Guidance regarding reading books.

If you are not taking action (from what you have read), you are reading for entertainment.


Either read for entertainment. Or adhere to IRA information.

IRA: Important Relevant Actionable Information



Information must be proportionate to action, particularly habitual consumption of information.

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it. —Herbert Simon, recipient of Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics

Most importantly: Must be Actionable


Most important part of Tim Ferris's IRA filter is the actionable filter. If the information is not actionable then avoid the consumption of it.

If you are talking to someone and you are interested in receiving the emotions they are giving you, then don't interrupt them. Or you have some other goal in mind that warrants listening to interlocutor then continue.

However, its unproductive to seek out information such as world daily news for the sake of being "Informed". That's just stealing time from learning something that can actually move you forward in life.

Note, it's ok to educate yourself cursorily to not appear ignorant for topics deemed central to society (by gaining very cursory knowledge quickly and stopping consumption). Such cursory knowledge of the world does not require to be up to date with even monthly news.

Personally, I keep up with tech news by means of reading TLDR newsletter. Which takes a couple minutes a day for the sake of interest of what new innovations are happening, and at times seeing potential new tools to use (turning consumption into action).



There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I never watch the news and have bought one single newspaper in the last five years...In five years, I haven’t had a single problem due to this selective ignorance. - Tim-Ferris

For actionable information, I consume a maximum of one-third of one industry magazine (Response magazine) and one business magazine (Inc.) per month, for a grand total of approximately four hours/month. That’s it for results-oriented reading. - Tim-Ferris

Lifestyle design is based on massive actionoutput. Increased output necessitates decreased input.

Most information is time-consuming, negative, irrelevant to your goals, and outside of your influence.

I challenge you to look at whatever you read or watched today and tell me that it wasn’t at least two of the four. - Tim-Ferris

Develop the habit of asking yourself, “Will I definitely use this information for something immediate and important?” It’s not enough to use information for “something”—it needs to be immediate and important. If “no” on either count, don’t consume it. Information is useless if it is not applied to something important or if you will forget it before you have a chance to apply it. - Tim-Ferris

How to Grasp Specific Information

How to Grasp Specific Information: By Tim Ferris
IF task is "how-to" in nature:
  THEN: only read autobiographical accounts of “how I did it”.
    No speculators
    No wannabes 

What if you need to learn to do something your friends haven’t done? Like, say, sell a book to the world’s largest publisher as a first-time author? Funny you should ask. There are two approaches I used:

  1. I picked one book out of dozens based on reader reviews and the fact that the authors had actually done what I wanted to do. If the task is how-to in nature, I only read accounts that are “how I did it” and autobiographical. No speculators or wannabes are worth the time.
  2. Using the book to generate intelligent and specific questions, I contacted 10 of the top authors and agents in the world via e-mail and phone, with a response rate of 80%. I only read the sections of the book that were relevant to immediate next steps, which took less than two hours. To develop a template e-mail and call script took approximately four hours, and the actual e-mails and phone calls took less than an hour. This personal contact approach is not only more effective and more efficient than all-you-can-eat info buffets, it also provided me with the major league alliances and mentors necessary to sell this book. Rediscover the power of the forgotten skill called “talking.” It works. Once again, less is more. - Tim-Ferris

Important-Relevant-Actionable Information

Important & Relevant & Actionable (IRA Info) is: img

Sub notes

I only read the sections of the book that were relevant to the immediate next steps. -- Tim-Ferris

  1. Be Comfortable Skipping Around