How to Spend Time on What You Value: 5 Productivity Habits of Truly Avid Readers


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 02, 2023

4 min read


How to Spend Time on What You Value: 5 Productivity Habits of Truly Avid Readers

In today's fast-paced world, it often feels like we never have enough time to do all the things we want to do. Whether it's work, household chores, or simply trying to keep up with the demands of daily life, time can slip away from us. This gap between how we use our time and how we want to use our time is a common struggle for many people. According to a survey, 80% of working adults report feeling time poor, constantly overwhelmed by the number of tasks they have to complete in a day.

Interestingly, research shows that the most time poor individuals are often those who are struggling to make ends meet. It seems that the system is stacked against those with lower incomes, leaving them with less time for themselves and their loved ones. This raises the question of why we are so busy in the first place. Is it simply a way to show ourselves and others that we are highly in demand? Are we comparing ourselves to others and feeling the pressure to keep up?

One valuable insight I have discovered is that it's better to compare ourselves to our past selves rather than to others. When we focus on our own progress and growth, we can better appreciate the time we have and the things we have accomplished. Practicing gratitude is another effective way to increase self-awareness and satisfaction with our time. Taking a few moments each day to reflect on what we are grateful for can shift our perspective and help us prioritize what truly matters to us.

However, amidst the hustle and bustle of life, we often find ourselves caught up in the mundane tasks necessary for our survival and sanity. We have to eat, sleep, and connect with others. These activities, while essential, can sometimes keep us from truly being present in the moment and pondering the deeper questions of life. It's important to ask ourselves, "What is happening? Why are we here?" These introspective moments can bring us closer to understanding our true desires and values.

When it comes to our time, there is often a disconnect between what we feel like we should do and what we would actually do if given an extra hour. We are conditioned to believe that we should always be productive, constantly striving for a better future. However, it's crucial to remember that our time is limited and should be spent on things that bring us joy and fulfillment. As philosopher Brian Christian suggests, perhaps we should call ourselves Homo Prospectus, as our natural inclination is to focus on building a better future.

Now, let's shift our focus to avid readers and how they can make the most of their time. Reading is not simply the act of consuming words; it is an immersive experience that engages multiple senses. However, it's important to approach reading in the right way to truly benefit from it. According to a report by the University of California, the average American encounters 100,000 words per day. With such an overwhelming amount of information, it's crucial to read intentionally and retain what we read.

Here are five productivity habits of truly avid readers:

  • 1. Set aside dedicated reading time: Make reading a priority by setting aside a specific time each day or week for reading. Create a reading routine that works for you and stick to it. This will ensure that you consistently make progress in your reading goals.
  • 2. Take notes and highlight important passages: Actively engage with the material by taking notes and highlighting key points or passages that resonate with you. This not only helps with retention but also allows you to revisit and reflect on the ideas later.
  • 3. Join a reading community: Share your thoughts and reviews with other readers by joining online reading communities like Goodreads. Engaging in discussions and reading other people's opinions can provide fresh perspectives and help you discover new insights or details that you may have missed.
  • 4. Explore different genres and authors: Don't limit yourself to one genre or author. Expand your horizons by exploring different types of books and authors. This not only keeps reading interesting and exciting but also exposes you to diverse perspectives and ideas.
  • 5. Prioritize quality over quantity: Remember that reading is not a race. It's not about how many books you can finish in a year, but rather about the quality of the reading experience. Choose books that truly resonate with you and bring you joy. Life is too short to waste on books that don't captivate your interest.

In conclusion, finding the balance between how we use our time and how we want to use our time is a continuous journey. By focusing on self-awareness, gratitude, and setting intentional habits, we can align our actions with our values and spend our time on what truly matters to us. Whether it's pondering the deeper questions of life or immersing ourselves in the world of literature, it's essential to make conscious choices and embrace the moments that bring us joy and fulfillment. So, take a step back, reflect on your priorities, and make the most of the time you have.

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