7 Things You Can Do to Break Your List Reading Habit

Life is busy. You’ve got kids pulling at you, commitments in all directions, and not enough time in the day to warrant a 2-minute shower.  If you’re lucky, you might gather enough news from your social media feed or the magazine racks at the grocery store to appear relatively informed on current events.

When a shower and staying up on current events seems too daunting, the thought of reading, if that’s even entered your mind, has probably come along with immense feelings of inadequacy or a dismissive chuckle. Ain’t nobody got time for reading literature these days. As a busy mom and reader, I get it. More often than not, I reach for the short, quick-witted, easy-to-read points over the lengthier expository musings.

I like quick and easy. I’ve fed my kids Mac and cheese and Nutella sandwiches far more than I’d like to admit in the name of convenience. But like these foods, lacking in nutrition and substance, the quick reads and easy-to-digest list formats that have become the pinnacle of many online publications, leave us feeling malnourished.

Lately, I’ve been feeling overstimulated by the sheer amount of information I take in on a daily basis. Ironically, I also find myself feeling empty and frustrated by the lack of substance in the midst of this bounty. If you’re feeling similarly, but aren’t sure how to get out of the rut, here are seven steps to help you break the cycle:

Commit to reading at least 10 minutes per day.

Doing anything for ten minutes per day is doable. After twenty-one days, new habits are formed. Studies show that reading can help slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s. So reading for ten minutes per day seems reasonable, habit-forming, and good for your brain. 

Save interesting articles for later.

Only have three to five minutes to scan your newsfeed, but come across something that looks interesting? Think you’ll remember it for later? Highly unlikely. Tag it, save it, or email it to yourself. Whatever your method for saving, make sure to circle back around to read it when you have some free time. 

Read articles without lists.

I know it may sound scary, but if the title intrigues you, and the content fascinates you, don’t shy away from an article because it lacks the popular list format. Read it. You might like it.

Seek out quality over quantity.

I know it seems counterintuitive, but taking in less scattered, low-quality information could actually increase your brains’ ability to retain information. So spend less time on screens scanning the bounty, and choose your intake of content wisely. 

Read a novel.

Ain’t nobody got time for that, right? You’d be surprised how addictive it is once you start. Audio books count too, so what are you waiting for? 

Unplug more often and go for a walk.

What does walking have to do with reading you ask? Taking walks can help clear a busy mind. A clearer mind has more space for reading. See the logic?

Find writers you love and support them.

Seriously. If you like us and you want to read more from us- follow our blogs, share our articles, and give us feedback. If you’re a fellow writer, and this isn’t a regular practice of yours, there’s still time to redeem yourself.

 

*This list is in no way, based on science, research, or fact. It is the opinion of the author and meant for the sole purpose of venting, humor, and irony. (In case you’re a bit slow and didn’t catch that.)

The Naked Writing Project

I’m a recovering perfectionist. Or so I thought I was. I’m actually a woman who identifies as a recovering perfectionist. I’m smart like that. I know my weakness. I name it and claim it and place a catchy little word in front of it. Recovering. There I did it. I acknowledged my frailty and gave a nod of acknowledgment toward a need for growth. Now we can all just look away. Jen’s got it together

I’ve been a recovering perfectionist for 20 years; and while I’ve grown and changed in ways, I’ve never actually rooted out the whys. Like why am I a perfectionist? Or why do I procrastinate? Why do I loathe what I perceive as weakness and vulnerability in others as well as myself?

I recently started reading “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown. I’d seen so much posted on social media about her lately, and I wanted to hear more about her ideas on living wholeheartedly, fulfillment, and vulnerability.

I’m only a third of the way into the book, but it has been such a tremendous eye opener. In a most gentle and subtle way- it has called me out of hiding.

So here I am. And here is my new project. It’s called Naked Writings. Fret not. I’m fully clothed as I write this. But these writings will be the least thought out, least prepared, and completely unedited texts. It’s my effort to share more of my thoughts with less filter, less perfection, and less striving. I’m a bit freaked out about it, but it’s what I need to do.

If you’re an editor- take a few sips of something before you read ;). If you’re a recovering perfectionist, may this be an encouragement to stop hiding. If you’re afraid to share your gifts, may my unedited imperfection give you the courage to share what you’ve been hiding.