If you’re anything like me—or anything like the average working person/student—you probably don’t have a lot of time to fit reading into your busy schedule. And when you do have downtime, it’s much easier to scroll on your phone or watch a show than pick up a book. It’s something I struggle with constantly, especially when I can look back on when my life was a lot less busier and I was able to bust out several books in one week. Boy, do I miss those days!
However, as the years have gone by I’ve found some really helpful tips for how to get more reading into my busy schedule, which is always so rewarding. So, here are my top 5 tips on how to get more reading into your busy life!
- Schedule in time to read.
It sounds like an awful pain, but sometimes it does come down to needing to pencil reading into your day. I find that setting a consistent schedule helps a lot, but even scheduling a few times a week or every second day makes a huge difference. It also helps with getting away from screens, and disconnecting from the internet, which is of course helpful for reading and for your health. Personally, I find taking 30 minutes before bed to be a classic, but very effective time to schedule your reading in. For me, it’s the best way to unwind before bed and set myself up for a restful sleep. I highly recommend it!
- Bring your current read everywhere.
This sounds a bit excessive, but bear with me. Perhaps this doesn’t make the most sense in the current world climate with COVID-19 still raging on, but I’ve been doing this for years. I’ve found so many opportunities to pull out my current read and get a few pages in whenever I take it with me during the day. Usually it happens when I’m commuting (maybe not the best option if you drive!) or in between classes and meetings, but once you bring your book with you, you’d be surprised how many opportunities to read come up. It’s definitely helped me put pretty decent dents into my current reads in the past.
- Try audiobooks!
This is one of my favourite tips. I LOVE audiobooks. I tend to have issues focusing on one task for a long time, or end up getting really antsy when I’m having a day where I just can’t get my mind to focus at all. They also really spice up household chores, which actually motivates me to do them. Audiobooks are also a great alternative to bringing a physical book with you wherever you go since you can just have them on your phone. They’re especially great for long trips, or even if you’re just taking a walk around your neighbourhood. I recommend using Scribd, they have a vast library for a really great price, but also check if your local library has Overdrive as that’s a completely free option.
- Read on your phone or tablet.
Similarly to the last two tips, reading on your phone or tablet is great for portability. However, for me it’s less about how portable this option is and more about that fact that I actually read faster on my phone. I was gifted an ereader when I was about 13, which was where I first discovered this. I’ve always been a fast reader, but something about the digital nature of my phone makes it even easier for me to consume books. I don’t know if there’s any science behind this, but I have seen other people say this too, so I’m not alone, and it’s why I recommend people try it out. It’s maybe not the best for your eyes, but for getting more reading in, it’s a surefire method. Plus, you can also check if your library has an Overdrive for ebooks too!
- Set reading goals.
Setting goals isn’t for everyone, but as a competitive person, I find this pretty helpful. It’s like running a race against myself when I set reading goals, even ones as simple as “read 50 pages tonight”. It inspires me to read more and to move past the goals I set. I like setting little goals for each day, longer goals for the week, and much larger goals for the month. For example, when I know I have the time to do it I try to read 50 to 100 pages a day, 1 to 2 books a week, and at least 4 books a month.
So those are my top 5 tips on how to read more when you have a busy schedule. Do you have any different tips? What do you find works best for you? Let me know in the comments below!