The Book/Life balance – 8 tips to help maximise your reading time

So I’m going to be working full-time again starting on Monday and it’s got me thinking: how am I going to keep up with all my reading goals?

So I’ve had a think, consulted the elders and compiled (for your convenience) some super awesome book boosting tips to keep yourself from losing touch with your inner bookworm when life gets busy.

(1) Set Targets

giphy (19).gifIn order to achieve anything you’ve got to know what it is you want to achieve. This starts with setting targets for your reading. Is there a series you want to finish? A new release you’re dying to talk about or just want to learn something new? By setting goals you’ll not only organise your time better but also feel a great sense of triumph when you reach your targets.

(2) Be Realistic

Goals are all well and good so long as they’re achievable. There’s no point going for a hardcore target of 20 books a month if you’re working 60 hours a week. I mean, unless you have one of those crazy, Derren Brown, eidetic book memories and a reading speed of 1000/wpm +, it’s just not going to happen and you’re more likely to get disheartened and give up trying. The trick here is to start small, see if you can get through one book a month you really want to read and see how you go from there, you can keep your goals dynamic and change them as you work out your capability.

(3) Put time aside for yourself

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Schedule a bit of time in your week to work on the goals you’ve set for yourself. Whether it’s snuggling up for an hour before bed or rising early for some reading time before you leave, if you keep to a routine it’s so much easier to maintain good progress and get what you want out of your time. One great way to start doing this is to use little chunks of time that often go to waste – lunch breaks can be great for squeezing in a chapter or two and journeying in can be transformed by audio books using headphones (if you’re walking) or  by playing them through your car stereo.

(4) Use different formats 

Books can be bulky to carry and sometimes you’ve not got hands free for reading. We’ve mentioned using audio books already but there are other ways you can get into your favourite page turners. E-readers can be really useful for combating lighting problems and reader apps for mobile devices can be a convenient lifesaver in a literary pinch.

(5) Carry Books with you all the time

There’s nothing worsegiphy (17) than having a big block of time and no way to fill it. I used to have this problem on train commutes until I started carrying my current reads with me in my bag; trust me, it makes the journey so much more enjoyable (and productive too!)

You can even have two books on the go at once, a work book and a home book, this way you don’t have to worry as much about carting one in every day and get the added bonus of having something different to get excited about at work.

(6) Prioritise your reading

There are so many things to be distracted by it’s a wonder we got any reading done before we got busy!  In order to keep reading you’ve GOT to make reading your top priority for free time entertainment. I’m not saying binge watching The Gilmore Girls or American Horror Story of an evening is completely off the table but it’s got to be balanced out if you want to keep up with your targets.

(7) Keep motivatedgiphy (23).gif

Making a habit is a very hard task, it’s easy to lose faith. Talking to people in your life about your reading goals is a great way to keep yourself from letting it fall by the wayside. Social media is also a good way to keep up with your targets – update your reading goals and progress on Goodreads and find out what other people are reading by getting involved in the bookstagram community on Instagram!

(8) Keep trying!

It’s important to remember that change takes time and it’ll be an adjustment but don’t give up! If reading is something you love you’ll always find a way to claw it back.

In the mean time have fun keeping busy and I hope you achieve all your reading goals for the month of March!

 – Cat –

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