“I wish I could read for leisure more, but I am just too busy.” This is a phrase I hear often. OK, that’s an overgeneralized statement, but I do see and hear that being said from many of you. One of the greatest lies we tell each other is that we simply don’t have enough time for ourselves. But, its not that we don’t have enough time, it could be that we don’t have enough discipline. I'm with you. 

However, this year, I made it a daily commitment to read the books that have been collecting dust on my bookshelf. Now, I am over halfway through two books and I want to share some tips that helped me stick to my goal of getting back to my favorite pastime. 

Make reading part of your morning/nightly routine. 

If you want to start off slow, choose the time in which you have the most energy. I am many things, but a morning person I am not. However, the book I am reading serves as a devotional to me, which helps to boost my day. I only read one chapter so I don’t get overwhelmed unless that chapter sucked me in and I can’t stop reading. The book I read in the evening has longer chapters, but is a highly engaging read and is relevant to what I am studying in my graduate studies program. It only takes me 30 minutes or less to get through one chapter per book.

On your lunch break, leave your phone at your desk, in your locker or in your purse, anywhere but in your hand and take a book instead. 

You’d be surprised how much time we waste on the phone during the breaks we have allotted to us throughout the day. Thirty minutes here to an hour there and you’ll be done with a book in no time.

I mean, if you are going to just sit there, take the book with you. 

Try bringing your favorite book with you to the bathroom. Hear me out! Try this for a few times and I guarantee by the end of the week, you won’t even miss your phone. 

Scheduled any appointments for the upcoming week? 

Hair, dental, doctors? All great places to have a book handy. You already have to wait in the waiting room and then have to wait in the room before your doctor is ready to see you. Those few minutes slowly but surely add up. Why not knock some pages out?

If you are so pressed to believe that you simply do not have the time to physically sit down and turn the pages of a book, try e-books. 

Download e-books and listen during your daily commute, while you exercise, while you are cooking, etc. It won’t feel as though you are interrupting your “most important” tasks throughout the day and you are killing two birds with one stone. Personally, I love the feel and smell of a good book and I need to see the words in order to paint a picture as I read. But, if you don't mind a narrator, go for it. 

See, five very doable ways to incorporate literature back into your schedule without hindering your ever-so-busy schedule. Try one, or several, of these tips for the next seven days and watch you begin to grab your book before your phone. If you need a book suggestion, consider these Blavity approved choices.

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