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How and Why to Develop the Habit of Reading Every Day
Reading is Part of Your Success
Education never ends, neither after school nor after getting the job of your dreams. Our life is a continuous learning process, although some of us may not be conscious of this.
I have always looked up to successful people as I wanted to be one of them, so I analyzed their lifestyles thoroughly. It was no surprise to discover that they always make time to read, study and learn far beyond their grade school. That’s why they became great thinkers, innovators and leaders.
When I analyzed my own reading habits, I realized I was finding excuses for not investing time in this activity. I only read materials that had flashed across my screen on social media or other sites that appealed to me.
Most of my reading consisted of articles on the web. I don’t deny that I found excellent articles related to tips, trends and tools used in various areas of activity. I also read funny articles that raised my energy for the entire day, but, personally, I consider that books typically include better writing and higher quality information. They are powerful tools when it comes to improving yourself as a professional or in a field you are passionate about. Furthermore, reading makes you smarter.
How to Redevelop the Reading Habit
I realized that when you want to succeed in a certain area of your life, change must flow as naturally as breathing and become a reflex or as if by default.
The willingness to learn and discover new things is one of the main pillars when it comes to changing your habits and developing healthy new ones. To improve yourself, you should read constantly so that you can stay competitive in your field by learning new techniques and strategies that separate you from others.
One step forward is to redevelop the reading habit by reading high-quality books that improve your mind, such as self-help non-fiction. When reading quality non-fiction books, your brain is dealing with new thoughts and ideas. Doing this on a regular basis will teach you how to approach a subject from many angles.
1. Place reading on your priority list
If you get busy and sidetracked during your work week, you should know that there is something you can do to change this. Turn your reading habits into specific and time-sensitive goals and place them on your priority list.
2. Find good books
Finding good books can be a real challenge. At the beginning, you’ll be prone to decision fatigue because of the great number of books available. This can drain your energy before you even starting reading. To reduce effort in selecting books, you can search for a curated list compiled by leaders you admire. You can also Google the “favorite books” of successful people you follow, ask people you admire what they read, or simply follow your own interests.
3. How to enjoy reading
To get great results, you should appreciate and moreover enjoy reading. You may start by picking books that relate directly to a personal interest or skill you’d like to develop, then set a specific time each day you’ll read. Depending on your own interests, you may go for books related to personal development, habit change, healthy living, productivity and so on.
4. Plan your reading habit
Identify one hour every day when you can reduce one or more of your time-wasting activities and then create a daily calendar reminder that blocks off that hour for reading. Alternatively, you can schedule reading during breaks such as lunch or dinner, or in the early morning before going to work.
Find several books to start reading and stack them next to your favorite reading spot to see them easily.
Put a pen and a notebook on the stack of books so you can write down any ideas you get from reading.
Set a simple timer to make sure you read for at least 20 minutes. Or start by reading 20 pages per day, meaning about 30 minutes. Although it may seem small, it adds up fast, the volume gets higher as time goes on and you’ll notice the difference.
Useful tips to make sure you stay focused on reading:
- Use an app to track your daily ritual.
- Keep a book at hand while you are on the move so you can fill “wasted” time.
- Turn off the television when there is not anything interesting to watch.
- Track your reading habit on a daily basis.
5. Read as much as you can
Of course, don’t limit your reading time to 30 minutes per day when you have more time. Read as much as you can. You’ll notice that your writing skills also improve as you start reading on a daily basis due to the new concepts you learn constantly.
6. Read early in the morning
A good idea is to start your day by reading at least 20 pages in the morning, even if that means waking up one hour earlier. In the morning, your mind is clear and your body is relaxed after sleeping, so it’s the perfect moment to invest in yourself. Remember that most habits with a great impact on your life never felt urgent even though they were important, so take small steps to make great changes.
6. Practice speed reading
If you are reading faster, you will finish books faster, but you must make sure you retain what you read. Speed reading allows you to balance speed and comprehension. Start by removing all the elements that distract you and turn off your TV or PC. Then pick a book, get a timer, start the timer, read 10 pages and record your results. Take a quick look at the title, introduction, section headers and the conclusion. Don’t read every word, skip articles like “a”, “the” etc., stop mouthing words or speaking them in your head, try to take in whole sentences and paragraphs and don’t pause between paragraphs. Use one of your fingers or a pen to guide your eyes and set your pace. The next stage is to set 20 minutes per day to practice reading.
Now that you know how to develop a reading habit, and its benefits, take all the necessary actions to make use of them.
About the Author
Michael Schoeff is a serial entrepreneur with lots of areas of interest. He loves writing about entrepreneurship, goal-setting, productivity and motivation.