The national lockdown, with its strict requirement for social distancing, has drastically changed our daily routines; from cutting out the commute to work/school, to allowing us to spend far less time deciding on the outfit of the day. In essence, even with some parts of our daily routines still intact, through working from home or online classes, we’ve still found ourselves with a lot more time on our hands. Time that a lot of us had planned to spend on productive pursuits, such as ticking some titles off our reading lists.
However, as we’ve recently learnt through interactions with our social media community, one of the cruel ironies of social distancing is that the time we’re all saving is largely being swallowed up by upsetting 24-hour news reports and social media updates, or just slipping through our fingers without us even being able to account for where it went, thus leaving us with no time or headspace for reading.
According to the engagements on our recent Twitter poll, this is a challenge that a number of us are facing, which is why we’ve decided to suggest some useful approaches that you can use to carve out the necessary time and space to switch off and leap into a book instead.
1. Make time to read without distractions
If reading is something that’s not in your daily routine, you’ll always find yourself favouring something else over it. Therefore, the first thing that we recommend you do to inculcate a reading habit is to set a time, and stick to it!
Always give reading at least a full five minutes of your time, before you reach for your phone or TV remote. You might not remember what you have read (it doesn’t matter, you can re-read those pages) but it will allow your mind to focus and shut out the internal noise. Once you’ve found your rhythm, you’ll be turning the pages, engrossed in the story – the perfect distraction every bookworm deserves.
2. Reduce your screen time
When settling down to get some reading done, it’s best to put your cell phone (and any other screens that might compete for your attention) out of sight. You could also consider reducing your current screen time to make more time for reading by, for example, only watching one episode of your favorite series a day, instead of the usual two.
3. Read whatever you want to read
Thinking that you have to read something, because of external buzz or because of the reading goals that you’ve set for yourself, is a sure-fire way to feel like a failure if you don’t get beyond the first few pages. Focus on reading material that you genuinely enjoy and want to read, doing so will make the journey to completing the first chapter a lot more enjoyable.
4. Involve the whole family or get a reading partner
You can involve the whole family by starting a family book club. Decide on a fun name, set a time and place, and add some light snacks to the mix. This will be the perfect off-screen family time. You could also set up regular virtual meetings with a reading partner, to keep each other accountable, and discuss the interesting details of your current read.
Practising these tips and incorporating them in your lockdown daily routine may lead you to finally develop that lockdown reading habit, leaving you well on your way to achieving your 2020 reading goals. If you have any other tips that we can share with other bookworms, let us know in the comments section below or by tagging us on social media