Finding time to read.
Seems like a daunting task sometimes, doesn’t it? I know it does for me. I love it, I absolutely do, but sometimes other things just get in the way.
Over the past few months, I had some books that I needed to read for my job in very specific time frames, so I had to figure out how to make it work. I haven’t been great at it, but here’s what I’ve learned.
1. Remember books don’t read themselves.
Just because I put my favorite bookmark in a book and think it looks nice on my side table to have a large novel sitting there, ultimately the book will never get read if I don’t actually open it up and read the words. Seems basic, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the simple things.
2. Read in the fringes.
You know those little tiny snippets of time that we spend browsing on Facebook, texting our friend, or scrolling through our Instagram feed? Like when you’re waiting for something to cook while you’re getting dinner ready. Or when you’re waiting for your significant other to finish getting ready. Or even during a commercial break of your favorite show! Mute the TV, take your book into the kitchen, do what it takes to make some progress. I spent many nights in the kitchen waiting for my sweet potatoes to boil with a book in my hand. (I’m obsessed with sweet potatoes.)
3. Make reading a priority.
Nothing ultimately happens unless it’s a priority. If you want to read – or, in my case, need to read – you have to make sure you choose reading over something else.
Every choice made is a choice not to do something else – so make every choice count.
4. Find your perfect reading environment.
Love to read while enjoying a hot cup of coffee? Or maybe a LaCroix is more your style? (I’m obsessed with LaCroix too.) It could be a favorite coffee shop with headphones, or in your favorite reading nook at home while everyone’s asleep. Whatever, wherever it is, find what makes you happy and comfortable. Then grab a good book and let your imagination soar.
5. Create reading goals.
For the last book I had to read, I actually put page number goals in a planner. It didn’t work out exactly like I planned, but my brain knew I had a goal to complete, so the rest of me worked to complete it. And guess what? I finished it in time, with no marathon sessions. Which brings me to my final, last-ditch-effort idea.
6. Have marathon reading sessions.
When all else fails, and a book simply must be read by a certain date (I have classes and meetings where we discuss books, but book clubs would function much the same way), stay up late and finish. (Where are all my fellow procrastinators??) I invented yoga reading.
Let that sink in.
Yoga really does keep you awake.
What about you? Do you struggle to make reading a priority in your life? Would any of the suggestions I listed work for you?