People often ask me, how I manage reading so many books while growing my own company and having a busy everyday life. It’s quite simple and I want to share my experience with you.
The first time I really enjoyed reading was five years ago. I read a great novel and I thought “wow, this is how fun reading can be”. Then I moved on to the next one, and the next one, and the next one… Suddenly reading wasn’t that funny anymore for me. I read so many novels, that it became boring, even if I read a really good book.
So what I started to do, is to not only read novels, but also to read some non-fiction books which give me some new knowledge and insights. Something about self improvement, business, project management or whatever. With this variety I recognized that I’m always happy to have a change in my reading, because when I finished a novel I couldn’t wait to start with a new book to read.
So right now my routine looks like this: I read a novel, then a non-fiction book, then a novel again, and so on. With this routine I managed myself to be always motivated for reading and enjoy it with all of my heart, by not skipping even a day without reading.
Setting reading goals
Through the time I noticed that I’m a person who has to have goals and checkmark them after achieving. It’s quite funny, but it works so well with myself. Every sunday I set up personal goals for the following week. Mostly there are about five goals. A goal could be something like “set up your new gym plan” or “draw two illustrations on Adobe Illustrator”.
I think this goal-thing works so well for me, because I can’t lie to myself or find an excuse, I can’t find an easy way out (because I write the goals down and can see them). I think especially in a busy everyday life it’s important to also give your best in your free time and try to push your personal goals further also.
One of my goals almost every week is a reading goal. I know it sounds uncomfortable, but it works quite well.
Let me give you an example: Let’s say I am reading a novel right now. The book has about 240 pages. If I say to myself that I want to have it finished in two weeks (because I already can’t wait to read the new non-fiction book which just arrived), I should read about 120 pages per week. So one of my goals could be “read 120 pages (about 17 pages per day)”.
I write this goal down on my sheet and now I got a contract with myself. Am I strong enough to reach my goal till the end of this week? Hell yeah, I am!
Making reading a habit
This point is key! I heard it so many times: “Yeah I tried, but I really got no time for reading right now” or “Reading just isn’t something for me”. Bulls#*/!
People think reading isn’t something for them, because they read the wrong books! If I would read something about flowers (which I am not quite interested in), I would also think reading isn’t something for me. You got to pick books which you are interested in. As long as you read books you don’t like, you will not start making a habit out of it.
As you’ve find your routine and your favorite genres, you can slowly try to make reading a daily habit. For example I am reading everyday after work for about 30 minutes (so I can slowly shift my mind towards “work is done now”), I am reading everyday in the subway or public transportation and I am also reading everyday before going to sleep. I am completely sure it’s important to make a habit out of it without being force to read, because then you can really enjoy reading and you can’t wait to read again the next day.
Maybe you can start my cutting just 45 minutes of Netflix everyday (that’s about one episode) and put this time in reading books you love. Slowly but sure you will start reading on a daily basis.
Do not underestimate the joy of reading. I would absolutely lie if I would say I read a book every two weeks since five years. Nope!
I also got to take breaks and refill my energy again. If I feel something like stress or distraction while reading, then I now it’s time for a little break from it. And it’s absolutely fine.
The most important thing about reading is enjoying it. Like you enjoy watching a movie or doing sports. You do sports multiple times a week because you love doing it (hopefully). If you reach the same level of joy with reading, you will increase your reading skills, your speaking skills, your level of knowledge and many more.
Enjoy being in another world for an hour a day. Enjoy reading.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about book-routines or my favorite books/book recommendations, let me know :)