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?