Finding time to do both can be easier than you think.
Almost everyone I know says they never have time to read any more. While I think most of us read a lot every day it’s not the kind of reading that we’d categorize as pleasure reading. We all read a lot of emails and updates and perhaps a pile of reports. But, that’s not the same thing as reading for the pleasure of reading. The same is true with writing. We write a lot of emails and updates — or if you work for a more forward thinking company you might be writing Slack updates. But, the effort and effect are the same. They are for work.
Reading for fun can open up new synapses in the brain and can get us thinking outside the box. It doesn’t matter what you read. Just that you make some time for it. There are a few tips and tricks I use that might be useful for you too.
Distractions Off – The obvious and easy things to do are turn off the TV and turn off the social media.
Your Time – Find a time that works for you. If you are a morning person get up 20-30 minutes earlier. If you work out you may be able to get a few pages read on the treadmill or elliptical.
Your Spot – Whether you need a quiet spot, a certain amount of light or something else. Find a spot that works for you.
Want to read a 500 page book every month? Simple, commit to reading 20 pages a day.
Money should not be an obstacle. Between your local library and all the free books available to anyone with a Kindle Reader App there are plenty of options available.
Writing for most people is a lot harder. I know it is for me. While writing might be harder the efforts to setup a space, a model and a time that works for you are effectively the same as they are for reading time. Here is a short list of a few things I do to get my creative juices flowing.
Write Longhand – We too often get caught up looking for a keyboard, which can mean looking for power and a table that’s at just the right height. Old school pen and paper can be used anywhere and at any angle. And, pen and paper always boot.
Library or Coffee Shop – The local library can be a great place to take a mental break and the inspiration for your book or blog. A coffee shop, perhaps not in your immediate area, can also be a great place to get a new perspective on things.
Notes on a Phone – I use Microsoft OneNote, Dictation Station and Evernote to capture notes when I’m in the queue at the bank, sitting in a coffee shop and even when I walk my dog. They are quick and easy and can make for an easy way to get a few thoughts out of my head and get them captured.
Take the Time for Yourself
By making the time to read a bit more and write a bit more you will stand out in your career. The old saying of the well read person has never been more true. There are countless books to be read and there are countless stories to be told. This is the summer to make that happen.
With a bit of forethought and a little effort you can read a few books this summer and who knows maybe even write one. This summer it’s time to take back some time for ourselves to read and write. Which one will you do first?