Now, where did reading come from when there’s already so much to do in a mom’s life?
Interestingly, though, an investigation into the healing benefits of reading by Liverpool University showed a direct relation between reading and the treatment of stress/depression as well as general well-being.
But then, you can only make time for something this important (i.e. read) when you have most of your day in your control.
I have been struggling with my reading habit lately too but I know making time to read a quality book ALWAYS reduces the distance between my current and ideal self.
So, here are a plan and persuasion points I have whipped up to help you and myself conscientiously commit to making time to read.
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If you’re short on time (duh!), then grab your ‘Making Time To Read’ cheat-sheet printable here. And a Time Budgeting printable here. These are a direct download. No signup required.
Before You Begin…
Please know this: you CAN NOT have a smooth sailing reading schedule when the rest of your day is a horrible mess. You’ve got to change how you use time overall a bit and I assure you, then not only will you find more time to read, you will feel more disciplined, at peace and purposeful.
Now with that out of the way, let’s dive in!
When You’re Ready!
1. SET YOUR PERMANENT, PHYSICAL READING NOOK
Customize it to your taste and comfort. Then develop a habit of reading only there and nowhere else. Over time, you’ll see how it adds to building your reading momentum.
2. EXTERMINATE DISTRACTIONS
In your reading circle don’t allow the physical presence of cell phones, people or any other distraction of the sort. Also, take better control of your mind and shush any noise. I’m increasingly trying to be aware of a habit of drifting away into my teaching world as I read something useful, about how I’ll share it with my students or others. Don’t do that because you want to make the most of your reading time. No intellectual multi-tasking!
3. READ WHAT UPS YOUR GAME
Don’t be reading Hamlet when you’re already confused about something. As I was setting up my blog, I’d come across many ‘useful’ freebies which I wanted to subscribe to get, but I constantly focused myself on reading material only relevant to my current stage.
4. SET DEADLINE & REVERSE ENGINEER DOWN TO YOUR DAILY CHUNK O’ READING
You will be more likely to stick to a routine AND finish a useful book when a deadline is pressing you. If you plan to read one book per month as a starter, you need to divide your 300 pages into 30 days. Just focus on managing to read 10 pages each day.
5. GO BIG THE FIRST DAY
Overcome the inertia by reading as much as you can on the first day. At least one whole chapter! This way you’ll have enough interest developed to make the book stick to your brain.
6. ONWARD, GO SMALL BUT STEADY
Next, you can do one of the two:
- set a specific small amount of time (even 15 min. to start with) for reading each day.
- set a specific small number of book pages (5 to 10) to read each day.
The time required for any of these two options is so small, you can easily squeeze it out from one or more of the suggestions below.
Activities to Squeeze 15 min From:
- idle phone calls/ message conversations
- slow speed chores (by mindfully speeding them up)
- social media
Remember, there are 1440 minutes in a day, taking out 15 or so for reading still leaves you with 1425 minutes…
7. RITUAL-IZE READING
Perform your reading activity like it’s a ritual. As in:
- same time daily e.g. 7:00 am to 7:15 am daily
- same spot i.e. #1
Important: Keep your absolute focus on today’s task only. Just think about today’s 5-10 pages you have to cover.
8. PARTNER UP!
The activities I succeed most with are the ones where I have found an accountability partner. If you know someone who’s struggling with reading, then you’re lucky. Hook up with that person and share your X days’ progress report. It doesn’t have to be a regular long conversation, when I start something like this with a friend, we set the rules beforehand that we’d only use…
“15 min. done today”
… phrase to report (instead of starting off a long conversation). If we don’t receive this message for, say, three consecutive days, the next time the doer reports is like this,
“15 min. done today, waiting for you!”
Swear this strategy over-delivers!
Until you find your accountability partner, partner up with me and just report here in the comment section below. I’ll be there for you.
That’s all my friends.
I guarantee that if you follow the above advice, you’ll surely manage to make time to read. I’m doing it.
Darlene | SugarsBeach.com says
My favorite time to read is before bed. I just settle in after the house is quiet and pull out my Kindle. BTW, I love how we can “pick up” library books on our Kindles now!
What are you reading now?
Aside from fiction, my two picks at the moment are “Crushing It’ and the “5 Second Rule.”
Hena Bilal says
Ahh! Kindle, we can’t use it where I come from (unless we con the system!). I would love to use it for the ease of it.
You know, I think sometimes I’m asleep when half the ‘Good night!’ is still in my mouth!!
These days I read in the quiet of the morning right after my prayer and scripture. I’m reading ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins and a discipline-ing book from the Parenting bundle (UB) that I can’t remember the name of right now! #brainfried
Thanks for stopping by, Darlene!