I just started my first ‘grown up’ job! It’s been quite hard juggling reading with a 40 hour job. And that’s not all I’ve been juggling. I’m almost at my 3 month mark and have settled into my worklife, and I think I’ve found a great way to balance everything!
I’ve always worked during my studies. I grew up at boardingschool and wasn’t really able to work at first.. I got my first job at 17 I think? So just before I left boardingschool. And I worked multiple nights and every weekend. During graduate school I had lots of time to read, so I didn’t really appreciate it.. and then I started graduating and it all exploded. I was working a weekendjob, worked nights during the week (bat monitoring), and wrote my thesis during the day. I didn’t really have any time to read.. but I still wanted to, so I pretty much sacrificed the little sleep I had left to read. I knew it had to change when I started my first job, so from me to you, here are some tips to make time for reading!
Prepare your day in advance
This doesn’t mean that you have to plan everything, but you can plan outfits during the weekend or free days. You can prepare food if you have to cook for yourself. Make sure you know where you can find the things you need. That way you don’t spend hours doing things you don’t want to do, or you don’t necessarily have to do. Hours you can spend reading!
Plan your day ahead
And no, this does not mean that you have to plan out every hour of the day, but it helps to know what the rest of the day will look like. If dinner is going to take a long time to make (which it won’t because you prepared the things you could right 😉 ), if there are shows you want to watch etc. That way you know what the day has in store for you and you can reserve some time for reading.
Read during your commute
It takes me about an hour to get to and from work, so I conveniently use that time to read. I have an ereader, but my bag is big enough to carry one or two books with me. If you aren’t able to bring books, or read books during your way to and from work, I strongly recommend audiobooks. I tried my first one a while back and they are really awesome! Not every audiobook might be for you, but you can always try some before you decide to go all out! And for those who don’t like audiobooks or who fall asleep listening to them (trust me, it happens, I’m not going to apologize) it’s okay! You don’t have to like them, you just need to find something that will work for you 🙂
Read instead of watching movies/series
This is something that I have to tell myself sometimes. I follow a lot of series and it’s convenient to turn on the tv and watch an episode or 2.. or 5. And it’s truly okay if you like that, I love it! I love reading too, and if I don’t tell myself to choose reading over watching tv, there are weeks I don’t read at all. I can’t tell you that the episodes won’t always be there (they will!), because books will always be there aswell.. but if you don’t start reading, your tbr list will be so big, it can be seen from space. The important thing in choosing between things that make you happy is that in the end you should do what makes you feel happy, but if you want to read more, this is a really good way to start.
Save half an hour before you go to sleep
I used to read before I went to sleep. But now I have to get up at 5.25 am and my sleepingschedule is still fucked up from working nights. I usually spend the evening up in my room so what I do now is just.. stop what I’m doing half an hour before I plan to go to sleep, and read. It works for me, it might work for you too. I usually set an alarm 40 min before I want to go to sleep, so I know to stop and tidy up whatever I was doing at that time and start reading.
It’s okay to not go out sometimes
Starting a new job, I’m constantly meeting new people. I’m an ambivert, I don’t mind meeting new people and I like talking to people, but I need time to recharge. I get cranky when people talk too much, when its all onesided. But I still feel a bit pressured to go out, get to know everyone, to ‘immerse’ myself into my new environment. I have to remind myself that I don’t have to go out every week, I am allowed to stay home, do nothing all night, just take a bath, climb in bed, and read!
It’s also okay to not read for a while
I’m part of the bookstagram community, and now also the bookblogger community, and sometimes I feel like I should read every book that’s published. All the anticipated reads, because how can I talk about books with other bookstagrammers and bookbloggers if I haven’t read the books? And then I stop myself. Being part of these communities doesn’t require me reading everything, it’s about having fun. It’s about reading what I like, because reading is something I love.
And that brings me to the bottomline of this post. While it can be hard to balance a full time job, you should free some of your time to do things you love. If that’s reading, or watching series, or anything else. Because if you don’t do things you love, where is your life going? And my life isn’t just working and reading, it’s working out and cleaning the house, and go shopping and all these other things. But just try different things and hopefully you’ll find something that works for you.
I can always use more tips and tricks since I know not everything works for everyone, so if you know of something that might help me or others, you’re welcome to share!
Until next time,