I don’t have time to read.

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

One of the most common excuses people give for not reading is simply not having enough time. Sometimes this is because we are actually genuinely too busy already and reading would overload an already superhuman workload. I’m not convinced many of these people exist. More often then not the ‘I don’t have the time’ actually means ‘I don’t make the time’. It’s not a priority.

In the self-improvement circles it’s become a talking point to mention the richest and most influential people in the world are also voracious readers. The likes of Warren Buffet, Satya Nadella, Bill Gates, Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, George Soros place reading as one of the most important activities of their day.

In fact Buffet once said that he spends over 80% of his time reading books, articles, reviews, statements and reports. Not many can have that level of commitment, but we can all start somewhere.

My new years resolution this year was to read a book every week. (Spoiler alert: I failed) We are now well into the 30+ weeks this year and I have read maybe a dozen books. Not as many as I had set out to read, but better than the previous year.

One thing I noticed is that once I began a book, making more time to keep reading it was not all that difficult. My challenge is picking up a new one once I’ve finished the current novel. But the most surprising thing of this attempt was that reading felt so natural. When I said I was too busy to read, I was not being creative enough.

There are so many lost minutes in a day — time spent waiting for a document to be sent, waiting for code to compile, or the wait for the metro/bus/train. I began filling these with reading.

The benefits of books have been obvious. When I’m reading a book, I tend to bring up the subjects covered within the pages in my daily conversations. These tend to be deeper, more involved conversations, which tend to improve my relationships and avoid the small talk that typically plagues chance meetings with coworkers.

I will continue to try and read daily. My new years resolution might have been a bit too ambitious, but I will slowly get better. Now that it’s a priority, I’ll make sure to make time.