This guest post is from the fantastic Amanda. I personally find I don’t have as much time to read since I started working and have to set aside a little time each day, make sure I’m reading something that I want to read, and set myself a goal of 100 pages. I don’t always reach it but it does help me a lot. What about you guys? Do you have the same problem?

You don’t find time to read; you make it.

The last few months of 2011, I was basically unemployed and had plenty of time to read, and read I did.  But I also managed to burn myself out with reading in the process, and my reading languished at the beginning of January.  I struggled to read.  Then I accepted a last minute temp teaching job (no, really, I was called on a Saturday and I started teaching the following Monday), and I went from having all the time in the world to having none.

Zero.  Zip.  Zilch.

14 hours of my time every week went into being in the classroom, 10+ hours was spent simply commuting to work, and I spent the rest of my time preparing for classes.  You know that adage that says we always want what we can’t have?  Yeah.  As soon as I lost time to read, I wanted to read.

But with work and other commitments swallowing up my time, I began to realize that if I was going to read, I would have to carve out a space in my schedule.  When you are really busy, time to read won’t magically appear.  You have to make a conscious effort to set aside reading time.  And trust me, if you love reading as much as I do, giving yourself reading time when you’re busy can make the rest of your life seem more manageable.

Here’s a few ways to make time for reading:

1. Listen to audiobooks.  I started listening to books on my commute to work, and with those 10 hours in the car, I’m able to listen to about a book a week.  But you’re not limited to listening to audiobooks on your commute — you can do it while cleaning or cooking, or during any other mindless chore.

2. Reward yourself with reading.  I really do this in two ways.  One, I allow myself to take a break when I get stressed.  My reasoning goes like this: yes, I have a lot of other work to do, but I’ll be in a much better place mentally (and possibly emotionally) if I take the break.  Reading is like a recharge, where I forget all my problems for the space of a book. Secondly, I use reading to motivate myself to get my work done.  I tell myself, “If you finish X, Y, and Z, then you can read a book.”  I know this tactic won’t work for everyone, but it has a tendency to get me to focus on finishing work that I’ve been putting off.

3.  Set aside a little time every day for reading.  Before you go to bed at night, while you eat — whatever! — get a few pages or chapters in.  I’m not the type of person who can read a few chapters or pages at a time, but if I was, I would!  You don’t have to read a book front to back in one sitting, so why not grab a few minutes of your day to do some reading?