Last week, in my blog post, I made a case for why, I believe, that everyone who is leading, should be reading. It is no secret that every leader should constantly be learning, and one of the best ways to learn is through disciplined, purposeful reading.
As I stated in my last blog, I have not always liked to read. As a matter of fact, I use to loathe having my nose stuck in a book. There was a shift, however, in the way I viewed reading, that has happened over the last several years: it has now become one of my favorite pastimes. Here are some things that really helped me— and can help you— become a more avid reader:
1.) Consider the Value
The main reason I didn’t enjoy reading, was that it seemed like such a blasted waste of time. I still remember, as my mom would force me to read, being wrought with anxiety, my mind racing with thoughts of what else I could be doing.
Several adults have the same issue with reading that I had as a child. They can’t take time to read, because there are too many other things that they could be doing. If reading is not a priority, is it possible that you may just not really be considering its value? Yes, there are many other things you could be doing, but reading is worth the time! The knowledge, wisdom, vocabulary, and cognitive benefits, gained from regular reading are priceless. I couldn’t image pastoring my church or running my business today, without the knowledge I have gained from countless books.
2.) Schedule Time
Do you budget your money? I hope so, and you should be doing the same with your time. We each have 168 hours in our week. How is it that some of the busiest leaders in the world read on a daily basis? Simple, they budget their time well.
On Sunday evenings, I make a calendar for the next seven days. I schedule time for family, fitness, personal devotions, my work, hobbies, and many other categories— one of them being reading. I’ve learned, if it is not on my calendar, it simply won’t happen.
Scheduling time for reading is essential. When you read during your allotted time, you won’t feel guilty, wondering what else needs to be done. You are doing— at that moment— specifically what needs to be done.
3.) Always Have A Book with You
I have a book within reach virtually 24/7. It is amazing, throughout the day, how many small increments of dead time can be filled with reading. Instead of picking up a smart phone every free second, try picking up a book now and then. You can really make headway in reading by making this small change.
Though I love the feel of a regular, printed book, I am still a huge fan of the Amazon Kindle. The non-glare screen is very easy to read, and I have at my disposal a plethora of different book genres from which to choose. The Kindle is a great help to me in filling my downtime moments with something productive.
I hope these tips help you become a more disciplined reader.
Happy Reading and Happy Leading,