I’ve partnered with HP to introduce their x360 laptop/tablet. HP is on tour with Meghan Trainor for her All About That Bass Tour! #BendTheRules
Every now and then—usually after my monthly reading recap posts—someone will ask how I find time to get any reading done. We’ve got two young (and needy) kids, my husband and I are running our own business, I blog 3+ times a week . . . by all accounts, it doesn’t add up. I should not have time to sit on the couch with a book.
Before you get impressed with me and think I’m balancing all these demands particularly well, I’ll set the record straight: there are many days when I probably shouldn’t be spending time reading—but I do it anyway, often at the expense of clean laundry and mopped floors and meals that don’t involve hot dogs.
But I do have a few suggestions on finding more time to read, even when you’re busy. Inspired by the versatile new HP x360 which can be used in 4 modes—laptop, tablet, tent, and stand—I want to share 4 tips on finding more time to read.
Up until last year, it had hardly occurred to me that I could be listening to a book while I’m doing something boring, like folding laundry or cleaning bathrooms. Serious lightbulb moment when I finally realized that these quiet moments could include a book, hands-free.
When we’re driving to grandma’s house an hour away, or cleaning up toys at the end of the day, or even if I just need a break from the constant noise of two little kids, I’ll turn an audiobook on. Sometimes I envy people with a daily commute—even with his relatively short 15-20 minute drive to work, Jeff pounds through audiobooks. Such an easy solution when you can’t actually pick up a book, but you’d still love to read.
2) Embrace technology
I will always love reading real, hard copies of books, but opening that door to reading digitally has made a world of difference in the time I can spend reading.
Books that I can’t find at my library are often available in my library’s ebook collection, and you can’t beat the convenience of downloading a new book without ever leaving the house. Not having to go somewhere to pick up a book means I can start reading right away instead of waiting to find the time for a library run—no lag time between books.
I love that the HP x360 can be used as a laptop and as a tablet with a touch screen—it goes from work mode to reading mode instantly by just flipping the screen around. I don’t have to waste time switching back and forth between devices, which means I get to spend more time reading.
And having ebooks ready to go on an ereader or tablet (or even on your phone!) makes it easier to spend a few minutes reading during those dead times when you’re away from home—like in waiting rooms, in line at the post office, or sitting in your car at school pickup.
3) Keep (and check) a to-read list
For many years, I kept a physical, handwritten list of books that I wanted to read in my wallet. I find it far more convenient these days to use Goodreads to keep track of what I’ve read and want to read, but whatever method works for you, having (and regularly revisiting and adding to) a list of books I want to read keeps me excited about reading.
When I finish a book, I’m eager to get my hands on the next one on my list. I don’t close a book, then sit around for days trying to decide what I ought to read next. I have a list of titles ready and waiting, so I can pick up another book as soon as I finish my current one.
And as silly as this may be, moving a book from my ‘to-read’ list to my ‘read’ list is a bit of a nerdy thrill—motivation in itself to spend more time reading.
4) Turn the phone off
There is no time-waster in my life bigger than the internet. What starts as an innocent 10-minute email/facebook check turns into a 2-hour spiral of completely wasted time.And nothing is worse than squandering an entire naptime (precious, precious naptime!) online when I could have been doing something I would have really enjoyed (such as ohIdunno reading).
I try not to even have my phone in the room when I plan to read. As soon as I hear it ding (and even if I don’t!), I’ll drop my book and realize an hour later that my entire reading time has been spent liking photos of babies and lunches on Instagram. When I find myself with a few free minutes to read, I make sure to leave my phone and computer in another room (set to silent!!), and just enjoy reading without distractions. The internet will still be there when I’m done.