Discussion Series: How I Balance Books, Blogging and Life (Part 2): Dealing With Time

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 5.43.21 PMIt is time for another instalment of my balancing books, blogging and life series.

Last week, I posted a typical daily routine (if you missed that one, you can check it out here!).   This week, I figured I would get more in depth and start answering some of the questions I have received surrounding making time and staying focused!

To start, I would like to be clear. People keep asking me to write this post and to share my secrets.   Truly, there really is no secret.   I do what works for me, so, that being said, some of the things I do will not work for everyone! So my top piece of advice, before I start my ramble, is to play around with your routine and adjust it to how it will benefit you the best!

I decided to take direct questions and answer them Q&A style for this portion of the series, so without further ado, let’s get into it!

I want to know how you focus on reading! I read ebooks as well, but my mind always wanders, and I end up somewhere else on my phone or only reading a couple of chapters before giving up! Is there any specific way you focus on just reading?

That is the absolute worst; trust me, I have been there!! My social media accounts are connected to my cell phone, so if I have a busy day posting on my blog (for example, a day filled with many publication dates and publication day reviews), my Twitter notifications will be going off all day long!   Not to mention all my other “life” text messages and phone calls. I always have my phone set to silent because I cannot handle the beeping; it makes me feel too anxious! I think that helps with staying focused on reading (or any task, for that matter) since it kind of becomes that “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.     I also like to read in the bathtub and while I am at the gym so that usually gives me some uninterrupted reading time in situations I wouldn’t really be with my cell phone anyways!

I would love to know how you balance it all! I know for me, I always feel like I don’t read as much as other bloggers/bookstagramers, but I have a long commute (sadly by car) and with work, it’s hard to find time to dedicate to reading some days.

This is tricky since everyone is so different; it is hard not to compare but we truly all have different schedules and different lives, so, naturally we are all going to read different amounts and at different speeds. I absolutely understand the struggle between finding the time to read and balance work.   My first few years of teaching full time, I didn’t read a single book. I had always been a reader but when I started teaching, I was too overwhelmed to dedicate any of my time to reading and by the time I got home from work, I was too exhausted to do anything but crash on the couch with Netflix.   I had moved away from home for this particular teaching job (I had relocated to a remote community in the great, white North) and just wasn’t feeling like myself at all. After I moved back home, I realized that I had given up a huge part of myself by giving up reading, so I vowed that I wouldn’t ever do this again.   Now, I just make it a priority.   It is my stress relief and I feel like I deserve it. I don’t really watch television, I read instead.   I always read to unwind before bed. I try to read while I am doing other things, like cooking dinner or, like I have mentioned before, I read in the bath. I always have a book with me so I can pull it out of my purse if I am waiting for an appointment or if I am early to meet someone. I read on my lunch at work.   That isn’t to say that my reading varies; sometimes I read lots, sometimes I don’t’ read at all. If work is busy, then I am probably reading less because I am feeling overwhelmed or working through my lunch.   I would start by taking a certain amount of time and making it your set reading time, just like you would schedule any other task like running errands or cooking dinner. I usually do the hour before I go to bed.

I am a new book blogger and struggle to review more than 2 books a month. How have you got into a reading habit that you can read so much? & what could I do to improve my reading when I have spare time? PS I easily distracted so that doesn’t help!

I have always been a reader, so when I am in the reading zone, I am in the reading zone. Like I mentioned in the previous answers, I really make reading a priority and try to make as much time as possible to read. Aside from that, I have come up with a little list of some things you can do to help read more:

  1. Read things you actually like: I learned the hard way when I first started my blog and I accepted EVERYTHING! I was so excited to be putting content on my blog that I ended up reading things that I didn’t love or that I wasn’t really interested in. Now, I am much pickier. If I am interested in the book, I won’t be able to put it down.
  2. If you don’t like something you are reading, call it a day and move on! All books are not for everyone. If I do really not like a book after the first 50 pages and if I truly do not care to see how it ends, I put it down. There is no point struggling to get through a book you don’t care about.
  3. Always keep a book on you. I pull random books out of my purse all the time to help me pass the time.
  4. Try an audiobook. I am not a fan of them but some bloggers swear by them! It is easy to throw a book on your phone/iPod and take it to the gym or on a walk! Multi-tasking at its finest.

 

Well, that is it for now. Until the next instalment, happy reading!!

If you have any questions about how I balance books, blogging and life, please comment! I’ll be sure to answer them in my upcoming posts!

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11 thoughts on “Discussion Series: How I Balance Books, Blogging and Life (Part 2): Dealing With Time

  1. Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek says:

    Cool post.😀

    I don’t see an issue if someone only reviews 2 books per month, we all read at different paces, not everyone is a quick reader and there’s other types of posts to fill the blog with.😀

    Definitely got to read things you like and audio books, nah, music is audio, books are reading!😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BrizzleLass says:

    I don’t think anyone should feel pressure to review a certain number per month. I think as long as they are enjoying the reading then that’s all that happens. As you said everybody has different life commitments and read at different paces. It totally amazes me how quickly some people read it’s as though they have four sets of eyes and brains! 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. RamblingLisa says:

    Fab post! I did the rookie mistake when I started and thought Netgalley is fab and I must request all books I wanted….I am still struggling to get over the 40% as a result and the pressure drives me insane. I finally decided that I can’t go near Netgalley anymore and that I shouldn’t except every book that authors ask me to review because the pressure takes the fun away from reading. If we haven’t read there is no reason we can’t contact authors we have worked with previously and offer them the chance of a guest post or Q&A. it helps bulk out content and take the pressure off (at least it does for me!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. epkwrsmith says:

    I like audio only in the car. But, then I have to go buy the book in order to see the words and/or pick out the quotes I want to remember :/ Hence, it takes me a long time to finish an audiobook and write the review ;P I do agree that we are all different and there are plenty of other things to write about if you haven’t read as much…book lovers love to talk about bookish things as well as books! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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