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  • J. J. Hanna

How to Read When Busy

I am about to enter one of the most busy times of my life. I'm always doing something, whether that's hanging out with friends, working on homework, working on my novel, filming/editing Youtube videos, or exercising. The normal things of life make it really hard to maintain the goals we set for ourselves.

One of my goals recently has been to read more books. I can't tell you how many people I've listened to who said they liked to read when they were young but haven't been able to keep it up because they don't have time anymore.

Here's the tough truth: we still have 24 hours in a day. It's what we do with those hours that determines if we do or don't have time for something.

If you talk to writers for any period of time and ask them what the most common writing advice is, it's to write often and read often. I find that I run into a problem of only being able to do one at a time. I find it to be an either or situation. But it doesn't have to be that way.

When you want to do something, whether that's reading, writing, knitting, watching Netflix, you tend to make time for it. You change your priorities to allow you to do what you want to do.

So, if you actually want to do something, you have to adjust to allow yourself to do something.

Rather than watching three episodes of that TV show, read a little first. Read a chapter and then decide if you still want to watch TV. Then watch one or two episodes instead.

Alternate nights. Watch Netflix on Mondays, read a book on Tuesdays, so on and so forth.

Carve out the time and defend it so you do what you want to do.

Don't wait for the opportunity. Make the opportunity.

Alternatively, tuck it in the edges. I read in the half hour it takes me to fall asleep. I carry a book around with me for those moments when I have five minutes to spare. The trick is that instead of spending those five minutes on a phone or on social media, you have to open the book instead.

You'll make time for the things you want to do. So, if you want to read, ask a friend for a book recommendation and then make reading it a priority. You'll be surprised how much time you'll find you have to read.


J. J. Hanna is a Professional Writing major at Taylor University. When not writing, she enjoys going to a dojo to practice karate. She also exercises her creative mind through Youtube videos and drawing comics.

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