You guys know what this is? The first discussion post I have written in ages. Topics are hard for me to come up with but this one has definitely been on my mind for a while.
Most of you probably don’t know this but I got a new job back in January. The first month was a lot of learning and a lot of stressful days. It slowed down a bit in February but I was just recently given some more work to do and now my days are just packed. I come home and I’m so tired that I don’t want to do anything. Never mind the fact that I’m trying to get back in the habit of going to the gym. Needless to say, there isn’t a lot of free time in my life to read and let me just tell you, that sucks.
I’ve been trying to think of ways to make time to read and short of adding more hours to the day (or just not sleeping) I haven’t really come up with any. I used to read before bed but now I’m so exhausted that any time I try to do that, I fall asleep. I try to read at the gym but it’s kinda hard to run on a treadmill and keep the page in focus. Really, I’m just struggling here.
However, I have been testing out new things and I’ve found some things that work for me.
First, I shut off all electronic devices (unless it’s my ipod) and put them in another room so I’m not even tempted by them. I don’t want my notifications popping up and distracting me all the time. I also find that if I put on some movie soundtracks (I love the Harry Potter film scores) I can really focus on the book I’m reading and get out of my own head. Sometimes I spend so much time thinking about other things that I should be doing that I find myself reading the same sentence over and over again without taking in a word of it. Music surprisingly helps with that.
Second, I give myself a schedule. I work from 7 to 4 every day and I’m usually home no later than 5. I go the gym for an hour and when I get home I can read. I set aside 1 hour reading time and if I can get in more than that, great, but if not, at least I’ve got that hour. Sometimes I do take breaks for snacks or whatever and get a little distracted but most of the time I can at least read for 45 minutes of the hour.
Third, I’ve learned that audiobooks are great for driving or for the gym. I can’t focus on them if I’m doing anything super productive (like cleaning) but if I’m just driving to or from work or hanging out on the treadmill, they are perfect. I still don’t like them all that much but I’m trying. I feel like I just haven’t found the right narrator yet. I’ve heard that the narrator for the Harry Potter audiobooks is fabulous so maybe I’ll re-read those a different way this year. (Yes, I try and re-read them at least once a year. I don’t see this as a problem.)
Last, I have found that I have to have something interesting to read. I tried to force myself to read a book that I just wasn’t feeling and it really made me not want to read at all. I put that book aside, picked up a different one, and now I’m hooked. I want to make time to read this one, unlike the last one I was trying to read. A good book can make all the difference in whether or not you feel in the mood to read.
What do you guys do when you find that you don’t have a whole lot of time to read? Do you stay up later than normal so you can at least read a chapter a day? Do you do the audiobook thing and if so, who is your favorite narrator? How do you feel about music while reading?