Here's eleven tips to help you to increase and/or incorporate reading time into your busy schedule.
1. Figure out your barriers.
Which activities are taking up most of your time i.e. talking on the phone, playing on the computer, or watching television? Time can be adjusted to reduce these activities. Although this adjustment may seem minimal, it will increase reading time. If you absolutely cannot give up a television program, set your DVR or read during the commercials.
2. You must make reading a priority.
When something is important to a person, they will go out of their way to do it. Reading must be emphasized. The quote “If you think it, you will achieve it”, can help with prioritizing reading. For me, I iron for the upcoming week on Friday or Saturday evenings so that I will have time to “play” (read) and not be rushed with trying to juggle reading and my chores. Sometimes a reader cannot focus and give their undivided attention to reading because they feel guilty about reading when other tasks need to be completed.
3. Schedule reading time.
We schedule doctor and dentist appointments, conferences, and meetings. Why not schedule a reading time? Make an appointment on your calendar, set a reminder, and go to the designated area or open the book to the desired page and read.
4. Establish a designated reading area.
If you are going to have a designated area, why not make sure the designated area is quiet and organized? When a reader is organized, it frees up time and they are not doing things over and over again. Have you ever been so unorganized that you can’t remember if you read a particular passage? Re-reading takes away from your reading time because you have to go back and find your place, recall what was taking place in the story, and re-focus.
5. Consider audible books or carpooling.
A reader should never leave home without their reading material. Tablets, reading apps, audio books, and e-books have made it much easier to transport reading material in the event a hard copy is mistakenly left behind. I have purchased a digital copy of a book and also checked out the audio book from the library. This allows me to listen when I am travelling in the car or at work and read when I am out of the car. You can read while carpooling or waiting in the carpool line. You can allow someone else to drive and take advantage of the time to read.
Contributor - Carmela Hicks
6. Make reading a family affair.
A reader should try to include reading into other family activities. You can plan a family day in the park or spend a day at the beach and pack your reading material right along with the sunscreen, blankets, and bathing suits. You can also designate a family reading night where everyone is reading. This will allow events to be planned around reading.
7. Read when you can.
You can read while you are completing other activities including exercising, waiting at the doctor/dentist office, or hair/nail salon. Reading may actually make these activities more enjoyable. A long wait time at a scheduled doctor’s appointment may not be so bad after all. I even read while receiving a manicure or pedicure. Another opportune time to read is on your lunch or other scheduled break. This may require you to turn on your do not disturb message or close your door and if that does not work, you may have to leave the office altogether.
8. Set a bedtime.
This may enable you to receive your rest and potentially get up a little earlier and read before starting your day.
9. Read genres that you enjoy.
To increase reading time, a reader should try to read something they really enjoy. You may already be challenged with finding time and if you do not like the genre/book than the purpose is defeated because no effort is going to be made to read.
10. Join a book club or book challenge.
The accountability and eagerness to discuss the book may increase the desire to read and finish the book.
11. Learn to say no!
You may have to let some positions go and allow other people to step into that role or tell your friends that you are unable to attend certain events because you want to focus and meditate on you and that requires you to get your reading time in.
Some activities that are performed are out of habit. Why not make reading a habit and part of your routine such as brushing your teeth or washing the dishes? The more you perform an activity like reading, the more you’ll be able to establish reading as a part of your daily routine.
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