This sounds like an oxymoron, but I’m a mom who reads a lot. I finish anywhere from three to six books per month. And I work forty hours per week and have two children and a husband and I still contribute my usual household duties. Where do you find the time? you may ask. Here are my tips on making reading (or any habit) a priority whether you’re a busy mom working full-time or a stay-at-home mom or anybody, really.
- First, get it straightened out in your mind. You must consciously decide that whatever you’re not doing (or are doing) is a flaw and you want to change. (For me, at the end of 2017, I realized that as much as I loved reading (or telling myself that I did), I had not finished more than five books per year in the past decade. Yikes).
- Second, once you’ve decided that you want to be a better reader or [insert habit here], then make the time. Nobody can give you extra time. We all have 168 hours in a week, so perhaps like Laura Vanderkam, take a moment to log your activity day by day, hour by hour, to find out what you are doing that is NOT contributing to what you want to be doing. She has a pretty simple time log here on her web site.
- Third, once you’ve figured out where your time is spent (perhaps too much on social media?) then decide how you will carve out the time to read or whatever it is that you want to achieve. For me, as a busy mom, the only “quiet” time I have to myself is after the kids go to bed and before they wake up in the morning. So I decided to wake up early every morning from January 2018 until now…ever since then, I have miraculously read more books than I’ve ever read in the past ten years. Commitment is key.
- Lastly, once you got a rhythm going (after the initial shock of getting up early or carving out time where it wasn’t happening before), keep going. Don’t stop. To ensure a habit’s success, repetition and consistency is key.
If you need more inspiration, check out this guide from the New York Times.