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Last Updated on January 7, 2021

15 Simple Tips to Help You Find Motivation to Read More

15 Simple Tips to Help You Find Motivation to Read More

Are you able to get through all the reading you planned this year? Do you ever want to read more but don’t seem to have the time?

Reading has been shown to have many benefits, including stress reduction, memory improvement, vocabulary expansion, and improved concentration and focus[1]. Beyond that, it helps provide an escape from the grind of daily life.

Unfortunately, while many people want to read more, their schedules or motivation don’t allow for it. However, there are things you can do to make time and build your motivation and get back to picking up books from that stack you’ve been collecting.

If you’re wondering how to read more, learn more, and grow faster, here are 15 ways that can help you:

1. Define Your Purpose for Reading

Before you start reading, ask yourself why you’re reading this book. Most people read for two main reasons: pleasure or knowledge.

Being specific and clear about your reading purpose not only helps you to eliminate books that you don’t need to read, but it also reminds you why reading the book is important to you as you are reading it. This motivates you to keep reading and complete the book faster.

2. Read Only What You Are Attracted to

Whether you are reading fiction or nonfiction books, it’s important to enjoy what you read. Your friends may recommend books that they love, but those books might not necessarily be the ones you enjoy.

Don’t read for the sake of reading. Reading shouldn’t be another task in your to-do-list to be checked off. Reading books that you think you “should” read or which you think are good for you will slow down your reading process if you have no interest in it.

Instead, find good books to read that spark your interest and curiosity. You’ll find yourself reading these books faster.

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3. Feel Free to Skip Pages

When it comes to reading for personal pleasure and knowledge, you set your own rules. Don’t feel guilty about skipping pages.

In fact, skipping pages is more productive. It helps you move through boring or irrelevant parts quicker, and you won’t waste time reading something that doesn’t serve you.

4. Give up Books That You Don’t Enjoy

You may have selected books that are aligned with your purpose. You may have selected books that you are attracted to. But as you are reading them, there may still be some books that you won’t enjoy reading.

Whenever you realize that you aren’t enjoying the book you are reading, give it up. Remember reading shouldn’t be a chore.

Giving up doesn’t mean that you are a quitter. Giving up books that you don’t enjoy reading actually frees up your time for books that you would enjoy.

5. Set a Reading Goal

Having a reading goal helps you figure out how much reading you need to do in a week or even a day.

For example, my current reading goal is to read 100 books a year. Since there are 52 weeks a year, each week I need to read at least 2 books. Having a reading goal allows me to strategize how much time I need to allocate each day for reading and helps me to decide what information I need from each book.

Instead of dabbling in reading and hoping to find something useful to you, come prepared with a set of reading objectives. This helps you focus on specific parts of the book and find information that is useful to you when reading.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon Ho reads a lot, and his reading habits will inspire you to read more and learn more efficiently: How I Pick the Right Books to Read to Learn 10X Faster

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6. Give Yourself a Deadline to Complete Each Book

Before you read each book, ask yourself when you need to complete this book by.

What I find interesting is that I tend to read books that I borrow from my local library faster than the books I bought. The reason is the books I bought don’t have a due date! I don’t need to return those books, so I can take as long as I want.

When you don’t set a deadline to complete your book, there isn’t a sense of urgency, and when something isn’t urgent, you tend to procrastinate and your books get left on the shelves untouched and unread. Set a deadline to avoid this problem.

7. Make Reading a Part of Your Daily Routine

If reading is important to you, no matter how busy you are, you will find and schedule time to do it.

Making reading a part of your daily routine removes the hassle of finding time each day to read. Allocating a fixed time to read each day reduces procrastination.

8. Prepare Your Reading List in Advance

To keep your reading momentum, always have the next book ready. Don’t wait until you have completed all your books, and then find the next book to read. You’ll waste unnecessary time trying to find the next book.

Instead, prepare a reading list in advance. List all the books you want to read, and add books that are recommended by your friends and family. Go to your local bookstores and see what intrigues you.

You can also find a list of recommended books suggested by bloggers on their websites.

If you need some inspiration, check out this article: What to Read Next? 30 Inspiring Books That Will Expand Your Mind.

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9. Use Your Free Time

Reading in the morning before you start your work or reading at night when you are winding down is a great idea. At these time, you won’t get caught up in the daily distractions that interrupt you.

However, if you want to maximize your reading time, try carrying a book with you wherever you go. There will be times during the day when you are free or waiting in a queue. Use this time to catch up on your reading.

10. Find a Quiet Place

Reading requires focus and concentration. If possible, find a quiet place where you feel comfortable.

Reading in a quiet environment increases your comprehension. You won’t get disrupted by external noises and won’t have to reread previous pages and paragraphs to recall what you have just read.

Also, switch off your phone or put it away. Close your door if necessary. You read more in one hour of focused reading than in three hours of interrupted reading.

11. Get Some Context First, If Possible

Sometimes, if you watch the trailer, read the synopsis, or follow some of the online content that the author has been providing, you are able to get into the author’s world much faster.

You won’t have to spend as much time establishing the context or understanding the characters in the beginning. This can also generate more interest in the book and motivate you to continue to read more in order to reach the end.

12. Read for Meaning, Not Words

Have you experienced times when you are just reading words, but not comprehending anything that the book says?

Reading a book word by word isn’t an effective way to read. Some words such as “a”, “an” and “the” don’t add any meaning to what you read. Your brain is smarter than you think it is. With just a few important words, your brain can devise meanings and comprehend what the author is saying by tapping on your prior knowledge and experience.

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Furthermore, reading word by word is boring unless you are reading to appreciate the author’s use of language. Instead, allow your eyes to scan the page and pick up words that help you form meanings.

13. Read in Layers

Reading in layers is especially useful if you read nonfiction. Instead of reading your book once through in detail, read your book with multiple passes.

For example, your first pass could be just browsing the book, reading the content page and some of the headers to get the overall big picture. Then, your second pass could be selecting specific sections of the book you need more detail from and zooming in on them.

Before you start each pass, decide if you need more detail. Sometimes, you are able to comprehend the information without needing to read the examples. Other times, some information might not apply to you now.

14. Keep an Open Mind

Don’t critique the author while you are reading the book. Arguing with the author as you read lowers your comprehension, and you can always disagree once you’ve finished.

Also, spotting grammar and spelling mistakes while you read slows down your reading process. Although constant bad grammar could affect your reading, small grammar and spelling mistakes hardly affect your comprehension.

Again, ask yourself what the purpose of reading this book is. Are you reading for pleasure and knowledge, or are you reading to proofread or critique the book?

15. Read Several Books at a Time

This sounds counterproductive, but it works well if you are doing research or want to accumulate knowledge on a topic fast. Reading several books at once allows you to receive different points of view on the same topic more quickly, as well.

Even if you are reading fiction books, you can also read books in the same series at the same time. That will help you retain information about the plot and characters.

The Bottom Line

If you want to read more, it can seem like a difficult habit to develop. However, with the right mindset, a set goal, and a good dose of motivation, you can increase the number of pages you drink in each day. Pick up a book that interests you and get started now.

More Reading Tips

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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Yong Kang Chan

Self-Help Author (Writes about Self-Compassion and Mindfulness)

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Published on February 22, 2021

6 Proven Ways To Improve Your Intellectual Wellness

6 Proven Ways To Improve Your Intellectual Wellness

The mind, the body, and the spirit are universally recognized as the three main pillars of personal wellness. Similar to the way that a tripod balances itself on three legs, each pillar of wellness requires an equal amount of attention and support for you to achieve optimal balance in life. With that being said—and in my humble opinion—the mind is the most vital pillar of them all since it serves as the central processing center for all of our actions and all of our beliefs.

Similar to space exploration, no matter how much you learn about yourself, you may only be scratching the surface of your mental limits. And it seems that the more that we learn, the further we want to go. Either way, the pursuit of knowledge and understanding keeps us moving forward, constantly searching for greater substance and meaning in our lives—no matter where we come from, no matter our age.

Intellectual wellness essentially refers to having an educated and insightful understanding of our ever-changing surroundings. It suggests that we should be open-minded about learning new concepts and trying new experiences that have the potential to improve our perception of ourselves and our decision-making processes.

No matter how much we may like things just the way they are, the world is constantly in motion and change is an inevitable part of the human experience. Intellectual wellness emphasizes the importance of being able to adapt to our surroundings as it works to integrate our mind, body, and spirit in harmony.

Here are 6 proven ways to improve your intellectual wellness:

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1. Read a Book

“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1000 years. To read is to voyage through time.”—Carl Sagan

Reading is like having a train ticket to go anywhere in the world at any time in history and learn almost everything that you ever wanted to know about anyone or anything that ever existed from an almost infinite number of perspectives. Furthermore, reading at a young age has been proven to significantly increase vocabulary in adulthood, which in turn has been shown to directly correlate to higher socioeconomic advancement through increased opportunity.[1]

Additionally, reading not only challenges you to stay focused on the words that you see but also on the context in which those words are intended to be interpreted. Therefore, reading can actually help increase your comprehension skills, strengthen your attention span, while simultaneously expanding your global perspective on any given subject.

2. Go Back to School

You are never too old to learn something new. However, if your schedule is anything like mine, I know that you probably feel as though you may not have any more head-space, nor room on your to-do list to go back to school any time soon. Nevertheless, this may be the perfect time to challenge yourself intellectually and do exactly that, especially now, while the world begins to recover from the pandemic.

Your mind is similar to a muscle, without exercising it regularly, it can lose its strength, as well as its form. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that people who are intellectually stimulated at work experience greater job satisfaction and ultimately live happier lives.[2]

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If you are feeling burned out, uninspired, financially displaced, or just ready to try something new, this may be an ideal time to learn a new craft, skill, or even a foreign language. Distance learning programs, for example, are offered by colleges and universities from all over the world. Almost anyone with a laptop and internet access now has the ability to go back to school to either become more proficient in a subject that they have already studied or learn more about a subject that they have always wanted to learn without ever having to leave the comfort of home.

3. Grow Your Career Path

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”—Mark Twain

As you learn more about the world around you through reading and education on your intellectual wellness journey, your career path will probably broaden as you gain greater insight. Whether you are making a fortune in the stock market or just making a living in retail, you may have been thinking about making a career change or at least exploring an alternate route along your current professional path.

Nevertheless, rather than running out and making a major career change today, perhaps start by trying to figure out exactly what type of work will give you the greatest sense of professional satisfaction. Carefully consider your personal interests, current skill set, financial expectations, as well as both your emotional and physical strengths and limitations.

Next, take a comprehensive look at the investment of both time and money required to make the career change. Finally, try to connect with someone already in the field that you want to enter to get the real inside scoop. Although you may need to be a little flexible on some of your expectations, I am confident that if you keep an open mind and stay laser-focused on your intellectual wellness, you will ultimately find your perfect professional fit.

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4. Start a New Hobby

In simple terms, a hobby is an activity that we do regularly for pleasure in our leisure time. They can be as simple and as inexpensive as collecting seashells on the beach or much more costly and time-consuming, such as restoring classic cars in your garage.

Hobbies are an excellent way to break free from the monotony of your normal daily routine by taking you away from all of your responsibilities, even if only for a few precious moments. Additionally, hobbies can help strengthen your sense of self-esteem as you build the breadth of a collection or your competency in performing a skill required to participate in the hobby that you chose, such as flying model airplanes and drones.

5. Play Games of Strategy

“All work and no play” makes for a boring life. Intellectual wellness can also be fun. Most games require some form of strategy to win. The more proficient you are in playing whatever game you choose, the higher the probability that you should be able to do well in the game.

So, I suggest that you consider choosing a game that challenges you to use as much strategy and skill as possible, rather than a game that is more about chance. Chess, for example, is one of the best strategy-based games to help you improve your overall intellectual wellness. As a matter of fact, research has shown that chess has been proven to improve memory, increase mental processing speed, build self-awareness, and even protect against dementia.[3]

6. Plan a Road Trip

With continued caution and plenty of common sense, this could actually be a great time for a road trip, even if you never actually travel outside of your own hometown. Although there are still some travel restrictions in place, most of us are now able to move relatively freely within our local communities.

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Travel has the potential to increase your intellectual wellness by broadening your horizons, increasing your sense of self-awareness, and improving your communication skills. And perhaps most importantly, especially right now, travel can increase your intellectual wellness by helping you adapt to your surroundings.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, intellectual wellness may be more important now than ever. From farming to finance, family, faith, and even personal freedoms, the recent global pandemic essentially forced all of us to reevaluate how we perform almost every aspect of our lives. We have all just witnessed firsthand how fragile life can be, while at the same time, witnessed how much we can accomplish when we work together as a global community to overcome a common problem or defeat a common enemy—for example, developing an effective vaccine to stop the spread of a highly contagious and deadly bat-borne virus.

Fortunately, however, you don’t have to be an infectious disease expert nor a genius to achieve your own level of intellectual wellness. You just need to have the desire to expand your intellectual horizon along with an open mind. And if that happens to be you, this just may be the perfect time to do a little work on your own intellectual wellness.

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Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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