A lot of people have asked me lately how on EARTH I get the time to read as much as I do, particularly considering my busy schedule and other commitments. As it is, I’m working full time, freelance part-time (yes, I’m fully aware I’m crazy) and somewhere along there have to make time to eat, sleep, and have a life. I also read at least three books a week. How? I’m going to tell you. Putting time aside specifically to read is important to me – here’s how I make time to read books, even when time doesn’t seem to allow it.
Take advantage of all the spare minutes
People spent a LOT of time just sitting around doing nothing, at various points throughout the day. The natural thing to do here, especially in this day and age, is to pull out your phone and check social media. Whether this be waiting for a friend, sitting on the bus on my commute to work, I always have a book on hand to pull out whenever I find myself with nothing to do, ready to read the extra minutes away.
Sacrifice that Netflix and Chill Before Bed
Do you really NEED to watch that extra episode of Pretty Little Liars, Hollie? A question I find myself asking quite a lot, lately. I’ve taken to swapping my unnecessary telly-time for extra page turning and it’s really doing wonders for my sleep. It allows that extra time to wind down before bed, relaxes me and keeps my brain active all at the same time. Nothing better.
Give yourself set reading time – and read things you enjoy.
Tell yourself that you’re going to nominate a certain part of your day to read. Give yourself a goal: I’ll read X amount of pages before dinner and then I can treat myself to some TV. I find that motivating myself to do ANYTHING productive when I’m in a terrible mood is an absolute effort so don’t force yourself if you’re not in the mood. That’ll only associate negative feelings with reading and let’s face it, you definitely won’t go back then, will you?
Additionally, only read the stuff you enjoy. Don’t just read something because everyone else is or because the book has a particular reputation. If you don’t enjoy a book or a genre – don’t attempt to force yourself to read it. If you’re unsure about what you might like, why not try reading something based on your previous enjoyments.
Listen to Audiobooks
If you don’t have time to physically sit down and read a book, then have a listen to one instead. I’ve recently subscribed to Audible, and while I’m not totally committed to the audiobook trend quite yet, I do see the benefits of it, especially if you drive to work for your commute. I have a habit of zoning out of music and TV shows so I’m finding that a little bit tricky but being able to listen to a chapter here and there whilst doing other things is proving incredibly useful.
Do you have any hints or tips to make the most of your time and get loads of reading done? How do you make time to read books?