Being at home with children, while the days sometimes feel long and repetitive, I actually have less time than ever because my time is not my own. Recently I have been yearning for more time to read, and these are the things that helped me find it:
- We gave away our television. I has been nearly two years since we made this decision as a family, and it’s probably the best thing we could have done to make more time to read. Both my husband and I feel like we are reading more than ever, even though our children take up more and more of our free time as they get older.
- I stopped reading on the Kindle. This is just the opposite of what Amazon intended, but I now know that electronic devices actually prevent me from reading a lot: there are just too many distractions, and I love real books. I used to look forward to reading on the iPad, and while I love Google Currents and the Kindle App, I just end up browsing for way too long and have trouble getting to sleep.
- I use a chart to keep myself accountable. I stuck this Weekly Good Habits chart in my planner to remind myself to read my book once a day and spend less time looking at the iPad.
- I displayed books around my home. This is both a visual reminder of the commitment I have made to myself, and a great way to make my living room look more homely and inviting.
- I made a resolution to finish one book before starting another. I have said this before, but it really helped me feel like I’m making progress. If you have a pile of half-read books, you’ll always feel like you don’t have enough time to read, even if that might not actually be the case.
I can happily report that these little things have made a big difference. Not only am I reading more, but I feel more in control of my time. And I learned two other lessons:
- Reading (from a book) is a mindful activity, while the reading I do on the iPad is generally a mindless one. I can recall a lot better the things I have read in a book than what I read online. There’s still a place for surfing the internet, but I think it’s better to set limits on how much time I spend on it.
- In order to make more time for something, you need to spend less time on something else. No matter what the productivity gurus say, you can’t get any more time. You have to make choices.
My choice was to spend less time watching TV and browsing online. But I’d love to hear from you:
How do you make more time for reading?