We are so excited to launch a new series on the blog today called Me Time. As a mom of two active little boys, I know how hard it can be to carve out time for yourself. Between work, running a household, year-round sports schedules and being a wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend, I feel like I am constantly pushing myself to the bottom of the list. It’s so easy to put aside my own passions and hobbies in service to others. I KNOW you all can relate!
Our Me Time series will focus on different ways to carve out time for yourself and reignite your passions. First up: reading. There are few things I enjoy as much as getting lost in the pages of a good book, but finding time to read can feel nearly impossible. Today I’m sharing a few creative ways I’ve found to fit reading into my busy schedule!
Find Hidden Time
I am blessed that my work schedule allows me to pick up my boys from school every day. Because of that, I spend A LOT of time waiting in the carpool line. Rather than scroll mindlessly through my phone (which I totally do some days), I like to bring the current book I am reading with me in the car and get a good twenty minutes of reading in—twenty minutes a day adds up to over an hour of reading each week. If you aren’t able to do carpool duty, seek out other pockets of hidden time to sneak in a few chapters—during your kids’ weekly swim lessons or the endless hours you spend at the ballpark during baseball practice. Once you start looking, you’ll be surprised where you can find those little pockets of time!
Read What YOU Want to Read
This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s important to select a book that interests you because you will make time to read a book that you truly enjoy. I typically don’t pay attention to others’ opinions about what I’m reading. I have two or three genres that I most enjoy and I typically stick to those. I always say that I like my entertainment to be just that—entertaining. Don’t read something just because you think you are supposed to read it. On the flip side, if you pick up a book and decide you don’t like it, don’t feel compelled to finish it or guilty if you don’t. You will not make time to read a book you don’t enjoy, so just put that one down and move on the next one.
Step Away From Your Phone
This tip is on every list on this topic—and just about any other topic on productivity—but it’s because it’s true. I am embarrassed to admit how much time I waste mindlessly scrolling social media and surfing the web. I generally spend five minutes here or ten minutes there, so it’s easy to disguise what a time suck it is. Put a book in your bag and reach for it the next time you find yourself reaching for your phone. I promise you will be amazed at how much time kicking that one habit frees up for you to read.
Don’t Feel Guilty Getting Lost in a Good Book
As moms, we so often feel guilty if we think we aren’t doing something productive or actively engaging with our families. If this is something that you struggle with, think about all the positive benefits of reading—reduced stress, increased focus and improved memory. What mom doesn’t want all of those things? If I can find things to help me with all the things I’m juggling on a daily basis, then I’m all in (even better that the catalyst for all those health benefits is fun). I only feel a tiny bit guilty about getting lost in a book when I realize my husband has been staring at me, waiting too long for a response to something I totally tuned out!
Do you love to read? What are your tips for squeezing reading into your schedule? Swing back next week to check out some of our summer must-reads.