How to Easily Triple Your Reading Time
Enrich your life AND be more productive
Not Enough Hours in the Day
“Too many books. Too little time.” Right? Yet we all have the same amount of time: 24 hours or 1440 minutes each day. It’s a matter of prioritizing those precious minutes.
How much time do you spend reading each day? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? How much time would you like to have in the company of a book? No matter how long you spend now, wouldn’t you like to triple that number so you could “read” more?
You can. Institute these easy ways to triple your reading time.
Reduce Social Media Time
Wait! Don’t stop reading! I didn’t say eliminate social media time. Reduce it. Did you know that the average American spends 142 minutes per day on social media? That’s two hours and 22 minutes EACH day!
What if you looked at social media at 3 set times of the day instead of all day long? If you checked Social Media for 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes mid-day, and 30 minutes at night, you’ve just gained 52 minutes of reading time. If you reduce your social media time to 30 minutes per day, total, you’ve just gained more than two hours in one fell swoop. Budget your time on your favorite apps. Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Tik Tok. Whatever you love, just reduce it a bit in order to carve out those precious moments of reading time. A good book always impacts me more than any social media post ever could.
In addition to gaining more reading time by reducing social media time, you’ll feel better. Two recent studies suggest that people who limit social media to 30 minutes per day
“…felt significantly better after the three-week period, reporting reduced depression and loneliness, especially those who came into the study with higher levels of depression.”
Multi-Task With Audiobooks
Yes. Listening to audiobooks is “reading” in a different format. In audiobooks, you get more of the characters’ accents and speech patterns. You feel the setting more because you hear the regional dialects. You might hear the interactions between the characters differently than if you read them. But hearing a story is a time-honored method. We started with an oral tradition, long before the masses had books or the education to use them.
The audio format allows you to consume way more books than if you were just reading. Audiobooks allow you to multi-task and make better use of your time.
The average person spends 25 minutes each way commuting to work. That’s 50 minutes a day, 250 minutes a week, 216 hours per year, or 27 work-days per year.
The average audiobook ranges from 8–13 hours, so if you use your commute time for “listening” while driving to work, you’ll get an extra 16 books or more per year.
In total, Americans spend 70 billion hours a year behind the wheel of a car. What a great opportunity to increase our input of books.
While doing household chores
Americans spend over 3 hours a day on domestic chores. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, childcare, lawn care, and dog-walking are all activities that can be done while simultaneously listening to books. Grab your headphones or BlueTooth and gain an extra hour or two of reading time.
Reduce Television Time
Almost every age group in America watches more than 2 hours of television a day. I get it. I’ve binged on Game of Thrones, Outlander, and Peaky Blinders. But most nights, I have to consciously debate whether I’ll get more from streaming a show or reading a book. I’ve figured out that by reducing my television time by just an hour each night, I can read an extra book or two each month.
Read While You Wait
- Americans spend 37 BILLION HOURS A YEAR waiting in line. Food lines, concert lines, Black Friday lines, grocery store checkout lines. Approximately 5 years of your life waiting in lines.
- You spend 92 days of your life going to the toilet.
- You spend almost 20 minutes waiting each time you go to the doctor’s office.
- 43 days of your life will be spent on holding on a telephone line
Time is precious, and we’ll never have enough. So use all that waiting time to increase your reading.
- Load reading apps on your phone (I use Kindle and Nook).
- Find an audiobook app you like and use it. (I use Audible and Chirp).
- Have books and audiobooks downloaded and queued at all times.
- Keep a book in your car, briefcase, or bag if you don’t like to read electronically.
Reduce your social media exposure and you might gain 52 minutes or more. You get an increase of 45 minutes or more if you read on the train or listen while you’re driving on your daily commute. Add in another 30 minutes or more gained while you’re doing household chores, plus 10 minutes a day that you’re reading while you’re standing in lines or holding on the telephone.
Congratulations! More than two extra hours of reading time!
This article was originally written by Melissa gouty on medium.
Award-winning teacher, entrepreneur, and writer. Marketing manager in the HVAC and Plumbing industries. Author of The Magic of Ordinary, a memoir of a "Daddy," his daughters, and the power of one good man to change the world.