How To Create An Effective Reading Routine
“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read” — Mark Twain
Quick note to start:
With “reading”, I refer to reading for self-improvement and educational purposes. No fictional stories, fairy tales, or anything related.
This kind of reading allows us to absorb the necessary information and move towards our life goals. Physical books, e-books, blog posts; whatever you can think of that will educate you can be placed under the ‘reading umbrella’.
In fact, research shows that the difference between rich and poor people is that the former group reads for self-improvement, while the latter reads for entertainment.
Reading is important. There is almost no issue on this planet that hasn’t been solved by someone else. Let’s be honest.
Tons of books have been written to give you a roadmap, allowing you to improve in the four major life areas: health, wealth, relationships and spirituality.
The question for many people is:
How do I get started?
I’ve found that incorporating reading as a daily routine is the most effective way to improve in whatever life area you want.
In this article, I’ll share with you the details and benefits of this routine.
I’ve been experimenting with lots of different reading routines in the last 2 years. From reading before bedtime, to reading outside at noon, etc.
However - after a lot of trial and error — I found out that this specific routine works best for me.
Here’s what I do:
I wake up early in the morning (preferably before sunrise, around 6am depending on the time of the year).
Next, I stand up, drink a glass of water and jump into a cold shower. This will wake your body up.
When I get out, I feel totally ready and awake. For me, it is one of the most awesome feelings in the world. The cold water makes the blood circulate throughout the entire body. I feel totally energized and ready to attack the day.
After showering, I install myself on my bed or sofa with my pen and notebook and I set myself the goal to read for at least one hour.
(You can read a book, a set of blogposts, etc. As long as it serves you in the achievement of your goals.)
Now, this routine works insanely well because of 2 reasons:
- Your mind is hyper sharp and fresh in the morning.
Don’t get tempted to snack some food. Leave all food out of your system, until you completed your reading session. This will allow your mind to absorb all information at 100% capacity.
When you get up after a good night of sleep, your brain will be refreshed. In more scientific terms, sleep makes sure ‘the waste’ our brain cells produce during daily activities is removed. Therefore sleep literally makes room for new growth and development. So, as soon as you open that book, you’ll feel totally ready to receive new information.
Another advantage is that — in the morning — your willpower is high. Your willpower is basically like a phone battery. You recharge it during the night and wake up in the morning with a ‘full battery’. As a result, you are far less likely to procrastinate on your reading session.
2. You are most creative in the early hours of the day
You’ll find out that, as you are reading, a lot of ideas will start to pop up. You are simply more creative in the morning.
This is science guys.
Research found out that creative activity is highest immediately after the sleep period. Your prefrontal cortex, or the part of your brain that is responsible for logic and decision-making, is 100% active and engaged after a good night of sleep.
This makes reading early in the morning a really enjoyable experience, allowing you to generate inspiration for the day ahead.
Set your alarm a bit earlier. Jump into a cold shower (that’s the worst part, but hey, we are habitual creatures. Do it for 30 days, and it will feel normal!). Then grab a book and start reading for at least one hour.
I try to read at least 25–30 pages in that time span. You can google speed reading techniques for more efficiency, but I like to take my time. But that’s totally personal.
Anyway, I hope you got something out of this blogpost.