With bustling careers, social lives, and other responsibilities, it can feel challenging to make time for reading and stick to it. However, it’s important to do so because of all the benefits it brings.
Reading has proven to strengthen your brain, build your vocabulary, reduces stress, and increases your ability to empathize with others. On top of that, it helps you see the world through different perspectives so you can perhaps understand it better.
Unfortunately, many people complain they don’t have enough time in their day-to-day lives to read. But you have to remember that some of the busiest people, such as Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey, make time to read every day even with everything they have going on.
If you want to read more on a busy schedule, here are five tips to help you get started.
Add It to Your Routine
It’s easy to forget about a new goal you set if you don’t manually add it to your schedule. Your brain isn’t used to performing a new habit every day, so you need to train it first.
If you want to get serious about reading, then add it to your routine. Treat it the same way you would with completing a critical task or eating a meal. It may seem daunting at first, but once you get used to it, it’ll feel as natural as everything else on your agenda.
Start with a shorter time and work your way up each week. If you manage to read for 15 minutes a day for a week, then bump it up to 30 minutes the next week if your schedule allows it. You can continue adding time the more you stick with it to ensure you won’t feel overwhelmed and quit.
Always Carry a Book with You
Whether you notice it or not, there are several tiny slots in the day when you have free time. You can use this to take a book out of your bag and start reading. Even if you only get a page in, it’s more than you read before.
You can also place books in other spots you may not have before, such as in your car, your office desk, or the kitchen. If you work from home, this is especially useful. Pay attention to the spots where you find yourself browsing your phone aimlessly and use those as new reading areas. You’ll reduce your screen time and finally give your eyes a much-needed break.
Join a Book Club
It’s much easier to stick to something when you have people around you doing the same thing. Encouragement in a group goes a long way and can be the motivation you need to stick to reading daily, which is why you should join a book club.
Book clubs are wonderful because they make reading an interactive experience. You can discuss plotlines, characters, motifs, and themes with others and throw ideas around with each other. This adds depth to your reading experience and makes it fun for everyone involved.
Search local bookstores and libraries in your area to see what’s available. These clubs are always looking for new members to share their input and experiences with new material, so don’t be afraid to reach out.
Perhaps you spend a lot of time in the car or on the train while commuting to and from work. Or, maybe you have little ones at home and it’s difficult to hold a book for more than a few seconds. Whatever the case may be, you can listen to audiobooks to help you stay focused.
Some of the most voracious readers prefer listening to content than reading it, and that’s okay! As long as you actively listen, you’re still immersing yourself in the experience and reaping the benefits.
Choose Reading Material You Love
Remember when you were forced to read books throughout school? The worst way to get someone to like something is by forcing them to do it. On top of that, many school curriculums include reading material that’s boring to students and convinces them they hate reading.
You deserve to read what you enjoy. It’s as simple as that. No one is handing you books you don’t care about anymore and you no longer have to endure finishing material you don’t like. Instead, you get to choose what your next book will be and that in itself is exciting.
Think about what genres you enjoy and go from there. If you need ideas, search bestsellers lists, prize winners, and reviews to gauge what’s worth your time and what isn’t. Visit your local library or bookstore to scour endless titles and see what catches your eye.
It’ll feel difficult at first to make reading part of your daily habit, especially if you aren’t used to it already. But with patience and consistency, you’ll remember that you love to read and forget about all the reasons you made excuses not to. How will you fit more reading time into your daily schedule?