5 Ways to Add Reading Into Your Daily Routine
When I decided to go on my self care journey, there were a lot of reasons why I decided that I needed to include reading in that journey. First: I missed it. College really made me feel like reading was a chore and I got out of the habit of reading for pleasure once I graduated. Before I knew it, seven years had passed! When I started reevaluating my priorities, I realized how much not reading had left a void in my life.
In today's world of smart phones and smart TVs, tablets, and podcasts, it's so easy to spend several HOURS a week on electronics. This is on top of the amount of time spent staring at a computer screen for work all day. Putting down the electronics and picking up a book can help quiet an ever-racing and anxious mind like mine and also feels more productive.
So I knew pretty quickly that I needed to incorporate reading into my daily life. But the question was: How do I do that with my busy schedule?
Here are five tips that I use to incorporate reading into my everyday:
1. Add reading into your morning routine.
I will be the first to admit that I am an early bird. I'm also a creature of habit. I've learned over the years the importance of a good morning routine to feel ready to face the day. My personal morning routine looks something like this:
30 minutes of chores
30 minutes of reading
Having reading be the last item in my morning routine means that I start my day with something that I enjoy. I put it after cleaning because that is definitely NOT something that I enjoy.
Don't know where to begin creating your morning routine? Fabulous is a great app to get you started. It has preset recommendations and guides you through making those steps a habit. Once you have that down, you can customize your own morning routine!
2. Take your current read with you.
You never know when you might have a moment to read. I once read thirty pages at my cellphone provider waiting to be helped after I smashed my phone screen. If you're socially awkward like me and get horrible anxiety from showing up anywhere late, having a book to read before walking in "on time" is a great idea. You can also listen to a book on Audible while you're at the gym! (Yes, I do count audio books as "reading".)
3. Do a buddy read.
One way to get motivation is to have a friend read with you! One of my oldest friends and I have been buddy reading for years. (Currently, we're reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.) This is a great option if you're a more social person and like having someone to talk to about what you're reading.
4. Set a timer/page limit and track your progress.
This tip is good for two types of readers:
Readers like me, who get overwhelmed at the idea of reading a book in one sitting. I honestly have to be really really enjoying a book to do that. Usually, I'm struggling to get to the next page. Setting a time or page limit for myself makes the task seem less daunting.
Readers like my sister-in-law, who once they get started reading a book physically can't put it down until they finish. My sister-in-law hardly ever reads because of this. She knows if she starts reading a book it will completely derail any other plans she had for herself that day.
Tracking your progress either through Goodreads or some other tool is good for both of these types of readers because you can see yourself working to your goal and it adds to a feeling of productivity.
5. Turn off all electronics before bed - switch to a book instead!
I used to have a horrible habit of watching TV in bed when I was trying to go to sleep. As you might expect, it had the opposite effect I desired. This led to many nights of insomnia, which aggravated my anxiety. I'll admit that when my anxiety runs high, this is still a problem and can very quickly become a vicious cycle of insomnia leading to high anxiety leading to more insomnia.
Recently, I've decided to turn off the TV and switch to a book instead. I combine it with step four in that I let myself read to a certain point (usually I fall asleep before I get there) and then I put it away, turn off the lights, and turn on the white noise.
I personally utilize steps one, four, and five the most but I have found all five of these steps to be helpful. Adding a new habit into your routine as an adult is difficult, but I hope these steps can help you like they did me.
Please note: Some of the links included in this article are affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commission should you utilize the link to purchase that product. Know that I will never recommend anything that I have not tried (and like) or use myself. If any of these products interest you, please use these links to help support Literati Medium so I can continue making and improving my content for you.