And no, its not a clickbait title. I actually do read daily.
It is a habit. While some days I only read blog posts and articles, a lot of the other days I also make time to read at least a few pages of a book.
But either way, I ensure that I do read quite a lot daily.
A few of my friends and a couple of my mentees have asked me about how do I make time for this. Well, there’s a magic formula for that:
Time can neither be created nor be destroyed. It can only be managed efficiently or inefficiently. Click To Tweet
Time can neither be created nor be destroyed. It can only be managed efficiently or inefficiently.
There you go. That’s my secret.
How I actually tracked this
Over a period of 10 working days, I kept a track of how many articles/blog posts I was reading daily. I kept a separate tab on weekends when I usually read less and write more. Haven’t included that in this ‘calculation’.
I identified the different time bunches in which I was doing most of my reading. And then made a note of them on a Google Sheet.
While some days I was reading in the mid-40s range, some other days I was in the low-30s. But on average I was definitely reading close to 40 articles a day.
Not too bad if I may say so myself.
Also, this has been tracked while I have been working from home, owing to the pandemic. In a normal pandemic-less world, I would still read more or less the same.
The extra time during nature’s call and reading after work, I make up in the ~2.5 hours of daily commute.
Digging into the details
Considering all timings as tentative, here is a detailed list of the different time bunches:
1. After waking up (7:30 am-8:15 am)
This is how I start my day.
After waking up, I still spend quite some time on the bed, reading.
The very first app I open on my phone is Medium. I read some of the top articles and bookmark a few others. When (and if) I have had enough, I move to Twitter where I mostly find 2-3 good reads every morning.
2. Nature’s call (8:15 am-8:45 am)
Oh come on! Don’t give me that look. We are all with our phones during this time. Might as well put it to good use.
I either read the articles I have bookmarked on Medium or find more articles to read on Twitter.
If not, I usually read some news on Google News.
3. In between work (9:00 am-5:00 pm)
The number of articles I read during this time period depends on my workload.
I usually read an article or two, when I take a breather from work. Most of my reads during this time are from my curated Feedly feed.
At times, I also go through my LinkedIn feed to see if I can find something interesting to read.
4. After work (5:00 pm-5:45 pm)
I finish work at about 5 pm.
And before I go for my evening walk/jog, I spend some time reading again. These are usually articles I have bookmarked through the day but didn’t have time to read during my working hours.
5. After exercise (7:00 pm-11:00 pm)
I mostly return from my walk by about 7 pm. In between that, other household chores, and retiring to bed, I do my largest bunch of reading for the day.
Even while cooking, I mostly have my phone with me.
The good side: I still read.
The bad side: At times I tend to lose track of time and overcook whatever’s on the stove.
Collateral damage. But yeah, I am getting better at it.
6. Before sleep (11:00 pm – 12:00 am)
I retire to bed by about 11 pm. But that doesn’t mean I go to sleep directly.
The next one hour or so, I either spend on my Kindle or the rabbit hole down the Medium app.
I used to spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, but the ROK (Return-On-Knowledge) was less. Hence I deleted the app and now mostly stick to the two options mentioned above.
What I learnt from this
I started off this tracking as a means to share my experience of how much I read daily.
But it actually turned out to be more of a journey of discovery for me. It helped me understand how I was using my time, and where I was wasting it (mostly on LinkedIn).
It also helped me realize that I tend to read faster when I am stressed or in a bad mood.
Lastly, my advice
Not so much an advice as it is a suggestion.
If you do not have a reading habit yet, don’t start off with aiming to read 10 articles daily.
Read a few paragraphs a day. Then maybe an article a day. Then two, and so on. But ensure you read daily.
Enjoy the process of building a reading habit. Because unless you enjoy the journey, the destination never makes sense.
P.S. Though slightly off-topic, I have tagged this article under content strategy because I strongly believe that being well-read is an important skill for a content strategist.
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