Since starting a full-time desk job, I have noticed my reading time plummet. Not ideal for someone running a book blog/instagram. Trying to find a balance of love for reading and fitting it into a busy schedule can be tough. So I decided to write up a few ways to realistically get into a habit with one of my favorite things to do.
- Define your goals.
- Determine a reading goal for the month, or even for the year. Establishing a goal can help keep you on track for what you’d like to accomplish. Make it realistic. Over-stretching your goal will leave you frustrated when you inevitably cannot reach that goal. Even saying, “I will read one book a month” is a great way to start a habit of reading, and then if you read more than that, you can reestablish the goal.
- Set a reading time.
- Figure out when reading is best for you. I prefer to read before bed, but sometimes I’m too tired to even do that. Since beginning my new job I have found that reading during my lunch break is a nice pause from staring at a computer screen all day. I try to aim for at least 15 minutes of reading during the day and a half hour before bedtime. See if page goals or timing works better for you. Some days I read faster or slower so I like to go by time rather than rushing through paragraphs to hit a page goal.
- Always have a book with you.
- This may sound redundant, but if you don’t have the reading material with you, then you can’t read. Get into the habit of always have a book on hand, whether in your car, bag, or backpack. You’ll feel more inclined to pick up a book to read for a few minutes rather than scrolling through Twitter for the 20th time that day. Or have an audio book queued up for when you’re commuting.
- Create your reading-friendly environment.
- Finding a cozy space or ritual of sorts really enhances reading time. Curling up in a comfy chair with a blanket and a good cup of tea helps me get into a reading mindset. Figure out what works for you. Music on? Snacks? Whatever helps you settle in for a bit and get lost in a book. I have found that getting into a habit helps when you are cozy to the max and genuinely happy to get into that space.
- Find your tribe.
- As human beings we inherently crave connection. So find a group of people to encourage your reading habits. There are endless possibilities for finding those connections, such as book clubs, work, friends, family, and social media. Surrounding yourself with others that share the same interests as you really can help you stick to a reading routine.
To keep in mind: my reading consumption fluctuates. Some days you may really just not want to read. And that’s fine. Don’t push yourself to the point that you see it as a chore. Because then you’ll truly resent it and sever ties to the joy of reading. I hope this helps anyone who is trying to get back into reading, or start reading!