#5onFri: Five Ways to Steal 30 Minutes of Reading Time

by Dana Leipold
published in Reading

Stephen King says, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” Most of us know that if we really want to improve our writing we need to read, a lot. But most of us also have day jobs, families, and adult responsibilities on top of our writing. How the heck do we find the time to read too?

The key is choice. How you choose to spend your 24 hours is critical but there are a few other tricks you can use to steal away 30 minutes of reading. When you add those 30 minutes up over time, you can actually get a lot of reading done.

Here are five ways that will help you squeeze reading in to your hectic day.

1) Change Your Thinking

Sometimes all it takes is a new perspective. Stop thinking about the time you don’t have and focus on shifting priorities.  If you give reading the same importance you do brushing your teeth, you’ll make it a priority. Making reading part of your daily routine helps a lot.

2) Look for Opportunities

Carry your book or eReader with you everywhere you go. Most of us are not aware of the amount of time we spend waiting around on any given day. There is so much time that you could be reading! Waiting in lines, waiting for your kids after school, or waiting for a movie to start are all opportunities. I was able to get through a whole Sci-Fi series (four books) during the fall waiting for my kids during soccer practices.

3) Replace Something

Try turning off the TV, going to bed later, or getting up earlier for a week. Replace those thirty minutes with reading. I don’t know about you, but I’m much more willing to get up early to read (or write) than I am to do exercise!

4) Set a “Reading” Alarm

Pick a time, set the clock, and read. Just like exercise (see my comment above), you can do this two or three times a week and you’ll be surprised at how much reading you can get done.

5) Pick Good Books

Since your time is valuable, spend it reading wisely. Make sure the books you choose are worth your time before you dive in. I have friends who consistently recommend great books so whenever they tell me I need to read something; I know it’s going to be good. For me, once I get into a great book, I’ll do anything to make sure I get the time to read it.

What about you? How do you steal reading time? Let us know in the comments, or on social media, using the hashtag #5OnFri!


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Dana Leipold is a freelance writer and author. Her award-winning debut novel, Burnt Edges published by Booktrope is about resilience in the face of horrible abuse. She practices yoga, loves funny cat videos, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children. You can visit her blog at www.danaleipold.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

  • Dean Stow

    I was able to get an inordinate amount of ‘reading’ done by listening to audio books during my daily commute. I realized quickly that the experience is different from reading. Different things ‘jump out’ at your from listening than when reading.

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