“Reading? Who’s got time for that?”
It’s sad but true for most people who are overstressed at work. A lot of people understand that reading is an important activity. However, only a few have the reading time or even skim the pages of Lord of the Rings or Charlotte’s Web. No matter how they badly want to try reading, they unfortunately don’t have any idea how to squeeze the time for it.
I don’t mean to brag, but I am also living a hectic life just like everybody else and still get the time to read. I work early from seven o’clock in the morning until about five o’clock in the afternoon. It takes me almost an hour to reach home because traffic is a time killer. After taking a hearty meal I usually think of nice topics or stories to write for my blog, watch a little TV, and then grab a book I’m engrossed on.
Like me, it’s also possible for you to make time for reading, whether it’s a hobby you are passionate about or an activity you want to try for the first time.
Here are a few tips that I’ve been using:
LEARN TO SACRIFICE SOMETHING
Sadly, we only have 24 hours in a day and we usually already have planned out how our day is going to be. Like me, most would spend 8–10 hours at work; 6–8 hours asleep; and a little bit more time with family and friends. This kind of time management doesn’t leave much time for your hobbies.
Sometimes, when I’m totally addicted to a book, I sacrifice something like watching TV or surfing the web at night. There are also days that I don’t feel like reading and instead opt for other hobbies like painting, watching black comedy films, writing/blogging, and sleeping. Yes, sleeping.
Simply put, I make it my business to efficiently set up my priorities. Hey, something’s got to go for the day. If you’ve got a chance to live through this day, you’ll still have time to do your other hobbies the next day.
CREATE A ROUTINE
While it might seem counter-intuitive, this is actually effective in finding the time to read happen. Your goal is simply to make time to read. In my case, I read before I go to sleep, during the weekends, and sometimes, while commuting.
SET A GOAL OR DEADLINE
My reading pace is not that excellent, so I don’t usually set deadlines. It becomes worse if the pace of the story I’m reading slows to a crawl. So I simply choose to read books as they come. However, I set a broader monthly goal. Just like my goal of buying at least one or two novels a month, I see to it that I can also finish reading two books in 30 or so days. Because of setting up this goal, I usually hold myself accountable for it. You should try it for yourself and experience the great feeling of accomplishing something you think is impossible.
FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
Reading a book you don’t enjoy gets you to nowhere, even if your best friend suggested it. In order to not feel that you are wasting your time, think about the things that interest you. If you’re passionate about cooking, you can read novels or biographies about chefs. If you are having fun of what you are reading, then maybe you’ll also find other stuff related to it enjoyable. Soon, you will learn to love almost every piece of literature your eyes can lay on (it’s not guaranteed, though).
EXPAND YOUR READING PREFERENCES
Sometimes, reading the same thing or the same author again and again can get boring. If you’ve been reading all Sidney Sheldon books, maybe it’s time to try your hands on a leadership book. Trying out other genre or switching from fiction to non-fiction is a great way to avoid book burn out. Mix categories up and soon you’ll be surprised that you’ve taken a liking on a genre far from what you were used to.
In my case, I usually find the time to read blog posts about leadership and entrepreneurship every morning and during my lunch break. Although I like fiction, there’s no harm in knowing things that I can actually use in real life.
If you’re looking for me, you’d probably spot me at home reading or in bookstores flipping the pages of random books or in front of the laptop writing something. I know what you’re thinking: “Your life must be pretty boring”. My life isn’t boring; it’s actually far from that. I also go to places, play sports, and love the beach!
Because I have efficiently inserted the time to read into my daily life, I’ve also become efficient and productive at the other things that I do. I’ve managed not just my lifestyle but also my time quite well. I wouldn’t have it any other way.