When you have a million things on your To-Do list, it’s hard to list them in order of priority. Should do wash the laundry or the dishes first? The bathroom needs to get cleaned and the floors need a good scrubbing.
At the end of the list, there’s just not time to sit down and enjoy a book. Perhaps you really want to, but how can you find the time? I hear you and I’m right there too. My view of the end goal of reading helps me prioritize it by doing these 4 things.
1. Scale Back On Television
Early on in our marriage, we were HUGE television watchers. Then again, we didn’t have kiddos to keep track of. We’d come home from full-time demanding jobs and spend an evening watching a show or movie. Then, the kid #1 arrived and we became sleep deprived. Even if I wanted to read, I’d always fall asleep.
As my daughter got older, our priorities changed and I began to just read a little here and there. I always picked up something that I couldn’t put down. This made television less appealing and trained my brain to read instead of watch television. I still watch television, but I try to read instead. Many of our guests are surprised when they walk into our house and discover our television is not in our living room.
2. Wake Up Earlier
Ugh…why?! This is not nearly as horrible as it sounds. I don’t get up earlier just so I can read a book. Honestly, I get up earlier because it’s the only quiet time I have before the kids wake up and my day begins.
On most days, I’m up at 5:00 or 5:30. My children also sleep through the night, so if yours don’t just find what works for you. When my children weren’t sleeping through the night, I used tricks like:
- Reading an Ebook while nursing
- Reading to them in a bouncer
- Listening to audiobooks – Audible has thousands!
Honestly, the getting up earlier won’t happen every day and that okay! Give yourself and use a system that works for you.
3. Establish (And Practice) A Routine
They say it takes 21 consecutive days to form a habit. Well, after many weeks, I am now accustomed to getting up early and carrying on with my morning routines. Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom has a Make Over Your Mornings course that really helped me establish a routine. I needed some guidance on what that looked like. My mornings now look something like this:
- Wake up at 5:00 and have some coffee
- Teach online until 6:30/7:00
- Read my Bible and workout
- Read a few pages of a book while cooling down
- Wake my kiddos around 8:00 (if they’re not already up)
Regardless of what your household looks like, practicing a set routine helps you feel grounded and ensures the day is less chaotic. I don’t know about you, but when you have littles running around, there’s always some chaos! When you have kiddos, it helps to start your mornings in a state of calm (as much as possible).
4. Let Other Things Wait
This one was very hard for me. The other day I was talking with a friend about the problems I have with letting things wait. As women, we often feel like we HAVE to do it all. When you think about it, it’s just not possible. The more things you put on your plate, the more you’ll feel discouraged and defeated. If the Lord can give you grace, surely you can accept that.
What things do you put aside? Well, this has to look different in every home and in every season of life. Depending on your situation, you may need to change the things you set aside. When it comes right down to it, if you don’t prioritize the important things, you’ll never do them.
If reading is something you’d like to make a priority, start with these 4 steps and go from there. If you’re struggling with ideas on what to read or even how to get started, reach out to me! I’d love to help you.
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