In my previous life, before I had kids, I used to read about three of four books a week. No joke.
I remember long afternoons lying on my bed reading, whole weekends where I’d be able to float about the house, nothing to do other than lose myself in whatever book I had on the go. Bliss.
Now, I have to make time to read and if I get one book read a week, it’s a real achievement.
It saddens me sometimes, how life has got so busy that I have to actually plan time for reading.
My ‘to be read’ pile is sky high. I have books I’ve renewed at the library more than once because I haven’t had time to read them and I have books written by friends waiting, books I feel very guilty about not reading.
I used to be a ‘read before going to sleep’ person but recently, that time has been stolen by box sets. With Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming every episode of every season of some fabulous show ready for me to watch, that slot of reading time seems to have disappeared as well.
I feel depressed just writing this out. So here’s what I’m doing. Here’s five things I’m going to implement to gain more reading time.
Set boundaries and categorise my time
Obvious, but I’m going to set time aside, I’m going to make time to read and do nothing else. This is tricky, because with kids, it’s hard to set time for something – they’re always interfering and interrupting those pesky children of mine, but I’m going to try. I have a half hour slot just after the evening meal when I usually watch the news, or do a bit of housework, but now, I’m dedicating it to reading. It will be a work in progress, but I’m hiding away with my book in that time.
Don’t leave the house without reading material
This is something I do all the time, but sometimes, I forget I actually have a book with me and end up on my phone. Now, any moment I get – waiting at the doctors, at my children’s swim class, on the train – I’ll be reading. From my book. No phones allowed.
Listen to more audio books
Okay, so this isn’t exactly reading, but it’s close enough. I drive a lot, I ferry my kids about, drive to work, drive to my parents at the weekend and most of the time I’m listening to the radio. To songs and conversations I didn’t even choose. Now I’m going to listen to books, lovely people reading lovely books and nothing else.
Box sets are out
I don’t know how long this one will last, because we’ve just started Peaky Blinders and half way through Westworld, but I’m going to cut short the box sets and claim back my reading time before I go to bed. It makes sense as it’s a proven method to help you relax, instead of all that nasty blue light that comes from the television.
Read in the morning
This will be a new one for me, but I’m going to start reading in bed, in the morning. My morning routine at the moment is no routine. It’s usually a scramble around, getting small people ready for school, me ready for work, sorting out household chores and all that, but starting tomorrow, my alarm is set fifteen minutes earlier and I’m going to grab a coffee and read. I did try this once before, where I planned to get up a little earlier to do exercise, and surprisingly, that did not work at all, but I think the reading will. It sounds like such a lovely way to start the day.
How about you? Any tips you can share with me about how you make time for reading?