By Anne B.
Hello hello, lovely Ramblers!
I hope everyone is having a lovely week. Mine has been absolutely hectic - my workload has tripled, I have meetings from work to bank-related lined up all week, and let’s not forget the mountain of papers I have to fill out but consistently ignore. However, amid this beautiful chaos, I still manage to make myself a cup of tea and make progress on my 2019 to-read list. I know how easy it can be to push off your daily reading to the next day... and then the next and the next. Well, to help you stay on top of your 2019 reading list, I’m going to give you my top five tips on how to fit reading into your busy bee schedule.
Read 5 Pages a Day
“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time” ~ Creighton Abrams
Obviously, I’m not telling you to go eat an actual elephant since most of them are endangered, but this quote is can be applied to your reading goals and all your other 2019 goals. A neat little trick to get you reading every day is to simply give yourself the task of reading 5 pages. That’s nothing, right? Plus, you’ll often find yourself reading more than 5 pages if you enjoy the book because you’ll be entranced by the plot or you’ll want to continue until the next natural stopping point.
Now, you can decide the number of pages a day based on the length of your 2019 reading list. It could be 1 page a day to more than 10! Whatever you decide, remember to be flexible and adaptable. If you see that reading 5 pages is too much, decrease the number of pages; if it’s not enough, then increase the number of daily pages. If you miss a day because life happens, then just read more the following day.
I personally struggle with listening to audiobooks, but I know countless people who swear by them. I have trouble focusing on the content when I’m just listening to it and often find myself falling asleep or thinking about something completely unrelated.
However, I do see the convenience of audiobooks since they are hands-free. You could be doing household chores or exercising and completing your 2019 to-read list at the same time! Audiobooks are also great if you have a long commute. The usual rush hour traffic might even seem faster when you’re listening to a good audiobook.
There are several audiobook apps and websites you can sign up for. The one that’s probably the most known and that I’ve tried, though, is Audible. When you sign up for Audible, you get a 30-day trial and then it’s $14.95 per month. Some other audiobook services I’ve heard are good include Overdrive/Libby, Scribd, and Hoopla.
Implement Reading into a Current Routine
Audiobooks come in real handy for this tip since you can easily implement them into your morning, evening, or exercising routine. I don’t know about you guys, but I am a sucker for routines. I like to build routines that I’ll find fun and that will motivate me to get out of bed or stop watching Netflix. For example, my morning routine consists of getting up, staying in bed for five extra minutes and petting my cat, getting dressed, doing my skincare routine, feeding my cat, and drinking my protein shake while listening to my favorite podcasters or Blinkist (which I will talk about in a bit). There’s a bunch of other parts to my routine and if you guys are interested, we can dedicate a week on all of our routines!
Anyways, having this morning routine helps me get up in the morning and look forward to the day. I like to implement Blinkist in my morning routine because it’s still reading-related and I usually don’t have time to read a physical book in the morning. Instead, I follow the 10 pages a day rule for physical books and I implement that into my winding down routine. Having reading time as a step in my routine motivates me to follow through because if I don’t read, I’ll feel like I skipped a step, which can be discouraging.
Create a Goal Tracker
This can be the goal tracker that most planners have nowadays to the one you create in your bullet journal to a paint by number drawing. Goal trackers can be as standard or as creative and unique as you want them to be. The important part is to use a goal tracker that will actually motivate you to accomplish whatever goals you have.
Currently, I’m just using a grid goal tracker that is in the planner I bought at the bookstore. It has a column for each day of the month and multiple rows so that you can write down multiple goals. Each day that I read or listen to an audiobook, I’ll fill the little square in.
If you don’t necessarily like using the planner or bullet journal method, then create your own goal tracker. As I mentioned, you could do a paint by number drawing and then paint one piece or one number each time you read. If you’re not a big fan of those, you could also use an advent calendar and fill each day with a little something that will motivate you to read. For instance, you could put little chocolates in each slot so that you can treat yourself to chocolate each day you read.
Last but not least, Blinkist is a great service if you like knowing the content of a book, but don’t want to commit to reading the whole book. Blinkist gives you the key takeaways from popular nonfiction books, such as Michelle Obama’s new book Becoming. You can choose to either listen or read the takeaways.
So, if you want only bite-sized pieces of certain nonfiction books, then this is a great option for you. You get a free 7-day trial when you sign up and then it’s $130 a year. I know that sounds like a lot of money, but I truly think it is worth it. I have learned a lot from just the takeaways and it’s a good way to see whether you need to buy a certain book or if the Blinkist summary was enough for you. In the end, it might actually save you some money if you decide to not buy certain books!
Alright Ramblers, that’s all the tricks I have to help you complete your 2019 reading list. Please comment below if you have any other suggestions that could help your fellow Ramblers out! And of course, if you try any of these tips, let me know how they work out for you!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with reading and warm beverages, Ramblers!