I’ll admit, I’ve struggled with finding time to read this past school year. I was spending two to three (or sometime more) hours on school work a night alongside a busy dance schedule. I truly thought I never had any time to read, but looking back on it, I just realized it was because I didn’t make reading a priority. Instead of spending hours scrolling through instagram or watching Youtube videos, I could have spent my time reading, which is why I’ve created a few tips to help you, as well as myself if I’m being honest, find time to read (or any activity you love) when balancing a busy schedule, whether it be from work, school, extracurriculars, etc.
For me, I have a tendency to put reading on the back burner when I’m busy, despite it being one of my favorite things to do as well as a great way to relieve stress during busy and stressful times. So, I’ve learned to prioritize reading. If I have a few extra minutes, instead of scrolling through the same Instagram photos over and over, I pick up a book and read, even if I don’t get very far. Instead of going on my phone during the bus I’ll read instead or when I’ve finished school work early.
Prioritizing can be tricky sometimes. I like to start out by making a list of my priorities for the day when I come home from school, so for example first will be all my school assignments then I would like to walk my dog, post on Instagram, and read (in that order). Now I know that reading isn’t at the top of my list, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not at the bottom either. If I finish all my other tasks, then I will spend the rest of my free time reading. Prioritizing can also be as simple as telling yourself you want to make reading a priority, so instead of wasting your time, you spend it on reading.
Pick up a Book whenever you have a few extra minutes
Whether it be finishing your tasks early, waking up earlier, etc., try to spend that time reading if it’s really important to you. I noticed this year that whenever I had a few minutes to spare I went straight to social media. But because I learned to prioritize reading, I learned to pick up a book whenever I had a few minutes. While you may not get far in just a few minutes, if you continually do this, you’ll be finished with the book in no time because even if you didn’t spend hours at a time reading, you still spent minutes here and there that quickly added up.
Use A Planner or Bullet Journal of Some Sort
I will never write in my planner that I want to read for a certain amount of time, but when I use my planner, it shows me what I need to get done first and what I have going on. This way I can complete all my tasks and manage all my events, dance classes, etc. Having a planning system of some sort is probably one of the best time management tips because you can plan out your day and see where you free time to fit in reading or other activities you enjoy.
Listen to Audiobooks
One of my favorite things about audiobooks is you can listen to them anywhere. When you’re driving, cleaning your room, working out, etc., you can always be listening to audiobooks! That way when you’re doing important daily tasks, you can be reading at the same, which allows you to read a lot more than you otherwise could.
I know, sometimes it can be tricky not to procrastinate, but if you quit procrastinating, you’ll have a lot more time on your hands for the things you love. If you stop procrastinating homework or work of any kind and just get it done, once you’re finished you will have time to read or to spend doing what you love. For me I motivate myself to stop procrastinating by telling myself that once I’m done with my work, I can read a book or do whatever I please because I won’t have to worry about getting my work done. Not only will it give you more time to do what you love, but you will also feel less guilt because you’re no longer putting off important tasks due to procrastinating. This Youtube video is extremely helpful in not procrastinating and getting things done so you have more time on your hands for what you love.
I hope these tips have helped you in finding more time to read and do what you love despite a busy schedule that always feels like it’s coming in the way! I’ve really been working on these lately and I’ve had much more time to read, and I’ve been much less stressed and worried all the time about getting everything done. If you have any tips for finding time for the things you love, please let me know down below! <3