“An hour spent reading is one stolen from paradise.”
― Thomas Wharton

Beyond the obvious statement, the above quote provides, there is also a second line that should be added. “An hour spent reading makes the day more productive”

As part of reducing stress (much of it self-induced), I’ve been reading up on how productivity and mindfulness can work together to help the individual get to a better place.

One of the things I’ve started to do is to block out time to read. This means unplugging from the world for ideally an hour. Being able to read without interruption not only makes for greater understanding of the material being read, but I have also found makes more productive when I jump back into the rest of the day.

And things I read are not limited to fiction or nonfiction. I will include things like agendas and background materials for board meetings to longer articles I have found online I want to read in-depth. In short, anything that would benefit from having greater focus from not being distracted.

Much like getting in the zone to write requires an environment with as few distractions as possible, “deep” reading requires the same. I can read or write with certain background music, but my favorite background sounds are found outside with the wind rustling among the trees. Everyone will be different on what background sounds work for them.

The most important thing is to remove other sources of distraction, be it email, social media or any other thing that prevents you from getting into “your space” to read or write.

The next challenging will be carving out an hour to read undisturbed. The weekends and holidays I find it very easy to get up, have breakfast and then spend an hour reading before getting on with the day. Weekdays with work requirements have proven to be more of a challenge. At present, I sometimes spend between 30-45 min after dinner reading when I can.

Many productivity experts talk about waking up an hour earlier and doing some of these habits at the start of the day. It’s something I’d like to try in future but at the present time I know my limitations (and how much I like a good nights sleep)

Like any productivity or lifestyle tip, your mileage may very. You may find a different time spent may be more beneficial for you. In the end, it is worth a try to see if can produce a positive result.