Examples of THE IDEA in action and/or anecdotal stories to validate the universality of THE IDEA


Note, sometimes Chapter 2 can be Chapter 3, but you can usually figure this out by looking at the Table of Contents.

Happy semi-reading!