When I first went into self-isolation in March, my reading habits pretty much stayed the same. In fact, for a while they even dramatically increased. As time went on, I started reading less and less. It got to the point where I would go weeks without picking up a book. Instead, I would spend my free time watching TV shows and movies. Because of this, I noticed my sleeping habits began to suffer.
I would stay up later than I should have to get in one more episode because I didn’t feel tired. As this cycle continued, I knew that something had to change – especially because, as an avid reader, I began to miss picking up a story and escaping into the confines of that world. The problem was that I wasn’t sure where to even begin to get back into the habit of daily reading.
Then I read The 4% Fix by Karma Brown. I learned about the latest research in time management and goal setting. She reveals how only 1 hour—4% of your day—can change your life. Brown uses an extra hour in the morning for that time, but I knew that wasn’t possible for me. However, I loved the idea of using 4% of my day to do something I really wanted to achieve.
I decided that I wanted to use this hour of my day to dedicate to reading. Knowing how great I feel after making progress in a book, I realized how important it was to make sure I didn’t stop reading in my new normal. So last week I started a new routine that completely changed my life.
My New Routine
1) Start getting ready for bed an hour and a half before I would go to sleep
2) An hour before bedtime, I turn off all electronics
3) I get into bed and read for an hour (sometimes shorter if I’m tired)
4) Go to sleep
By doing this, I was able to go to sleep earlier and easier than I did when I wasn’t regularly reading. Now, I wake up feeling more rested, refreshed, and like I’m accomplishing things I want to do. Plus, by dedicating this hour to reading, I’m finding that I’m wanting to read more outside of this scheduled time. It was like reuniting with a long-lost friend after years apart.
What’s something you’re going to spend an hour of your day doing this year? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @SavvyReader.
Never stop reading.