Top 5 things that will help me read 36 books this year


Hello and welcome to my first post in the Frugal Grit series where I become a human guinea pig. With this series, I take on projects that force behavior change. My aim here is to share the lessons learned from the change and personal growth that takes place once you leave your comfort zone.

We take on numerous tasks without formal training, why is that? A carpenter worth his salt would not build a quality product without first sharpening their tools. As professionals, the world is changing, and it’s changing fast. Metaphorically speaking, in order to keep up we need to sharpen our tools every now and then. Why not take the time to read up on ways of not just keeping up with the world but leading the change and innovation that is taking place right in front of us.

Now, I know what you are saying, “who has time to read?” Valid point but I can make an excuse for just about anything. The truth of the matter is this, I am an adult. No one else dictates how I spend my time. I have full control of my time and am responsible for the way in which I occupy this time. Even if I miss this ambitions goal by a few books, I am still better off than if I never started at all. Below is my strategy on how I am going to tackle the goal of reading 3 books per month. Please share what works for you.

1. Utilize the smart phone: Every book I read is on my smartphone. While I am waiting in line, on a lunch break or just lounging on the couch, I am reading from my smartphone. one chapter here, one chapter there, it adds up. (If I tackle a half hour each day on my lunch break that equals 150 minutes a week.)

2. Skip Social media: Instead of consuming algorithms on the feed, try swapping that time with a book. You’ll find that psychologically speaking, you’ll be happier according to the BBC.(This gave me 120 minutes per week.)

3. Audio books: With Amazon, I am normally able to add the audio book companion to my ebook purchase for just a few extra bucks. (Like most American’s, I have a daily commute, I can listen in the car which adds 300 minutes per week.)

4. Utilize calendar: For me, I can always take a few hours on my day off and solely dedicate this time to two hours of solid reading. No cellphone reading, actual ebook reading. My phone goes on airplane mode and my wife knows where I am via my calendar. This is my time to sharpen the tools. If necessary, I will leave the house and go to the library or coffee shop. (120 minutes per week.)

5. Utilize bedtime: Set a bedtime and a downtime. My bed time is 10pm and I am in bed at 9:30 pm reading a book. I call this my downtime. Utilizing my downtime not only relaxes me prior to sleep but it allows me to really rack up some quality reading time since there are five days in the week. Warning: According to a Harvard Study, the cell phone technology in our LCD screens makes it harder for us to sleep at night. That being said, the e-ink in our ebooks and regular paper books don’t have a negative effect on our sleep. (150 minutes per week.)

On average, most books I read are 300 pages and an audio book can take 10 hours to read 300 pages. Doing the math above, I am able to accumulate 840 minutes. 840 minutes translates into 14 hours. So I have plenty of time in the week to tackle a good book! No excuses! You can keep up with my progress on Goodreads. Be sure to hold me accountable.

Update: On your Smartphone, the App Google play books will read the book to you! This significantly helps me stay on track when I am on the go.

Watch the video demonstration:

Please share this post if it helped you! Thanks for reading.
Related: Avoid the algorithm! How I stay updated #antisocialmedia part 1

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