How to find time to read when you are busy

“I am so busy” – this one phrase pretty much sums up the modern life for most people. You hear it all the time. I don’t have time to do this or that, because I’m so busy.

I know you are busy, but I can assure you that you can still find the time to read. It really doesn’t matter what you do, how many kids you have, how many jobs you have, or if you read slower than anyone else you know – you can still find the time to read. Here are 14 ways to squeeze in some reading time: 

1. Always have a book (or e-book) on you.

This seems obvious, but this is where the majority of people who complain about not having enough time fail. If you don’t have a book on you, you won’t be able to read it during unexpected gaps in your schedule. Everyone has those gaps when you will inevitably end up waiting for something or someone. Use that time to read.

2. Use the commute time.

Don’t let the commute time go to waste by randomly staring at fellow commuters or zoning out. The only reason I used to not-hate my commute by bus was because it gave me a solid hour to read daily (30 minutes each way). Now, as I travel on London Tube (underground), I’m thrilled by how many people read during their commute. Particularly as one of the unspoken etiquette of the tube is to not make eye contact, it’s best to keep your eyes on the book.

3. Read when you are waiting for someone.

You probably have a friend or a colleague who is always running late. Or maybe you are early. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, use the waiting time to read a page or two. You will feel far more productive, and less annoyed about having to wait.

4. Read in your lunch-break.

Okay, you can spend some lunch breaks catching up with friends, but really, they are best used by reading.

5. Create a family reading time.

If you have kids, this should be a MUST. Not only you will find time to read for yourself, but you will also instil the reading habit in your children from an early age.

6. Treat yourself to a good cup of coffee or tea and book time.

Go to your favourite café or tea shop, and treat yourself with a drink, as well as some reading time.

7. Read before going to sleep.

Make it a ritual. Just a page or two before bed to ease into oblivion. Be careful though because it may also end up keeping you up throughout the night.

8. Listen to audiobooks.

If your commute involves driving, or your exercise involves running outside, where you can’t read a physical book, then audio books make an alternative.

9. Read while working out.

If you work out in the gym, or at home on a machine, then you can read while you work out.

10. Schedule daily reading time.

The best way to prioritise reading is to actually prioritise it. Put it on your schedule. Have daily reading time, even if it is only 10 minutes a day.

11. Give up on books you hate.

One of the worst things you can do with your limited reading time is to try to plough through a book you hate. That’s enough to put you off reading. Life’s too short. And your stubbornness is better saved for more important things. 

12. Join a book club.

If you find it hard to discipline yourself or motivate yourself, then join a book club. Talking about a book with like-minded people, or having a collective choice of what to read may just be what you need.

13. Read in the bathroom.

Let’s face it. You are going to spend time there. Use it well. 

14. Read aloud to or listen to your partner or friend.

If you have a partner or friend who enjoys books too, you two can read aloud to each other. It’s a wonderful thing to share. 

Do you have tips for finding time to read? Share in the comments below.


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