Personal Time Management: Make Time To Read Books

If you have trouble finishing your book, here are tips to help you find times to do some reading.

Can you remember the last time you sat down and read a book?

Are you now rolling your eyes and saying to yourself, "I don't have time to read! I've got a full-time job, family, errands, housework, and more. When is there time to read a book, much less a magazine or newspaper?"

Admittedly, most of us don't have the time to sit down, shut out the world and finish a 500-page book in one sitting. However, there are hidden pockets of time in most everyone's day. Using those moments, you can begin to fit reading, and its benefits, back into your life.

How do you get a handle on that "hidden time" in the 24 hours we all begin the day with? Here are several ways to pinch at least a few moments from your schedule so you can finally read that book you keep promising yourself you'll get around to.

Before you begin your day Whether you begin your day at 9:00am or 9:00pm, make yourself get an early start. It doesn't have to be drastic. Don't make it an hour, or even a half-hour. Start with the goal of just 10 minutes. Try getting to the office or school, or wait to begin your work at home by 10 minutes. Use that time to read and not get a head start on work. If you find yourself wanting to read for more than 10 minutes, the earlier a start you must set aside for yourself.

During breaks, instead of smoking or eating (or while smoking or eating) take a book along. When you go out to lunch, especially if you're alone, a book makes for good company and a good escape from your work routine. Even if you find yourself eating at your desk, give yourself a mental break and get in a few pages. Office breaks and lunch hours are good opportunities for finding time to read. However, if you take advantage of these times for socializing with co-workers and clients, or working, you may want to look elsewhere in your schedule.

Reading before bed is one of the best ways to relax your body and your brain before going to sleep. We've always known it works for children-- remember bed-time stories? Why should the practice end when we become adults? Instead of spending that last 15 minutes before you doze off with tomorrow's to-do list racing in your mind, take it to a place of your choosing with a book.

Turn off the TV! Do you really need to watch that sitcom re-run you've already seen? If it's not a re-run, use your VCR. And, chances are they'll replay the show in a few months! Don't let yourself "veg out" in front of the television set. Escape and be entertained with a book. Become more selective about your viewing habits and you'll have more time to read.

Take a book everywhere you go for those moments in your day when you're left waiting. You can get in a few pages waiting at the restaurant for your lunch meeting. Instead of reading month-old magazines in your dentist's office, you can finish off a chapter. A book can make that line at the post office or grocery store much more bearable and make the delay seem to pass more quickly. Instead of finding yourself fuming at delays, you may actually begin to enjoy them and help your blood pressure as well!

Using these pockets of "hidden time" in your day, you can gain""or reclaim"" the rewarding and relaxing hobby of reading. Those pockets of time can add up. With moments a day, you'll soon be talking with your co-workers about that novel on the national bestseller list, or finally getting to that home-improvement book you bought so long ago, or simply escaping with that romance paperback. You can do page at a time.

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