I read two things about TIME this week brought me to this blog post.
- A powerful infographic about reading time
- An article about finding extra time in your a day
I’ll begin with the extra TIME. Where can you get it?
- The most obvious place is to get up earlier or go to bed later. But I am not sure that is a realistic option. Most of us need the time to sleep. And for the purpose of this blog post, I’m not sure that an hour taken away from sleep would not be optimal..
- Another obvious resource is to turn off the TV/Netflix/computer an hour earlier. But my shows? They will be in reruns. Our society spends entirely too much time, numbed by television. I will throw myself under the bus on this one. I smuggly tell folks that I don’t watch TV. I do not have cable and cannot watch in the traditional sense. But I do stream Netflix, and I do sit hypnotized through binge sessions of BBC programs and NCIS.
- The there are the smaller bits of time. Lunch time. The morning and afternoon coffee break. Waiting in the doctor’s office. Waiting in line at Starbucks, DD, or your favorite caffeine dispensary. Waiting in line at the grocery store (the tabloids are NOT that interesting).
- How many times a day do you check FaceBook? Be HONEST! I use FaceBook for business promotion and to connect with friends. But I no longer check it every time I stop work. I no longer check it while I’m waiting for a meal in a restaurant. I generally check it 2 times a day, and that is plenty to keep up with everyone. (TIP: I look at Notifications and see everyone who has commented on something that I have posted, every mention of me or one of my endeavors, every post on my timeline or one of the pages I manage. Everything that has happened since the last time I checked in is right there.)
With a willingness to break a couple of easy habits, we can all find an extra time each day. Sometimes in 10 minute chunks, but it is there, IF WE REALLY WANT IT.
So what am I going to do with this time?
- The really short bits 5-10 minutes are a great time for a few isometrics or deep breathing exercises. 5 minutes of slow, deep, mindful breathing will alleviate the urgency for that cup of coffee.
- A 15 minute walk around the block is enough time to energize the brain and drive away the mid-day slump. If you take this walk 5 days a week for 45 weeks (days off for bad weather, illness, vacation) That is 56 hours and 25 minutes of exercise a year! Definitely, time well spent.
- Then with that larger chunk of time, 30 -60 minutes – read a book. Your morning newspaper or evening magazine or my blog post (sad to say) do not count as books. I mean a real book (yes, e-books are real books). Our society is in dire straits and I sincerely believe that the inability/unwillingness of people to take the time to read a book cover to cover, has contributed greatly to the easy acceptance of misinformation and fake news.
Reading books deserves several blog posts and they will eventually come. But for now, take your break, your lunch hour, or an evening and take the time to read a book.
I like Robert Brewer’s final piece and the bottom of this info graphic.
Reading one hour per day in your chosen field will make you an international expert in 7 years.
I think it’s going to take more than reading to qualify as an expert, but reading is time well spent and will put you on the right path. Now those of us who are pretty far along in life’s journey, may not be looking to develop expertise, but we still have an awful lot to contribute to society…even if it is just having people see us reading a book. We are modeling a most positive use of our time.