8 Easy Ways to Find Time to Read

Multitasking Reader, image by Dr Motte, Flickr Creative Commons
Category: Reading

We all lead incredibly busy lives, and while we’re rushing to and from work/school/classes, finishing household chores, getting a reasonably healthy meal on the table and then getting ready to do it all again tomorrow, it’s easy to let reading time slip. We glance beadily at that hardback gathering dust on the bedside table and think, ‘I just don’t have the time or energy for that right now.’ Believe me, I get it. We’ve all been there.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

For starters, you don’t necessarily need to set aside a big chunk of time in your day to read (it’s nice if you can do that, of course, but not always realistic). Once you let go of that notion and take a look at your day, you can find all sorts of little pockets of time when you could be reading something—a book, a magazine, the newspaper, whatever takes your fancy!

Here are a few ways to work some reading time into your day and to encourage yourself to read more.

While you’re waiting on someone or something. Early for a coffee meet up with a friend? YouTube videos buffering? Standing in a queue or at the returns area in a shop? Tired of watching the same old adverts? Waiting for a bus? Bored at the hairdresser’s or barber’s? Stuck on hold? Perfect time for a quick read.

YouTube videos buffering? Perfect time for a quick read

While your food is cooking. Staring at that casserole or spag bol won’t make it cook faster (I’ve tried). Distract yourself with a book or quick article and the time will fly!

While you’re working out. Exercise your body and your mind. Just don’t do this while you’re trying out high speeds on the treadmill!

While you’re commuting. Obviously not if you’re driving (although books on tape are a great way to pass the time). If you take public transport or car share, however, bring a book along to read or to have read to you.

If you have the time but little motivation, here are a few ways to encourage yourself to read more.

Switch off. We’re constantly checking our phones and tablets, which can distract us from quality reading time. Try going off-grid now and then by switching off the phone, the internet and the TV.

Join a book group. This will require some time commitment, of course, but you’ll be amazed by how much you’ll be motivated to read when you have a sort of deadline. Also, a lot of book groups have wine. Totally worth it. (If you can’t join a book group or don’t like the idea, consider setting reading goals for yourself to get the same benefit.)

A lot of book groups have wine. Totally worth it.

Explore different genres. You might not be making time to read because you’re bored with your current choice, so change it up! Head to the library and find something new, and know when to give up on a book you’re just not loving. Life is too short to continue with things that make you unhappy.

Purposely set aside time. A lot of us feel guilty about taking time for ourselves, because there’s just so much that needs to be done. Don’t feel guilty! Take 15 or 30 minutes a day, guilt free, and use it to relax. Those dishes will still be there and won’t suffer if they have to wait a little while longer. If it’s difficult to set aside time while the rest of the family or the flatmates are up, consider getting up a few minutes earlier each day (yes, we realise that’s difficult this time of year!).

How do you make time or motivate yourself to read? Share your tips in the comments below!


Image courtesy of Dr Motte, Flickr Creative Commons.

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