As most of you know, I’ve started a new job recently (after not really working for a while which meant I had TONS of time for reading and blogging) and have had a horrible time trying to balance reading, my blog and well….real life. It really has brought me in a little bit of a blogging funk as I’ve mentioned but I’m a tough cookie and I’ve been trying to adapt and find ways to make it work for me.
I decided to enlist some help from my blogging friends and bloggers who I respect to give me their tips for balancing blogging. This series will cover a variety of topics within blogging with tricks that I’ve picked up as well as some advice from other bloggers! I figure, I can’t be the only one who is struggling with balancing it all!
This week we’ll start off with — finding time to read! I figured this would be the best place to start since reading is required for any successful book blog. Being a blogger is hard enough but, as book bloggers, in order to blog we must also find time to read so we have something to blog about. I’ve found my reading time slashed in half and it competes with Twitter, blogging, spending time with the boyfriend and watching tv…because now that I work..I’m dog tired and all I want to do is plop myself in front of the tv.
A few tricks I’ve picked up:
- Just DO it. Thanks for the slogan, Nike. Sometimes I find myself coming home and wanting to do absolutely nothing that requires brain power. But I’ve found if I just put the book in my hands and open it up…I’ll be fine and my brain will turn on. Making the choice to read is always going to mean choosing not to do something else. You have to be ok with that. If you don’t want to, do something else and read when you feel like it. I mean, also, reading is important to me so I make it a priority.
- I bring a book everywhere I go…even in my house. I read while sitting in traffic (but put that book away when you start driving :P), while I’m waiting in lines, if I’m on hold with my banks, while I eat breakfast and whenever else I might find a few minutes to sneak in a page or two.
- If you have a signifcant other who loves sports as much as my boyfriend does..SPORTS ARE YOUR FRIENDS! It’s a win win really. I read while he watches bball games, football games etc. I can look up from my book when I care about the game but mostly I sit there and it feels like we are spending quality time together..and really he’s happy because I’m not talking through the whole game. The caveat…he will NOT let me read when we go to sporting events. lol It’s ok, I like sports too.
- Lunch: At my new job I get an hour for lunch. While I’d really like to not have an hour for lunch so I can get home early..I have to take it so I might as well use it. I’ve chosen to be anti-social during lunch and use that time to read (or sometimes blog).
- I’ve been trying to get into audiobooks to listen to on my way home or while I’m cleaning or working out. I like multi-tasking and it makes some of these undesirable activities a wee bit better!
Here’s what some bloggers had to say about the blogging balancing act and finding time to read:
“I read everywhere I can. I leave twenty minutes earlier than needed to pick my daughter up from school and I sit in my car to read. I put the kids to bed and I read some more. Every since the arrival of mini-doom I have less time for my personal reading and I am lucky enough to have an awesome husband who will let me skip off into a bath for an hour at random times during the day. One thing I have learned is if you let go of television completely that frees up so much time for reading” — Pam from Bookalicious
I guess I approach this in a different way – I choose books I really want to read and then it makes it easier to find the time to read them. I do accept review copies but I don’t let them take over what I want to read – if I am forcing myself to read a book, it is not fair to the book or to myself, so I make sure I am really in the mood for whatever I am starting next.
If I’ve already got that really great book that I’m reading and I’m looking for extra time to read, I:
*Get up a little earlier in the morning – After I’ve slept all night I am not likely to be drowsy, so this is a great time to read. I know this isn’t going to be popular with many people, but honestly – try it once or twice. You may end up really liking it!
*Tell myself I will read for 30 minutes before starting dinner/chores when I am home from work
*Make sure I have a big block of time on the weekend where I can read
*DVR my shows at night to save for the weekends and use that time to read
I also will reward myself with reading time – if I get all of the laundry done, I reward myself with reading time, etc. Basically, if I have a book I really want to read, my brain helps me find time.” Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit
“My purse is my current book’s home. I bring it with me everywhere. You never know when you’ll come across a few extra minutes to read. Fortunately, I have a job that involves a lot of down time during the day, so I am able to read then. I know that’s not the same for a lot of people, though. I have noticed that my tv watching time at night has been cut down A LOT. There’s only a few shows I make a point to watch & all of them are set to record on my DVR. I’d rather read a few chapters, then watch random tv these days.” — Ginger from GReads!
“It’s kind of crazy where I’ve found ways to sneak reading into my schedule. I’ll tuck my book into my purse and read it on the El to and from work. Though, that’s definitely made me miss my stop every now and then. I’ll read for 10 minutes in the morning while my hair is drying a bit before I blowdry it. And I’ll read for the 10 minutes I can stay conscious before bed. It’s not much, but if you sneak it in here and there, it’ll go a long way.” — Anna from Anna Reads
“I luck out in that I take public transportation to and from work everyday. That’s a built-in 90 minutes of reading time every day, plus if I read on my lunch breaks and before I go to bed. I don’t leave the house without a book, so if I’m waiting in line for something or at the doctor’s office, I just whip out my current read! And you will always find me with a book and my couch on the weekends!” — Tara from Fiction Folio
“I spend about 30 minutes to 60 minutes a day reading and maybe more if it’s the weekend. I ask my students to read 20-30 minutes a day, so I should be able to, right? I try to read when I come home from work or before I go to sleep. It definitely calms me down a bit. Sometimes if I am doing a light workout at the gym, I’ll bring my book with me and end up working out extra, because I’d sucked into a good book. That’s definitely a win-win situation!” — Christina from Confessions from a Book Addict
“Once I started working a full-time job, my reading definitely fell to the wayside a bit. However, as my schedule changed, I realized I just needed to make adjustments to my reading. Want to know my secret? Read at the gym…I know, I know. It sounds harder than it actually is. I do a ton of reading on the elliptical. A great workout and a way to catch up on my pages!” Jess from Cover to Cover
What about you? Where do you sneak reading in? Do you find it hard to find time to read, blog and have a real life? Any tricks you want to share?
Next week, I’ll have another group of bloggers talking about finding time to actually create consistent and real content—because we all know how much time it takes to write reviews, brainstorm ideas for features, write up interviews, etc. Future topics will be about not letting social media take over your life and finding time to read other blogs and comment.