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Bookworms Do It Better: 12 Compelling Reasons to Read More Books

Bookworms Do It Better: 12 Compelling Reasons to Read More Books

The more books you read, the better your life will be. If you don’t believe me, please consider these twelve compelling reasons to read more books.

1. You will optimize your brain power.

This shouldn’t come as a shock, but studies suggest reading makes you smart. Unlike watching television, which requires no thought process, reading is an active learning experience that will keep your mind sharp (even in old age).

2. You will increase your odds of success.

The more books you read, the more knowledge you will have, the more strategies and resources your brain will store, the more likely you will succeed.

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3. You will immerse yourself in a new world.

Sometimes our daily life can start to feel dull, dry or depressing — I know it, you know it, we all know it. At times like this, I like to dive into a good fiction book for a much-needed escape into another world, where I can forget about whatever problems are stressing me out. Whether you want to travel to the land of the Hobbits, a galaxy far away or a tropical destination in a steamy romance novel is up to you. You’ll come back refreshed after your mini-vacation to a fresh and exciting place in the world of words.

4. You will improve your vocabulary.

The more words you’re capable of using, the better you will become at expressing your thoughts and feelings. I couldn’t imagine how I would write articles like this if I didn’t actively aim to expand my vocabulary, because using the same few words to express myself would get awfully boring in a hurry (don’t you agree?).

5. You will have things to talk about at parties.

Reading more books will enable you to say the sentence, “Did you know ________?” more often, making it easier to start conversations with strangers (or, as I like to say, “People who aren’t my friends yet”).

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6. You will entertain yourself for a low price.

If you’re looking for entertainment on a budget, you can’t beat books. Thanks to the popularity of electronic reading devices like the Kindle and re-selling websites like eBay, it’s never been easier to entertain yourself for hours at a time, for the low cost of a few dollars.

7. You will discover surprising new ideas that are interesting and engaging.

Reading introduced me to concepts like mindful eating, relaxation exercises, and the importance of loving yourself. If I didn’t read, I wouldn’t even be aware of these ideas, which have defined my entire coaching philosophy. If you don’t read, you could be missing out on intriguing ideas that would likewise re-define your personal purpose or business philosophy.

8. You will eliminate boredom during down-time.

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a waiting room, bored out of your mind, with nothing to read but gossip magazines? If so, you should know that it is wise to keep a book in your purse or car at all times, as you never know when you’ll find yourself with some time to kill. Even if you just take a few minutes to read a chapter during your commute and lunch break every day, those minutes will quickly turn into hours if repeated consistently.

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9. You will strengthen your patience muscles.

We live in a society that expects instant gratification, which is anything but a blessing for most people’s success in life, as there is nothing “quick” or “easy” about losing weight or starting a successful business. While it might be “easier” to watch a two-hour movie, it is far more beneficial to spend forty-eight hours reading a book. Opting for the book over the TV will strengthen your patience muscles over time, resulting in more success in business and life.

10. You will become an expert in your field.

Don’t you think reading academic journals, articles, and books by experts in your field might make you better at what you do? If you can’t be bothered to learn more about your profession, then your lack of passion could be a sign that you’re in the wrong field. The more books you read, the better off you’re gonna be.

11. You will reduce stress and unwind into a good night’s sleep.

Exposing yourself to artificial light on your cellphone, TV or tablet reduces your body’s production of melatonin, which can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, if you do so late at night. You would be wise to cut off all electronics at least an hour before bed, and replace that with a good book, which is a much better sleep-friendly alternative.

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12. You will change your life.

I firmly believe that if it wasn’t for books, I wouldn’t have achieved an awful lot in my life; nor would I have the knowledge, imagination or creativity that I depend on as a writer, business owner, and coach. I hope these reasons to read more books encourage you to unlock your potential with the power of reading.

Three Questions for the Comments:

  • What are you reading right now (or, if you don’t have a book in process, what was the last thing you read)?
  • What was your favorite book as a child?
  • What book made the largest impact on who you are today?

Featured photo credit: Young Woman Reads Overlooking Santiago de Cuba – Cuba/Adam Jones via flickr.com

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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