Throughout your degree, you’ll likely be required to read dozens of books and other materials related to your program. While this can be difficult to fit into busy schedules, it’s important to make time for this crucial part of your education if you want to succeed in your courses and graduate on time. Here are some tips that will help you implement reading into your schedule, so you can get through all of your assigned materials without having to sacrifice important events or tasks in the process.
The Benefits of Reading
There are countless benefits of reading for entrepreneurs. For one, books allow you to take a break from your everyday schedule and relieve stress. But aside from giving your brain a break, there are many other benefits to filling your free time with good books from allowing you to hone in on skills that will make you more successful as an entrepreneur, to motivating you and fueling creativity. Best of all, research shows that if you put down what you’re reading and don’t pick it up for several days in a row, your mind is more likely to retain information than if you read just once or twice a day. Read daily.
Invest Time in Real Books
No matter what age you are, it’s never too late or too early to start a good book. If you haven’t picked up a physical book in years, give it another try! You might find yourself immersed in a news story and reliving your childhood, but that doesn’t have to be all reading is about. When you invest time in real books (as opposed to digital ones), you can feel pride from having accomplished something major and relieve stress by delving into something outside of your routine. Take advantage of all that books have to offer by incorporating them into your schedule!
Make it a Part of your Routine
We’re all busy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find time for reading. The key is making it a priority and adding it to your schedule. For example, read for 20 minutes each morning before starting work or set aside some time on your lunch break. Another great option is reading before bed, it can help lull you into sleep and relieve stress from the day. Whatever works best for you, make sure to start with just 5 minutes of reading and work up from there! Before long, you’ll have a solid reading routine in place!
What should you read?
There are tons of options out there magazines, books, newspapers, and websites, so what should you read? The key is finding something that works for you. If you’re interested in public policy, pick up a copy of The Economist or The New York Times. If you’re into inspirational stories about how ordinary people created extraordinary success from scratch, try Good Magazine or I Can Have Cheezburger. One word of advice though: Don’t read stuff you hate just because it seems valuable (you know what we mean). Not only does reading something you dislike make it more difficult to complete a story without being distracted by your thoughts, but it also won’t give you any lasting value anyway.
More Resources on Book Recommendations
Book recommendations are a great way to engage your employees and clients, as well as develop yourself professionally. Look at sites like Goodreads for book reviews and recommendations. You can also visit websites that aggregate reviews from different sources and have their system for rating books. Two examples of sites in this category are Wikipedia and LibraryThing, which allow you to track books you’ve read, see what your friends are reading or would recommend, and view lists from various publications (such as The New York Times Best Sellers List).
Set a Good Example and Encourage Others
Incorporating reading into your schedule isn’t just a good idea, it’s an essential one. As someone who works in a knowledge-based industry, you should take it upon yourself to set a good example for your coworkers and encourage them to follow suit. Make sure that everyone on your team is up-to-date on new product updates and other relevant news, as well as bettering their skills. At lunchtime, host group discussions or book clubs with your team members, and then, get creative with how you incentivize reading habits. For example, you could offer personal time off or even prizes like movie tickets based on how many books people read each month.
There is a lot of conflicting information on how much reading you should do. Some say that it should be at least 30 minutes a day. Others will argue that multiple small bursts throughout your day are better than one long sitting session. It all depends on what works best for you. Whether it’s two 10-minute segments, five 20-minute sessions, or three half-hour periods, find what reading strategy keeps you motivated and encourages more learning in less time. That way you can still fit in some work and socializing during your free time and get ahead at work too! Remember, don’t read just because someone else tells you to; do it because you want to make yourself a better person while having fun!