Why Prioritizing Reading is Difficult

So I am actually really bad at getting as much reading done and I want to. No matter how much I want to read and how many awesome books there are out there I always manage to fill my minuscule amounts of free time in a different way. I get the feeling that if I asked for a show of hands there would be a lot of people agreeing that despite how much they love books, they wished they could read more.

Now if you’re expecting tips or something then sorry to disappoint because I have no idea how to fix this problem myself but I just thought I’d look at the reasons behind this problem.

 

For one thing, we’re busy people.

In the world these days you need to be doing something or you’re not being productive and efficient and all those other buzz words that are used to shame people into getting their acts together. So when our lives fill up with hours of school work or commitments to groups we’re involved in reading becomes difficult. I’m not saying school work isn’t important because I actually really enjoy school and you should all make sure you get that work done. The same goes for other commitments, obviously if you’re not enjoying them then don’t do them. But what happens where there are just too many options?

My time is split between

  • school work
  • blogging
  • reading
  • watching tv shows
  • spending time with friends

 

All of those things are things I want to be doing, and I want to be doing a lot of. However I don’t have time to do all of them. That’s where it comes time to pick.

 

First priority?

I feel like reading can’t really be my first priority. Not because I don’t love reading, because I totally do. But more because that implies that every time I get home and look at my to do list I pick reading over all those other tasks. And that just wouldn’t work.

There is always going to be more books to read so if I choose reading first then I’ll never get anything else done. This is compared to if I picked something like school work or blogging because there are certain tasks I need to do for those that once complete allow me to move on to other things.

So it’s simple right, I just have to become more efficient at doing other things so I’ll have more time to read.

Wrong.

 

It’s all a lie.

Yeah. I said it. This idea of being done with something then moving onto something else is a lie. Once I am done with the prescribed homework I can do other school stuff to consolidate my learning, and then maybe I could do some study to prepare for an upcoming test. And then… you get the point. The same goes for blogging. I can write a post, or two, or three, and then I can reply to comments. And then I can get stuck in an endless cycle of reading other blogger’s posts for inspiration and commenting on them to build my community.

It’s pretty much impossible to do all of the things.

 

So what can you actually do?

Set aside time to read. And I know I’m super hypocritical for saying this because it is totally something that I don’t do. But choosing time to read and sticking to it is a great plan. Why doesn’t it work? Well here’s a list of possibilities

  • Maybe you’re super tired so decide to go to sleep early that night
  • Maybe you wake up late
  • Maybe you got extra school work
  • Maybe a friend just called you and you talked to them for hours instead
  • Maybe you decided to go outside and missed the time you planned

And so on, you get the picture.

 

So possibly the best advice I can give you is simply to carry a book around with you wherever you go in case you end up with extra time. I know it doesn’t solve all the problems, and I already do that and still wish I could read more.

why prioritizing reading is impossible

Do you have any solutions to this incredibly common problem?? Let me know in the comments

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19 thoughts on “Why Prioritizing Reading is Difficult

  1. People always ask me how I manage to read so much, and here is what I say:
    1.) I don’t watch much TV. In our household we can, and have, gone days without even turning the TV on. We all prefer reading to TV, so it’s an easy one to do. I get irritated at work when people are like “I just don’t have TIME to read” in one breath, and then they’re talking about what happened on Orange is the New Black in the next, ya know?
    2.) I listen to an audio book in the car. I can’t do anything else in the car besides drive, and I don’t particularly care for music, so why not use my morning and afternoon commute to listen to an audio book?
    3.) Mobis on my phone. I always have a book loaded on kindle on my phone. So if I’m stealing five minutes in the bathroom to have a wee, that’s five minutes I’m reading that book. if I’m walking somewhere familiar and I don’t need to look up every second to see where I’m going, I’m reading on my phone.
    4.) CHILL TIME. No matter how busy my day has been, I need time to unwind so I can fall asleep. So yes, I jealously guard my reading time at night. Even if it’s just a chapter, I read.
    5.) Library visits. In our house, Saturdays are library days. We go, we grab books, we sprawl on the library chairs and couches, and we read. Then we go home with our books.
    6.) Knowing when to say “I’m done”. Yes, I could spend 3 hours doing blog posts on the computer, and I have days when I steal the time to do exactly that to get ahead. But sometimes I just say “You know what? Even though I’m not finished doing x right now, I need to stop and chill for a few” and that’s what I do.

    My solutions obviously don’t work for everyone, but that’s how I do things. (I work full time and have a terminally ill 8 year old.)

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    1. These are such great tips. I know I could definitely watch less TV which would definitely be helpful in increasing the amount I read. I also find audiobooks very useful, I listen to them while doing chores around the house or while walking the dog or to the shops. Chill time is something I really need to establish, I am really bad at it and always look up to find I aimed to be in bed ages ago. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, so glad I’m not the only one! I actually had a really long reading slump which I just got out of last year, so I’m getting back into reading copious amounts of awesomeness slowly but surely, and wow, does it feel good. I really wish I had more time to devote to my neglected lovelies (and room for bookshelves. The cats like to perch on the stacks on the floor, and they keep knocking the books over), but as you said, school and family come first.
    One thing I did to give myself time to read was schedule it. I used to stay up late on my computer at night, browsing Pinterest or chatting with bloggers, but now I won’t even keep my laptop in my room. When I go to bed, I read. I take ages to fall asleep, so this gives me at least an hour of time every day to do nothing but read.
    I’m still trying to work out something to let me read more during the day. I’ll let you know if I find it!

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    1. Glad to hear you got out of that reading slump, hopefully your reading will pick up. Scheduling reading time is something I totally need to start to do.

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  3. I definitely have this same problem! I am so busy that my free time is definitely limited that it’s hard to find time to read. What I’ve started doing is reading on my commute to and from work (I take the train). Then I try to read a little bit before I go to bed. Glad to see that I am not alone in my reading struggles.

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  4. This is a great post! When I was still in high school I didn’t pick up a single book in my senior years because I was swamped with school work! But now that I have a lot more free time, I can get through 3 books a week! I think what’s really important is prioritising and making time for reading, if it’s important to you then you can make time for it. For me, I wake up early around 6am so I have more time to get things done during the day, I always have a book on me or at least an ebook or audiobook on my phone. Every spare second I have I read. I cut out habits that I felt were wasting my time such as watching TV (I honestly don’t remember the last time I watched TV!) and aimlessly browsing social media on my phone, and started using my time wisely. Now I don’t find it difficult to find time to read :)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have the same problem sometimes! I’m a full time college student (just finished undergrad and starting grad school in a few weeks) with a wild-as-hell toddler who keeps me going nonstop, and it can be so hard to find time to read. Here are some things that have worked REALLY well for me:

    I read in the car almost every single time I’m not the one driving – whether it’s taking a book with me or just an ebook. Even if I forget to bring my kindle, I have the kindle app on my phone and use that. Even if it requires starting a whole new book instead of continuing the one I’ve already been focusing on, I do that.

    I also make time to read practically every single night before bed. I don’t really watch TV or game much anymore, so every evening after my little one is tucked in, I read, even if it’s only for an hour – it makes a difference. An hour a night is easily a book or two a week, even if it’s the only time you read!

    I also just am trying here lately to be really conscious of what I devote my time to. There are only so many hours in a day, and mindlessly scrolling through facebook or twitter never seems to actually benefit me in the long run. These things are what I call “time suckers” – they take up lots and lots of my time without me even noticing until it’s too late, but they don’t offer me anything of any real value. So, lately, I’m trying to limit myself to no more than an hour or so of non-blog-related social media daily – that means twitter, facebook, my personal IG, snapchat, etc.

    I’m definitely not the shining example of a prioritized reader – I only read 8-10 books per month, while I know plenty of people read 20+ monthly – but still, hopefully this helps!

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    1. Those are some great tips, there are so many little activities that you loose time to over the day. I find that reading in the car doesn’t work so well for me because I end up talking to people instead however I read while waiting for classes to start and it all adds up.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Honestly, me? I read ever night when I’m having my wind-down time, you know? Sometimes in school, our lessons (especially after exams) are quite relaxed so I can just read. I used to only read near night, and prioritise blogging WAY more. Now I make sure I’m doing things I enjoy, reading more and blogging less. Fridays are always filled with free-time so I get loads of reading done there. I really should start listening to audiobooks to help me out, but I JUST CAN’T FIND NICE VOICES?

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    1. Ahh finding nice audiobooks is a struggle. I have enjoyed the ones for Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle and The Starbound Trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahhh I totally relate to this!! School/our personal lives can get SO BUSY so it’s incredibly difficult to make time for reading sometimes? I do try and love reading on my commute, since I take the bus, but even then sometimes I’m just so tired I take a nap instead! đŸ™ˆ

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  8. When I was at school I could never find time to read unless it was actually at school. Most of my spare time was taken up with homework and so most days I would read on my commute to and from school. When I was in sixth form (16-18) I would also sometimes find a quiet spot in the common room to read during break times.

    Now I am past all that, I tend to read for a couple of hours in the evening and just before bed when the rest of my family is watching tv. I also always leave my current books downstairs during the day so whenever I take a tea break I’ll read a chapter or two. And audiobooks are one of my best friends – I’ll listen to them when I’m knitting or planning blog posts/general writing so there’s always something on the go.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I totally have the same problem. No matter how much you want to read there’s always something else you have to do instead. I always take a book with me wherever I go as you never know when you might have time to read it even if it’s only for a few minutes.

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  10. This post is like a breath of fresh air! I’m always seeing people who read 15+ books a month and I have no idea how they do it! It’s so difficult to find time to read when you have lots of other hobbies, and tasks to do too. Sometimes you can’t read when you know you’ve got something else you need to do, it plays on your mind and you just can’t concentrate!

    I think setting time to read definitely helps, and carrying a book wherever you go. I have to get the bus to work and usually have an hour to kill before I start, so I read in a cafe for a while. Even if I don’t get round to reading when I get home, I managed to get some in earlier in the day. Also, not forcing myself to read when I don’t feel like it helps. If I wanna watch a TV show or go to an open mic I’ll do it, reading can wait until my brain’s fully prepared!

    Fantastic post! ^.^

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    1. I completely agree, even when I have time to read sometimes I am too busy thinking or worrying about other things. I often feel like I have to choose between reading and talking to friends. And I shouldn’t feel guilty for making that decision, if I don’t fully feel like reading then there shouldn’t be pressure to.

      Liked by 1 person

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