We’ve all been through this. Whether you’re currently in high school or taking classes at university, you have definitely been in a situation where all your work takes up your reading time. I mean, ideally reading time would be all the time, but occasionally work does need to be done and sometimes that means losing space for reading during the day. Boo.
This is only my 2nd semester of university, but I can already tell that I got more reading done in high school. It’s not even that I have more school work to do now than I did last year–honestly, I have about the same amount. It’s more due to the new environment that I’m in and still learning how to live here on campus. There’s always so much going on that, even if I’m dying to go somewhere quiet and stick my nose in a book, I end up doing so much in a day that when I get back to my room I fall right asleep. Unfortunately, reading in your sleep is not a thing. Boo again.
All we want is to just to raed all the time, right? Sadly, that can’t happen, so here are my tips on how to get more reading done during a week day.
1.) Read Between Classes
This is assuming you’ve done all your homework for that next class and you’re not cramming to do it in the 40 minutes between Spanish and Writing 101 (this is a fictitious example, not one from my real life that I do 3 times a week, of course not). If you’re a smart (and responsible..) cookie who has completed all the work due for your next class, find a nice place to relax for 30 minutes and read! Instead, sometimes during these tiny free periods I just take out my laptop and do nothing on the Internet for half an hour when I could be tearing through the pages of my current read, which is not a good use of my time at all. Which leads me to my next tip…
2.) Put Your Phone Away!!!!
Okay, I am totally guilty of this. When I have a little bit of free time, like I just mentioned, I usually spend it doing literally nothing on the Internet. I’ll scroll through Twitter for a ridiculous amount of time or go on an Instagram liking spree. These things are okay to do once or twice a day but if it’s your fourth time checking Hannah Hart’s Instagram to see if she posted anything new, you have a problem. Put. The. Phone. Down. Really, these small pockets of time are precious and wouldn’t you rather spend it enjoying yourself by settling down with your book? So, keep your phone and your laptop in your backpack, open your book, and let yourself be transported away (you won’t even be thinking about Twitter while you’re traveling between the pages, I promise).
3.) Use Reading as a Reward for Studying
This I have used before and it can be effective if done correctly. Say you set a timer to study for an hour. Once the timer goes off and you were actually productive during that hour, pick up the novel you’re reading for fun and relax for 20-30 minutes. Nice job, me. After all that verb conjugating, I deserve a break. But not too long of a break; when your ‘relax’ timer goes off, make sure you actually stop and go back to work. Don’t ignore the timer and end up reading for longer than you did homework (…this I have also done).
4.) Have a Lunch Date with Your Book
Don’t have anyone to eat lunch with? Read your book while eating! Have friends to eat with but would rather be reading? Read your book while eating by yourself! One very important thing to realize is that it is okay to eat lunch by yourself. What??! Some weird, normalized social rule we learned in middle school is actually wrong?! Yes, eating lunch by yourself does not make you a loser. It’s not weird. If your friends aren’t available or you just don’t feel like socializing, go ahead and sit by yourself and pull out your current read. No one is going to care what you’re doing, and you’re going to be making time for something you love so who’s the real winner here, huh?
5.) Take a Night Off and Relax in Your Room; Yeah, It’s Okay to Do That
This one is a little more directed at those who go to residential schools, but really it can apply to anyone. When I first got to uni, I didn’t read for fun until the second month of classes because I was always doing things with my friends. I was meeting new people and getting to know them which was great, but let’s be real here; I’m one of the most introverted people I know. I lose a lot of energy from spending time with large amounts of people for a long time, especially of those people are high energy. I really need my alone time. I still struggle with this sometimes; I feel like since my friends and I all live on campus together I have the obligation to hang out with them all the time, which is not true at all. If I want to stay in my room and read even if my friends invite me somewhere, that’s okay. I don’t have to be with my friends all day and neither do you, my fellow introverts (and whoever else just gets tired of people sometimes). Don’t feel obligated to do something just because you’re invited. If you would just rather hang out with your book than your friends, then curl up in your bed and read the night away and don’t feel guilty for having some ‘you’ time.
Hopefully following my own advice will help me because I have read so little this month and want to up my reading game in March. Oh, by the way, Happy March! Month of the Irish and of spring; two things I love very much. Good luck to those who try out these tips; let me know if they work out for you. Also, if you have any tips on how to get more reading done in a busy day let me know in the comments! Happy reading!