Slow Your Scroll To Get Back To Reading
If the last thing you do before you go to bed each night is check your phone…
And the first thing you do in the morning is check your phone…
You might be the kind of person who wishes they had more time to read.
(My pile of books is giving me the side-eye as I write this.)
If you’ve ever wished you had more time to read, you’re not alone.
The internet is here to help you with tricks that will help you read more books, expert tips to reading way more books this year (but not, apparently, expert tips on grammar), and 20 other ways to read a lot more.
Though these sources range from Harvard Business Review to Oprah and everywhere in between, the truth is fairly simple.
If you’re going to read more, you’ll likely need to spend less time on your phone.
Even though apps like Blinkist promise more knowledge in less time, you may not enjoy quite the same mind-expanding, lose-yourself-in-a-good-read feeling if while you’re getting texts from your landlord asking about rent at the same time as consuming a book in 15 minutes.
If you’re really going to slow your scroll and get back to reading, it may be time to recognize that it isn’t about finding a way to fit reading into your already phone-heavy day.
It’s about getting back to why you’re reading in the first place.
Remembering Why We Read Can Make All The Difference
It’s one thing to have the feeling of, “Oh, I should read.”
It’s another to answer that feeling with a substance, “I should read because X.”
Finding those motivations can break you out of your scrolling stupor. Here are three solid ones to start with:
Define Your Reading Purpose - Lifehack starts it off with what seems like a softball: are you reading for pleasure or knowledge? Of course there’s overlap, but when you can justify your reading with one of the two, you’ll have an idea of where it should fit in your time. Is it a pleasurable hobby? Then maybe you swap out a TV show. Is it to guide your team at work? Maybe you schedule off an hour each morning instead of diving headfirst into emails. The kind of reading you want to get done will help you find the time of day to do it.
Read to Solve Problems - The problem with looking for answers on the internet is that the game isn’t always tilted in our favor. There are mounds of useful sites and articles, but sometimes the problems we have aren’t a click away. Instead, when you’re facing what others have faced, reading a book can help you better understand your way through it. And while solving a problem alone can feel like an accomplishment, you can also make reading its own achievement, too.
- Get Ready For The Future - Though reading is undoubtedly a nice way to spend thirty minutes in the afternoon, it is also a way that will prepare you for the future. Recent job reports show an increase in demand for skills like emotional intelligence, critical thinking and analysis, and problem-solving and ideation. Let’s just say you now have a pretty good reason to re-read the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
There’s no shortage of tips and technology for when you’re ready to start reading more. Sometimes, though, that feels like putting the cart before the horse.
When you know why you’re reading, the rest of it will fall into place.
What about you? What motivates you to keep turning those pages?