I’m sure I don’t need to explain to anyone that reading is an extremely valuable skill, the internet is full of gurus and entrepreneurs recommending these habits and flouting the benefits to hundreds of thousands of followers on a daily basis. As a writer and an avid reader myself, I love to see people picking up books, and regularly reading for pleasure. Whether their devouring Jane Austen classics or Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life” any form of extra curricular reading is a beautiful thing.
Unfortunately, like all things in life, reading is a discipline and we have to work hard in order to see any results from our work. Some people take to reading very easily with a natural tendency to learn through traditional learning methods but many people struggle to find time and energy to dedicate themselves to a book. With social media, streaming platforms and all other conduits for procrastination in this age of limitless entertainment and information, turning reading into a habit has never been more difficult. This blog post is designed to provide some of you with answers on how we can turn reading into a habit and incorporate such a valuable practice into our lifestyle.
Have you ever heard the expression you are what you eat? I guess the same can be said for reading too, we are what we read. Selecting what subject matter you want to learn about is vital in order to make your reading efficient. As a writer I tend to read fiction to strengthen my grasp on storytelling, character development and all other tale telling vernacular, but I also read non-fiction to strengthen my other skills. Choosing your next book is the first step to making sure you stick with it, enjoy it and ultimately finish it. For example if you are in a place where you’d like to know more about financial freedom and asset building, Robert Kiyozaki’s book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” would be an excellent book to start with. Equally if you want to develop skill sets and become extremely competent in your field Robert Greene’s “Mastery” would provide excellent additions to your knowledge.
Use Different Mediums
As mentioned previously in this blog post, reading can be difficult for people. Many of the constraints on time and energy which are ever-present in the working week can play into this too. Lucky for us we live in the twenty-first century where there are hundreds of ways to ingest and consume information, and books have never before been consumed in such a varied and eclectic mix of methods. We can listen to audiobooks when we hit the gym first thing in the morning, or read books straight from our phone’s while we’re on the train for our morning commute. Deciding what works for you is key and if time is a problem one of these different mediums could be exactly what you need.
Read at the Same Time Everyday
So you’ve picked out your book, you’ve decided how it’s going to be read now it’s time to put the work in. Reading is a discipline, it’s something that needs you to invest in for you to see any return, so picking a time and incorporating that time into your routine is key to making this habit stick. For example I always read before bed, I’ll sit up in bed at the end of the day with a book until I fall asleep. It might not seem like much but if you do it every single day, you will have read multiple books in no time. Evening might not be the best time for others to read but It suits me, reading in the morning or in your lunch break are equally productive ways to incorporate reading into your lifestyle.
Set Targets and Stick to Them
By treating reading as a discipline we can also set ourselves targets, for example I’m going to read ten pages a day until I finish this book. Or perhaps even longer targets like I’m going to read 52 books this year, which roughly equates to one a week. Setting targets and goals will challenge yourself to become a more determined reader. Setting goals in life is probably the most important way of making sure we get stuff done so why not incorporate it into your reading too. I always aim for at least two chapters a day of whatever I’m reading but that’s just me. We each have our own goals and aspirations.
The Bottom Line
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are habits. It takes time to develop and cultivate a new habit into your life, but by staying determined and dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge the reading will come, it all starts with passion. I hope this helps people stick to their reading schedules and develop reading into a valuable efficient practice for their life. Sticking to a routine is key and I hope you get on famously with whatever your reading.