One of the biggest questions I get a lot when I talk about the books I’ve read or plan to read is, “How do you have time to read?”
It’s a fair question, I am busy, just as I’m sure you are too. I have two little ones and a family to tend to, as well as a house to manage and other responsibilities. Truth be told my life is busy and I don’t really have a lot of free time.
However I believe that we would all agree that we make time for things that we value and enjoy to do.
For me reading is one of my favorite things to do and when I don’t spent time reading… I feel it. So I make sure that I carve out time each day to spend time enjoying some of my favorite books. I also have several books going at one time so that way I always have a book that fits my current mood.
Today I’m sharing my top 5 ways for making time to read every day.
1. Early in the morning
When I get the chance to have a nice long quiet time in the morning before everyone wakes up (it doesn’t happen often unfortunately at this stage!), I read a chapter of two of one of the spiritual growth books I’m reading at the time. I always read my Bible and devotional book first, but if I have a few extra minutes than I open my book and read at least a chapter.
Just by reading a few pages I’m always more motivated and energized to tackle the rest of my day. Just like Bible reading and prayer time gets me prepared for the day, reading also helps to center me and focus my mind.
2. While my kids are playing or watching a T.V. show
Sometimes when my kids are playing independently or are watching an episode of Curious George (I’ve gotten smart and always have an episode recorded on the DVR), I will have to opportunity to pull out my book and read a few pages. I think this is important for a few reasons.
First I want to model reading to my children. I want my kids to see that I enjoy reading, especially as I am trying to foster in them the love for books. Second I also think it’s important to show them they need to learn to play by themselves for a little while each day without me as their constant source of attention. Now I don’t ignore my children and allow myself to get lost in a book, but as a mom sometimes it’s just nice to take a few minutes to do something to recharge myself while they are still awake.
At this stage I’m usually only able to read a few pages here and there, and some days I have to go back and re-read what I just read because it’s hard to concentrate. I make sure to spend plenty of intentional time playing and reading with my kids, so I don’t feel guilty about taking a few minutes to read by myself while my kids are engaged in some independent activity.
I should also add that I also only read a hard back book during this time because just as soon as I pull out my Kindle both kids are wanting to play with it and I think it’s important to model reading an actual book to my kids.
3. While I’m waiting
Thanks to my Kindle app on my phone, I always have a book available. This makes it nice on those outings when I have wait for a period of time (doctor’s appointment, pharmacy pick up, etc.). This came in handy when I got stuck behind a train. Instead of just wasting those minutes I use them for my benefit. I now find that I get annoyed when the doctor is on time! 🙂
4. I don’t watch a lot of T.V.
The few shows that I do watch I almost never watch them live, instead I record them on our DVR so that way I can watch them at my leisure and fast forward through the commercials. So instead of spending an entire hour watching something, I can usually watch it in half the time. This does mean that I usually have to stay away from spoilers on Facebook, and yes somethings are spoiled for me, but I value my time as more important.
I also am able to read a lot during baseball season while my husband watches the games. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s a nice way for us to spend time together enjoying each others favorite past time.
5. I shut down around 9:00 every night
I make an intentional effort to shut down the computer or what ever else I’m working on around 9:00 every evening. This gives me time to get things ready for the next day and usually about 30 minutes to an hour to read before bedtime. I have to admit I’m not quite as good on this one as I want, some nights I’m on a role working on something, but I find that when I “log off” and spend the time reading I’m usually able to sleep better and longer (unless I’m reading a page turner!)
Some days I’m able to read more than other days but that just goes along with this season of life. Of course there are also the days when the only thing that I get to read are the board books that I’m reading aloud to my kids!
The important thing for me to remember is that reading is something that I place a priority on over other things. I’m thrilled that I am able to teach my children how to love reading too and it sincerely blesses my heart to see how much time my kids enjoy flipping through the books in their book baskets around the house.
What works for me during this season may not work for you. These are just a few examples of how I find the time to do something that I love and enjoy to do.