So, I recently had a challenge that I “quit” because it wasn’t an actual challenge. It was a way to say I was doing a challenge while not really changing my behavior at all.
That challenge was to read 30 minutes a day. I already do this most days, so it was a pointless challenge (i.e., it wasn’t a challenge at all. A challenge should be challenging)
But, for those of you who may have thought this would be a great concept for you to follow, I can provide some tips.
- Find a comfortable place to read! A lot of people think a great place to read is in bed. This doesn’t work for me. I can’t stay comfortable reading in bed for more than about 10 minutes. For me, the best place is a comfortable chair. The best place I’ve ever read was on a double chaise lounge in my Uncle’s back yard in his place in the Mountains of Scottsdale Arizona, with a fire going. It was sublime.
- Read things you enjoy reading. So often, we do what we think we should do. “Well, I’m supposed to enjoy the writings of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I think I’ll read some of their books”. If you don’t like their writing, or you don’t like fiction in general, then don’t read it. I prefer non-fiction myself – Business biographies, Business development, self-help, Theoretical Physics, etc. That’s what I like, so that’s what I read. Remember High School? If you didn’t like the books, then you probably just didn’t read them.
- Find a routine. This doesn’t apply to everyone. Heck, it doesn’t even apply to me. I don’t do well with routines. I prefer to do things as they come to me, so if I’m in the middle of a book, I may pull out my phone, my tablet, or my kindle, and pick up where I left off. However, if you’re looking to increase your reading throughput, create a routine. Say every night, before going to bed, I’m going to read for 30 minutes. Or just, “I’m going to read before bed” – the amount of time will likely vary depending on how tired you are. This provides a couple of benefits. The most important one is that you will focus on yourself, and have something that you enjoy doing. If you are taking care of a family, they will know that this is your time. It’s important to have time for yourself, and don’t let anyone (family, friends, or work) take that away from you.