Thursday, July 6, 2017

How I Read 100 Books in Six Months

A few weeks ago I posted a picture to Instagram with the caption that it was my 100th finished book for the year.  This was late June.

In 2014, with being laid up on crutches for 6 weeks, I was pretty impressed that I managed to read 100 books and didn't think I'd ever repeat the feat.  Then every year since my total has just continued to climb.  I devote a lot of time to reading but it's also not what I do all day.

To be fair, those first 100 books included the Little House series and the first 9 of the Christy Miller series, as well as a few other middle grade books.  I could easily read one Little House or Christy book in a day if that was all I was reading (and not just in little bits of time on my phone).   That's about 20 short-ish books but if I hadn't been reading those I still would have gotten through 8-10 longer books so my total would only be slightly lower.

There is also the fact that I barely (3 hours a week) work and only have one kid who sleeps through the night and doesn't need constant attention.  

But then we've also taken on some bigger home projects this year (floors, repainting our whole bedroom including 5+ coats on all the trim) and I've spent a lot of time researching, filling out paperwork, having meetings with adoption agencies, and making two new profile books.  We've spent more time on adoption things this year than any other year since we started in 2012. 

I run my errands, go for runs, and do most of my housework during the day which I know helps free up my evenings.  We do plenty of fun family things (sitting around reading together is only my dream scenario, not my boys'!) then but also projects.  I'm not sitting around and reading all day but I can do things during the day that make my ME time more open.   

I could go back and forth about how I have a lot of time to read but then a lot of time I should be/am doing other things.

But here's the thing.  I can read 100 books in 6 months because I make the time for it.  It's my favorite hobby and the best way for me to relax. 

Intention and planning.  That's how I can knock through these books. 

I've read a lot about time management in the last few years and I've learned that you can do just about anything, scheduling wise, with some good planning and priorities.  It's how people train for a marathon or find time to deal with repair schedules when something crucial breaks (like a water heater or AC in the summer).  How you find time when a family member is suddenly in the hospital.  For the most part, things will take the time you give them.

I choose to devote a lot of time to reading, on average 8-9 hours a week.  That's usually reading about 30 minutes at the start of quiet time, 30 minutes before bed, and a little bit more on the weekends.  I am very intentional with what I'm going to read next, finding books I'm excited about, and ALWAYS having my next book ready.  (I start to get a little panicky if I have less than my next 3 books lined up and in my possession.) 

Things I don't do much of: watching tv, watching Netflix, time on social media, mindless internet browsing.  Priorities.  I'd, generally, rather read.
My life doesn't revolve around reading, as 100 books in 6 months might suggest.  But I know good time management requires a lot of intention and being intentional about my reading time (and what I'm reading!) is a huge part of me feeling like I have good control over my time. 

What do YOU do (or wish you did!) for 8-9 hours a week?  Reading might be my thing but I sure hope you have something that's yours!

Related posts: Time: Hobbies and Fringe Hours and How I Manage to Read 100 Books a Year While Raising a Toddler

No comments: