We've all been there: life gets the better of us, we've been running around without a break in sight for who knows how long, we're exhausted, and suddenly we pause and realize we can't remember the last time we read even part of a book, let alone an entire masterpiece made out of words and dead trees. It's been weeks, maybe even months since you picked up a book, and you call yourself a bookworm, a reader? You hardly feel worthy of the title.
But it's okay. Hobbies and the things we enjoy doing get away from us sometimes. What matters is that we always go back to them; we don't let them stay gone from our lives. And there are always ways to fit in more time to read books in your daily life, whether it's been ages since you last read or you simply want to read more.
Let's take a look at some of those methods.
1. Shave off sleeping time - but just a little.
Please note that I don't recommend this if you already get less than seven or eight hours of sleep, but if you're not one of the many who lacks in quality sleep time on a daily basis, then I am of the belief that 15 or 30 minutes less sleep is not going to hurt you. It doesn't matter if it's before you go to bed or right when you wake up in the morning; if you sleep just a little less, you can fill those stolen minutes with reading time. Personally, I prefer reading before bed since it helps me fall asleep more easily, but do what works for you. Whichever option you choose, just make sure you're actually filling that time with reading books, not social media.
2. Cut back on social media.
Speaking of, spending less time on Twitter or Pinterest or whatever your choice of poison is will also give you more time to read. If you're not sure how much time you do spend on social media platforms in a day, make an effort to track your use for a few days or so. I haven't done this yet, but I'm sure the results would be most enlightening, and probably a little scary! Like in the case of cutting back on sleep, reducing the amount of time you spend on your favorite social platforms will give you an easy 15 or 30 minutes to read. So next time you find your thumb hovering over that shiny blue or red or rainbow-colored icon, or you realize it would take you years to scroll back up to the top of your feed from the deep pit you've found yourself in, drop the phone and go find a book instead.
3. Make use of your travel time.
Any time you find yourself a passenger in a vehicle, be it someone else's car, a train, a bus, a plane, or whatever it is, that's the perfect time to pull out a book and get some reading time in. Or even if you're driving, you can put on an audiobook (yes, that counts!) and listen away on your way to work. This is a particularly useful trick if you have to travel for work or visit family on the other end of the country - or even better, in another country entirely - and you know your plane ride is going to last hours and hours and hours and hours ... There's no better way to pass a long, tiring flight than by curling up against the window and sticking your nose in a book, or sitting back and closing your eyes while someone reads the words to you in your ear.
4. Multitask with audiobooks.
Of course, listening to audiobooks in the car isn't the only way you can put the audio form to good use. Multitasking is the key to survival in this day and age, and there are a multitude of things you can do while listening to an audiobook. There's cleaning the house, walking the dog, partaking in some other hobby that doesn't require your ears or a lot of focus (any other crocheters out there?), and taking a bath, although you can always risk reading a physical book in that case, too. The list goes on and on. So, unless you're me and can't do anything without tuning out whatever you're listening to after a while, then I'm sure you can think of some way to make audiobooks work to your advantage in your busy life.
5. Use your work breaks.
If you work a nine to five or anything involving an eight-hour shift, then chances are you have scheduled breaks throughout the day. It can be tempting to just sit in the break room and scroll through social media, especially when you deal with other people in your job and you're so brain dead you can barely think (I know the feeling; I worked retail for five years and wasted so many 15 minute breaks and hour lunches on my phone, trying to regain the energy to go back and deal with the masses for another two hours). But in reality, reading can probably rejuvenate you just as well, if not more so! You could get so much reading done just by reading while you're eating lunch. And if you don't work a nine to five and are of the freelancer or entrepreneur variety, then reading for 15 minutes is an excellent reason to make yourself actually take a break.
What are your favorite methods to fit more reading time in your busy schedule? Let me know in the comments below; I'd love to hear about the ways you've found to read more!