When you’re working hard, it’s easy to let reading fall by the wayside. But reading for pleasure could actually help you get ahead at work.
Ah, the days when you had time to read. Those were great.
Then you had to get a job. And jobs have a tendency to eat up your time, even after you’ve put in your 40 hours every week.
But could making time to read improve your chances of a job promotion? Or could reading assist you in your search for a new job?
According to a 2007 report by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), it can.
The NEA reported a growing trend of workers, both in manual jobs as well as managerial, who have below-basic writing skills. And those poor writing skills? They’re linked back to a decline in pleasure reading.
But in charge of hiring and choosing promotions usually consider writing ability, even if they’re judging based on cover letters and resumes alone.
The good news? Pleasure reading, no matter what the subject is, can be of benefit to your career. It expands your vocabulary and exposes you to different cultures and viewpoints.
So get back to reading! Even if it is the most campy, cheesy, fluffy novel ever written, what matters is that you enjoy it. Here are four tips to help you get back to a regular reading schedule. (Click here to tweet these tips.)
1. Reserve a time to read
Taking time to read can reduce your stress and help you relax. A study by Quick Reads found that reading even as little as 30 minutes per week can improve your outlook on life. Even more surprising: those who read regularly also possess higher self-esteem and greater self-acceptance.
This isn’t like SSR in elementary school: the teacher isn’t watching you, and you can read whatever you want. Not sure if you can get in the habit? Set a timer for just 10 minutes and see how far you get. If you’ve got a good book, you might have a hard time putting it down!
2. Take it one page at a time
Don’t start with the entire Harry Potter series. Take it slow. Read a magazine article, then the rest of the magazine. Choose a novella or a book of short stories. The sports section of the newspaper? Yep, that counts too.
Daily Lit sends books right to your email account, but in small doses. You can set it up to send you just the right amount of reading for the time you have allotted. A ten minute train ride to work? That 30-minute lunch break? Perfect.
You can set up Daily Lit to send your installment at a chosen time — and there’s your reserved reading time for the day! Some titles are free, but there are others you have to pay for. The best part: you don’t have to lug that book around with you all the time.
3. Read with your ears
Audiobooks can be expensive, but it can be worth it to have a book read to you while you take care of other tasks.
Audible has a free audiobook offer when you set up an account — it’s great for a test run if you’ve never listened to an audiobook. Some plans allow you to get one free book a month, but make sure you check the fine print on those!
You can also check out audiobooks at your local library. You have a library card already … right?
Once you’ve selected a book, easy to play your audio book from your smartphone, and there are many apps available. It’s easy to plug in headphones and listen while you fold laundry or cook dinner.
Want to listen while you drive? Many cars now come equipped with Bluetooth, a USB port, or an auxiliary port. If your car doesn’t have one, a Bluetooth speaker or FM transmitter can solve that problem.
4. Break out the e-reader
It’s easy to get carried away buying new and interesting titles for your e-reader. Did you know that your local library probably has e-reader borrowing options?
Instead of making a special trip to the library, you can download a book to your Kindle, iPad, or other tablet in seconds. At the end of your loan period, the title is automatically removed from your reader. Just think: no overdue fines!
Mix and match these ideas to see what works best for you. Your goal is simply to read on a regular basis — just for fun.
How have you kickstarted your reading habit? Let us know in the comments.
Kyle W. Weckerly is a reader of science fantasy, modern military history, and some non-fiction too, as well as a freelance writer for hire. Visit weckerlywriter.com to find out how his writing can benefit you.