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We have guidelines for a balanced diet of food. But on his blog, consultant Kevin Eikenberry argues that we also need a balanced reading diet, to help us develop:

Goal reading: Items that you need to reach an important life goal. The subject matter in this category will change over time.

Inspirational reading: Make time every day for something that lifts your mind and attitudes, be it poetry, religious material or other thoughtful reading.

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Professional reading: This covers the journals, magazines, newsletters and blogs that keep you up to date on your work.

Current events reading: News and other information on current events, from newspapers and the Web.

Serendipitous reading: Explore reading from unexpected sources that might provide new ideas and creative thoughts. It can be magazines you don't normally read, links from e-mails that intrigue you, or what he calls semi-purposeful Web surfing.

Fun reading: Items that provide entertainment.

Light reading: Your snack-food equivalent, celebrity news and social media feeds.

He recommends the following time allocation for a balanced diet:

Goal reading: 20 minutes/day (23 per cent);

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Inspirational: 10-15 minutes/day (11-18 per cent);

Professional: 15-20 minutes/day (18-23 per cent);

Current events: 10 minutes/day (11 per cent);

Serendipitous: one hour/week (10 per cent);

Fun: one hour/week (10 per cent);

Light: less than one hour/week (10 per cent).

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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