How do you read and understand the main points of a book in two hours? Chaishu, suggested by Chinese writer Zhou Zhao, has recently grown popular in China. It’s a way to digest non-fiction in a collaborative way of monotasking.
Yuan Gong is member of a Chaishu group that meet regularly in Shanghai:
“We often organize reading-related workshops or activities. For today, we studied the long-awaited Monotasking book.” —Yuan told me.
This is how you do a Chaishu, which literally can be translated into “Book Dismantling”:
- The book is split into chapters, and each person read one chapter.
- Set a 30 minute alarm to ensure that everyone is focused on reading.
- When the alarm goes off, everyone stop reading, and start sharing their chapter content and their own experience.
- Then the participants together rebuild the essentials of the book by creating a mind map.
This means that the group read one book in collaboration. Chaishu makes people jointly focus on one single task for a short period, i.e. collaborative monotasking. On this day they also happened to read the Chinese edition of the Mononotasking book and Yuan was satisfied:
“I think this meetup brought your concepts into reality. Chaishu is a useful tool when trying monotasking in teamwork.” — Yuan said.