Today we’re talking about how to make time to read. Reading aligns well with our community values because it gives us the opportunity to reflect on what we want to learn, do, and become!
With all the tasks, projects, and errands we handle in our lives, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Making time to read may feel like something we simply don’t have the time for; but I know that when we prioritize reading and making time for books, it can actually help us feel excited about life.
There are two key suggestions for reading that I believe will make a huge difference for you:
- Understand and believe that books can help you solve your problems and improve your life. You need and deserve the time to invest in your learning!
- Create space in your life to receive your new knowledge and create routines and projects to support your reading.
In today’s podcast (Part one of a two-part series) we’ll talk about this first key suggestion: believing that books can improve our lives and are worth pursuing. Next week, we will talk about how to create space for reading.
Click “play” above to listen in and/or skim through the main points below!
2:32 – Why I Read
As I was preparing for this podcast, I first sat down and listed a few reasons about WHY I read. I’ll share them here:
- Books light up my brain with ideas: they are like oxygen!
- They teach me in-depth skills: caring for myself, sleeping better, drawing closer to God, building a stronger marriage, raising a family, understanding others’ perspectives, acknowledging where I am weak, setting bigger goals, getting out of clutter, refining the way I use my time, building a business, overcoming anxiety, and developing greater empathy.
- They create a calm: So many needs require me to be on my feet and moving from place to place. Reading is entirely different. I’m sitting, resting, and letting my mind expand while my body has time to replenish.
- Books keep me in a forward-thinking mode: We all know how it feels to be in a rut or paralyzed with fear and anxiety. Books lift me out of those feelings.
- They provide incredible discussion topics: I’m not a small-talker. I love the way that books elevate discussion. They bring thoughtful ideas and new perspectives into our everyday conversations. It’s not like we can’t ever discuss the weather or tell someone we like their shirt, but I value the closeness that comes from talking at a deeper level.
- Books feel like friends: When I walk in a book store, I feel like I’m surrounded by thinkers. If someone took the time to collect and organize their thoughts—and go through the tedious editing/refining process required to get to publication—their message must really matter to them. I feel honored to read their words, consider their ideas, and see if my life can be benefited by their experiences.
“A room without books is like a body without a soul”-Marcus Cicero
14:43 – My Love for Books
My true, deep love for books started when I became a mother. I was sinking and having a hard time adjusting to being in a brand new life stage. As I was home with a baby, I had so much time and energy that was not being utilized. During that time I started going to the library and checked out every book I could find about motherhood and womanhood. These books made me think. I began to feel excited about being a woman and mother, even though it was hard. Books gave me a lifeline of help, wisdom, and advice.
While reading, I learned how to discern what voices helped me feel more joy, peace, and purpose. As our family grew, we continued to make visits to the library. When I would rent books, I would imagine all the wonderful things that they would bring into my life. Our family was continually strengthened by books.
17:16 – Reading as a Way to Serve
In 2009, I read Getting Things Done by David Allen. This has been one of the most influential books I have ever read because it taught me I could create a system to organize my mind. The framework I built using this book is the basis for our STEP program today! Suddenly, I had a way to organize all the information I was then consuming.
This experience helped me realize that reading meant so much more to me when I was reading for other people. I began to ask myself, “Will the knowledge in this book help me serve others and help others get results faster?”
Reading became a way for me to serve.
Books have changed my life, business, health and family. Every single problem that I’ve had has been alleviated through the power of good books.
21:42 – Looking Forward
I can’t wait to see where the books I read in the future will take me.
CHALLENGE: I would like to invite you to ask yourself these questions:
- What are the challenges that you are currently facing?
- What books could help you in this specific situation?
It’s not always easy–and it will take some searching to find the best resources–but I know that perseverance will make a difference!
We hope that this episode helps inspire you to search for books that will be an answer to your challenges. We can’t wait to be with you on Part 2 of Making Time to Read, where we will talk about how to make space in your life for your new knowledge. Thank you for being part of this LearnDoBecome community!
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LearnDoBecome Amazon Bookstore
- You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought by Peter McWilliams
- Success is a Choice by Rick Pitino
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- How to Be a Gentleman by John Bridges
- Emily Post’s Etiquette: Manners for Today by Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
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Where do I begin? Lots of large stressors ( lost my husband a year ago after a 9 yrs battle with cancer,finances were totally devestated,devastated, stepped into a business he started( which I love but has many problems with one of the partners..a me me me guy) and adrenal fatigue.That combined with too much stuff, paper disganization and oh yes a huge mold issue in my home causing huge mold toxidity issues which causes alot of symptoms. I tell you this as I need to hear I can do this.Im a beleiver in God’s love and desire to help me and I’m a fighter!! Just feel so overwhelmed..
Taryn Wood says
Marsha, you’re not alone! While we haven’t had the same experiences, we can relate to feeling overwhelmed. You CAN do this! We’re cheering you on!!
April Perry says
Marsha, you clearly have SO much going on, and I’m sending a huge virtual hug. I sincerely believe you CAN do this–and that we aren’t given challenges beyond that which we can bear. (Though we are often stretched!) I’d recommend that you write out each of your challenges as projects and then put them in order of priority. For example, “Figure out the mold issue” and “Paper organization/Command Central Set-Up” and “Discontinuing relationship with current business partner” and “Figuring out adrenal fatigue solutions”. You ask yourself WHICH of those, if you accomplished it first, would make the biggest impact on your life? Then you start there. And you identify next actions (10 minutes or less) to move you forward on each one. You can’t do everything at the same time, but you can take little tiny steps in the right direction. Those add up! We’re cheering you on!
Julie Morgenlender says
I have adrenal fatigue also, and I can understand why you feel overwhelmed. After all, the adrenals produce the hormones that help you deal with that feeling of overwhelm, so when that’s not working, it’s hard for anything else to fall into place. But I can say from my own experience and from speaking with others that once you treat your adrenal fatigue, everything else should get MUCH easier. Good luck!
I so enjoyed this. It has inspired me to enjoy the silence. Thank you
Really enjoyed this podcast and reinforcing the power of reading the right books to support us at certain times in our lives…as well as expand our interests!
Thanks so much – great list of suggested reading! I’m now reading a great biography of Yohann Strauss called ‘The Last Waltz’; a bridge to another era and their struggles…
Good luck to you always and keep up your wonderful work and now the podcasts.. please keep me on your mailing lists! My husband & I live in Israel now and I would love to feel connected to you despite the distance….thanks so much!
April Perry says
That book sounds amazing! I will add it to my list! And I wish you the very best with your new life in Israel. Such an amazing place to live! Much love, April
Jennifer Young says
April, I love this podcast! I could not agree more. Your Book Thursdays w/ Zoe was one of those books for me. I bought it for all my children and have shared it with friends. As a foster mom for 15 years, I tried very hard to instill this love of books in my kids because I knew if I did, when they left me they would be ok. They could get help with their problems, knowledge about anything, and the chance to travel, relax and find joy even if the situation they were returning to wasn’t ideal. Books could do for them what I no longer could when they left my home.
April Perry says
Jennifer, that touches my heart that you enjoyed the book about my mom. Thank you for sharing it with your children, too! And I love your perspective—yes! If my children know how to search for and read the right books, their ability to learn and solve their own problems will help them. Thank you so much! And how wonderful that you have been a foster mom for 15 years! That is amazing. Sending a huge hug!
Brooke Musterman says
I am finding your material SO helpful! I love this post. The only thing, I find that because of my perpetual “flighty” state of mind, I have a hard time concentrating on what I’m reading. I love books when I can actually pay attention. I find that to be a rare thing, though. Do you have any advice on keeping focused? The ironic thing is that I’m a writer. ;)…b
April Perry says
Brooke, I get it! I think it is wise to read in small bursts. 10 minutes or so . 😀 I’m guessing it’s because you have a lot going on? Excited for you!!
Narda Gallagher says
Im thinking it could be caffeine.
(Coffee, tea, or chocolate.)
I love this podcast! It has encouraged me in so many ways. The title of this podcast should be WHY You Make Time to Read, not HOW to… I was expecting a conversation of how to make time to incorporate reading tune in my schedule. Thank you for the motivation!
Taryn Wood says
Thanks, Lynda! You’ll love Part 2 of this topic coming next week. We’ll be covering the very thing you’re looking to learn. Stay tuned! 🙂 Thanks for being with us here at LearnDoBecome!
Emma Frowine says
Appreciate your energy and am eager to hear your strategies to read more. I’m a enthusiastic starter but not a finisher…I’m 10-50% through about 10 books right now. 😬 This is my first podcast with you. I invested in your STEP program only financially and not at all with my time or energy. As I drown in overwhelm, anxiety and racing mind I’m ready to lean im And actually DO, BE the STEP program. Thank you.
Taryn Wood says
Thanks for being with us, Emma! We can relate to your desire to learn from so many books. 🙂 We’re excited for you to get started in your STEP program! Please reach out to our team if you need help finding your login details, email(at)learndobecome(dot)com. We’re thrilled to have you with us and we look forward to hearing your success stories!
PS If you’re part of our Mastery Program, be sure to check out the Facebook group. The members there are so supportive and helpful!
Great, great podcast! And I can’t wait for part 2! I’ve had a hard time building reading as a habit in my daily life. I am not great at reading, but like any skill, when I do it daily, I find that I get better at it. Also, because I’ve been listening to your podcasts for awhile, I do have David Allen’s “Getting things done,” but I have not read it!! I hope to pull it out next after I finish the book I’m currently reading.
I have mixed feelings about this podcast, yet I love the advice behind it. On one hand, as a self help junkie and like most people with clutter, I tend to keep getting drawn towards the “next shiny book on shelf” that will help me tackle clutter and be happy. Instead I have found out that it’s best to keep reading list minimal or next to nil.
The best reading resource is 1 or 2 materials that you read and apply in depth over 1 month. Rest are just trash (and occupying too much shelf space). Here’s what I mean.
It helps me to first learn to do capture things in 1 place, learn how to process them one by one (your podcasts and 8 questions list were a lifesaver!), and then aim to trash 80% of items I no longer need. Typically what I find are resources I already have, that I didn’t utilize as much. And then it becomes a matter of applying the 80/20 rule to the resources I have been hogging onto, and zooming into which 20% is really essential for me to read. The rest is placed in the ‘To Toss’ list. And then I have to read 1-3 of those 20% shortlisted resources at a time as a skim-read and evaluate if this really helps me with the ‘How’ or simply keeps laboring on the ‘What’ I need to do (and struggling with), without giving me any easy wins in that moment. That helps me narrow down to the bare minimum materials I need to read to help me with a current issue.
Once done with, the new reading resource I was attracted to, becomes an unneeded item. So in terms of a reading list, the one thing I will recommend is, keep them in your someday/maybe list. If it is useful, you will find out in time. Most often, it helps me shred at least 60% items I do not need first, prior to adding a new resource material of interest. Otherwise it is too mentally draining.
Taryn Wood says
Priya, thanks for this great perspective and such wonderful tips! It’s important to find that personal balance between learning, applying, and learning more. We’re so grateful you’re here!
Another thing, once done with reading a book and applying it, if we find we no longer need it, we can then donate it to the local library and spread the joy around :-).
Curious to hear others’ insights on the same. Thanks again for the podcast notes, April…it helps me to quickly skim and focus on relevant points. I love how your LearnDoBecome.com website is organized as well.
I was not expecting such a powerful podcast, but wow, I listened to this twice and am going to play it for my kids. Reading has been a lifeline for me for most of my life. Fiction opens up entire worlds I have lived in and experienced. Non fiction has shared the wisdom and brilliance of people from the past and present, with their knowledge magically becoming mine. I am so grateful that my parents, like April’s were always reading, always had books around, and took us to bookstores and the library. Throughout my life, books have gotten me through some very difficult times and have made me so much smarter than I ever could have been without them. Hearing April describe what reading means and has meant to her was just so inspiring and profound. What a beautiful podcast.
April Perry says
I’m so glad that this was helpful to you, Jeff! And I love that you are helping your children to love reading, too. 🙂 Thank you for your devotion to your family, to learning, and to continued growth!
Oh my goodness! April, thank you so much for this great reminder to read. I’ve always loved to read, but in the last several years + it seems that I have so many “necessities” that have taken priority over reading, that I rarely get to it. Or I’ll start a book and then start another book and then both just sit there. I haven’t read a novel just for fun in years. The books I read are generally business-based or self-help books. I have stacks of self-help books and stacks of novels and I keep collecting more and more with the plan that I’ll get to them someday. But I wouldn’t set aside time on my schedule to read. However…very recently I HAVE become more aware that I need to spend some time for ME. I did start a novel (yay!) to read just for 15 minutes or so before I go to bed. I’m also reading a self-help book for handling my finances better. AND I also started a book about my personal growth related to improving my romantic relationship. I’m in my early 60s and fairly recently divorced after being married for decades, and I feel like I’m finally starting to live my best life. Reading books again with intention will definitely help my growth and my outlook for my future. Thank you so much for what you do to serve others. You are definitely serving me!
April Perry says
Lori, thank you for your kind comment! And I can see that you are doing some amazing things to move you in a great direction. I am so proud of you, and we’re all cheering you on!
April, these podcasts are a shot in the arm for me, and each time I see the titles, I’ve thought, “Wow, this topic is so timely and relevant!” I love to read – always have – but I’ve barely taken time to read anything for fun over the past 16 years since starting my career. Each proper vacation I take, I usually will take one non-work book and devour it while I have the time away. Lately, COVID 19 has impacted my family very directly in that my husband’s currently unemployed (he’s a pilot), and financial survival for me and sanity in general for both of us has been top of mind. Although reading daily is currently part of my routines list, it’s one that rarely happens outside of reading the newspaper and staying current with professional reading. Thank you so much for your perspective and your reinforcement of just how important reading is to help us be successful. I’m going to work on being more intentional on this front and identify books to help with my and my family’s current needs. Please keep the podcasts coming! Thanks, Amanda
April Perry says
Amanda, this is certainly a challenging/unique time, and it sounds like you are focusing on all the right things for your family. Sending you a huge hug, as I know that’s a lot of responsibility to carry. So proud of you! Thank you for your kind words and support!
I joined the program over 4 years ago. I’ve been chipping at learning it. Although, I haven’t fine-tuned it, I feel the program will be with me forever. It is definitely a base to keep. Thank you for this podcast, I can’t wait for the next one to help me incorporate reading into my life. I, too, like self help books-the main reason why I joined, so I can improve. Thank you!
Taryn Wood says
Thank YOU, Joanne! One step at a time. 🙂 We’re so glad you’re here!