How to Squeeze More Reading Into Your Hectic Life

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No matter how much you enjoy reading, finding the time to finish a juicy book can be hard. Between work, friends, family, other hobbies, self-care, and more, how is anyone supposed to read?

We’re not saying it’s easy, but it’s definitely not impossible. If you have a busy life and can’t find the time to read, you have to make the time. It’s easier said than done, but we have some helpful tricks to help you find more moments to read.

Buy an E-reader

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For many people, the struggle to read stems from not having their book at the right time. Carrying a hefty book around, packing it for a trip, or just fitting it in your purse can be a battle. An e-reader, like a Kindle, can solve this dilemma.

Listen, we love the feel of a real book too, but you can keep your real books at home and indulge your mind on the go with an e-reader. They can cost as little as $30, cheaper than some hardcover books!

Always Have Your Book

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If you refuse to get an e-reader (we get it), commit to bringing your book everywhere you go. Adopt the mindset, “If my book can’t come, I’m not going.” You don’t have to be this dramatic, but having your book with you is essential if you want to read more.

Perhaps you should invest in a nice tote bag or book bag to make it easier to carry your books. It’s also beneficial to buy small paperbacks, as their lightweight and flexible design makes them more portable.

Get Up Early or Stay Up Late

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Sleep is important, but it probably won’t destroy your health to stay up a little later or get up earlier. If you tend to go to bed early, consider pushing your bedtime by 30 minutes so you can read.

If you love to sleep in, maybe you can set your alarm 15 minutes early and spend some time with your book. Changing your sleep schedule like this takes effort, but it’s worth it if it means you can enjoy reading again.

Five Minutes in the AM and PM

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If getting up early or staying up late is out of the question, dedicate five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night to reading. You may think your mornings are too chaotic, or you’re too sleepy at bedtime, but it’s only five minutes!

You can push through sleepiness for five minutes. And you can shower five minutes faster in the morning. Even laying out your clothes the night before can make five minutes in the morning doable. You might be surprised how much you can read in only ten minutes a day.

Turn Waiting Into Reading

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Whenever you have to wait for something, read. Are you waiting for your dentist appointment? Read. Are you in line at McDonald’s? Read. Did your child’s soccer practice run late? Read. You get the idea.

Never aimlessly stare at your feet while you wait for something ever again. The moment you know you will have to wait — whether one minute or one hour — whip out your book and dive in. The more you do this, the quicker it will become an enriching habit.

Sacrifice Something for Reading

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If your life is so insanely busy that you never wait for anything and couldn’t possibly spend five minutes in the morning and at night reading, you must give something up. The reading gods require a sacrifice in the name of literature!

Maybe you give up those extra five minutes in the shower or your Sunday sleep-ins. Maybe you skip the new episode of that show you love. Maybe you just have toast for breakfast instead of eggs Benedict. What you sacrifice depends on personal priorities, but if you want to read more, a sacrifice may be necessary.

Listen to Audiobooks

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Whether listening to audiobooks counts as reading is debatable, and we’re not here to pass judgment on it. If you enjoy audiobooks and they scratch your reading itch, then download them to all your devices and listen whenever and wherever you can.

Listen while you walk the dog, drive to work, cook dinner, fold laundry, and shower. Audiobooks can make it exponentially easier to enjoy books, but we know this won’t satisfy those who like to really engage with the written words.

Unplug and Delete

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One of the biggest drains on people’s reading time is the many screens in our lives. Consider breaking up with whatever screen steals your time the most — TV, phone, computer, tablet, gaming device, etc.

If you want to read more, you have to unplug more. A great trick is deleting all your phone apps that tend to monopolize your time, like Reddit or Instagram. Even physically unplugging your TV can encourage reading.

Stash Books in Certain Places

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This quirky but effective trick involves placing books in places where you commonly do nothing. You can keep a book by your bed, in your car, in the bathroom, on the kitchen counter, on your coffee table, and anywhere else that works for you.

This means you might read several books simultaneously, but that still counts as reading. It also means you don’t have to worry about bringing your book everywhere you go.

Set Strict Deadlines

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Some people just need a fire under them to realize they do have time to read. This trick requires willpower and self-accountability. Choose a book and set a hard deadline; promise yourself that you’ll finish on time.

Meeting this deadline can show you that you do have time to read when you prioritze it. You can do this with a partner or as part of a book club. You’ll be surprised by how you can create time for reading when you force yourself to.

Try Multitasking

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Try reading while doing mindless tasks, such as brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, doing your laundry, watching the news, or walking your dog. It’s not ideal, as your attention will likely be divided, but it’s better than not reading at all.

Just don’t try to read while doing something if it creates a hazard. For example, don’t read while walking your dog if you walk next to a highway or cross busy streets.

Opt for Low-Effort Oven Meals

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Reading while cooking can be tricky and can result in burnt dinners if you’re not mindful. But you can choose recipes that allow for plenty of downtime.

For example, a casserole that goes in the oven for an hour gives you an hour to read. A stovetop recipe, like risotto, that requires constant attention and stirring, does not allow as much time for reading. Opt for oven recipes that free up time for you to relish a book.

Utilize Passive Transportation

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If possible, consider using passive transportation, such as rideshares or public transportation. Unlike active driving, walking, or biking, passive transportation doesn’t require your constant attention.

Rather than watch the road, you can zone in on your book, making your commute prime reading time. If you can’t make your daily commute passive, try to make other trips passive, like errands to the grocery store or bank.

Practice Showing Up Early

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Showing up early is a wonderful habit anyway, but it can also help you find more time to read. Rather than wait for an opportunity to pull out your book, you can create one.

Aim to arrive ten or 20 minutes early to everything, from work to doctor’s appointments to dinner dates with friends. Then, take this time to sink into your book until other people show up. You get to read and appreciate the sense of comfort or relief that comes with arriving early.

Associate Reading and Food

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Humans have to eat every day, usually a few times. If you build an association between reading and food, you can whip through books in no time.

Pick up your book every time you go to eat, whether a small snack or an all-out meal. Soon, you’ll feel the need to read whenever you eat, and you’ll have time to read every day. But please don’t be rude and read when eating with other people.

Other Tips to Help You Read More

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If time isn’t necessarily your issue, there are other ways to encourage yourself to read more.

Joining a book club makes you more accountable. Reading two books at once can be more engaging and break up the monotony of reading one book for a long time. Also, if you start a book and aren’t in love with it, there’s no shame in dropping it and starting something else.

Ultimately, the best way to read more is to read for yourself and because you love it, not because you think you have to.

14 Little Frugal Luxuries to Make Life Better

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Living on a tight budget and diligently saving money can create frugal fatigue. It’s hard to avoid spending temptations, which can lead to impulse or binge spending.

Enjoying tiny luxuries every once in a while can make sticking to your budget easier. This way, you can fatten your savings account without depriving yourself of all pleasures. These small treats feel luxurious but cost next to nothing.

13 One-Minute Habits to Streamline Your Workflow and Increase Productivity

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Every day, you get 1,440 minutes. Use them wisely, and you can skyrocket your productivity.

Hidden in those minutes is the chance to make a big difference with tiny habits that take just one minute. These super easy habits fit into your day so smoothly you’ll hardly notice them. But don’t let that fool you. Their simplicity is what makes them stick.

You have all over 1400 minutes every day—why not spend a few on habits that pay off big time? Here are 13 micro-habits that promise to streamline your workflow and maximize your output with the least effort, proving that sometimes, the smallest tweaks lead to the greatest gains.

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