March 2 is National Read Across America Day. If it were up to me everyday would be a reading day. I love to read and often have several books going at a time.
My frustration is in finding the time to read. This should be an easy fix for me. I’m an expert on time management so why is this a problem?
- Most days I have scheduled more things to do than time to do them. This means that I must have a triage plan and spend my time working on the tasks I feel are the most important. To make this plan I must consider my obligations to my businesses, my family, and my friends. And I do schedule time for my exercises and meals. Sitting down to read for fun just doesn’t seem to make the list.
- I always optimistically feel that tomorrow will give me that time. Hmm. If I can’t get all the things done on the day before, what makes me think that the next day is going to be magically different.
- Because I know myself well, I know that when I do start to read, I have a very hard time stopping after one chapter or 20 minutes. That’s like eating one potato chip. So, I’m leery of picking up that book to read.
When we encounter a problem, we look for solutions. Here are some that I have tried.
- Read at night when everything is done. This rarely works for me because I often am done as well. I’ll come into the living room to spend time with my husband and I’ll often say, “Well, I’m not done with my work, but I am done for the day.” If I try to read when I get into bed, I just fall asleep.
- Schedule reading first thing in the morning. I do read my newspaper every morning and I can schedule a short read in a devotional, inspirational, or business-related reading. But after having indulged myself with that I don’t feel I can then also read a novel.
- Reading as a reward for completing a task. This actually works pretty well. The only snag comes when I finish the task minutes before I need to start something else where the time is non-negotiable.
- I can also read when waiting at doctor’s offices or at the medical center. This works quite well for me. My husband has several half days a month where we are at the hospital for infusions. Once we are in the room for the drip, I can often get in a good hour of reading.
The bottom line here for me is that there is not one good answer. At this point in time, I believe I must realize that it is not practical for me to expect to have a nice uninterrupted reading time each day. But I certainly can manage to work into my schedule time to read at least three times a week. I do belong to a reading group and funnily enough I do manage to get the book read every month and usually another one as well. Obviously, I am reading.
Looking over my brainstorm list I realize two things. One simple solution for me is when scheduling tasks add into the block of time a reward reading time. Secondly, carry a book with me when I know I will have wait times.
I have solved my dilemma.
Anytime we have a scheduling problem it is important to find out what is causing it. Take some time to look at your patterns and how you use your time. Do some brainstorming to come up with solutions. Try out your ideas. If one doesn’t work, try another one or a combination of ideas.
If creating a plan is on your list of things to do or if you are encountering a time management problem take a look at our Clear Space for You virtual support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.