The biggest complaint of the modern world is not having enough time to read. As you already know, there are tremendous benefits to reading. But even people who are avid readers struggle to make the time to read, especially because advancement in technology has made reading compete with tempting screen-relaxation activities.
Like everyone else, I hoped to get a ton of reading done in 2021. But I found that I often leaving many novels midway because I was so far behind that I had forgotten the plot of the story.
I decided to take reading seriously and set up some strategies that allowed me more time to read. Here, I list some of the best strategies that actually work even on days that you have a tight calendar:
1. Set A Reading Goal: Targets help you stay on your toes. Having a dedicated reading goal can aid in developing a regular reading practice. Set a simple, attainable, and just slightly challenging goal for yourself. In February, I made the goal to read at least 10 pages a day. I changed it to “read at least 30 minutes daily” in March. You can create any goal that suits your needs for the month and do your best to stick with it.
2. Drop The False “Should-Be” Reading Notions: I often associated “reading” with “serious literature” – a made-up idea of the books that I “should be” reading. These unreal rules made me feel daunted by books that I hadn’t even begun yet. I know the same happens with you too. I dropped this belief and started leaving the books I didn’t genuinely enjoy. It was the best reading decision I ever made.
3. Using The Other Side Of Screens: It is no surprise that screens are designed to make us mindlessly scroll instead of reading a book. But the other fact is that technology has made it easier than ever to have a book on you always. I replaced my binge-watching habit by reading a book on my Kindle app by keeping it on my home screen. There are also audiobooks that can help you get a ton of reading while doing household chores or other mindless tasks.
4. Nudge Your Habits: Already existing habits are tight-jars that can create a domino effect on making other good habits given the right nudge. If you already have a habit of scrolling before bed, replace that habit by reading instead. Pick up a book whenever you are tempted to open your phone. Or do what I did, create a “cue” for your mind. I always keep a book on my bedside table to ensure I pick it up before sleeping.
5. Track Your Progress: I used to put a mark on my calendar every day that I lived up to my reading goal. Witnessing my progress helped me immensely in keeping my morale up. Towards the end, my primary motivation was maintaining & transcending this progress. Give yourself a pat on the back now and then & celebrate the small achievements.
I hope this quick little list helps you in getting more quality reading done this year. Remember to have fun and not take all the enjoyment out of reading by sticking to it just because it is a “good habit”. You don’t need to read more books to get quality reading done. Even if you spend just 5 minutes truly enjoying a story, a poem, or a drama, you’re doing it right.
What are some of the things that you do to make more time to read? I would love to know in the comments below!
Rochi is a staff writer at Elite Content Marketer who relishes fresh poetry. She talks about books, poems, and the troubles of everyday life on her website. If you believe there is nothing that cannot be cured by some Mary Oliver poetry or a F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode, subscribe to her weekly newsletter.
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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.