I’ll conclude this week’s five part series with the excerpt that inspired it from, Off the Clock, by Laura Vanderkam:
The goal of this series was to give you ideas on how to replace the short blocks of time you’re spending on your phone doing things that will be more rewarding. One of the ways to accomplish this is through learning.
Biographies of famous leaders nearly always list life-long learning as a critical factor in their success. Warren Buffett, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ben Franklin are all said to have read five hours or more a week. I know you’re thinking, “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” but it’s not as hard as it sounds.
Taking the time to read a book or magazine will also make you feel less overwhelmed because suddenly you’ll identify yourself as the type of person who has time to read. Identity is a technique used for habit formation. Identifying yourself as a runner will allow you to lose far more weight than just saying you want to run three days a week.
Reading non-fiction is an excellent way to learn new things. For far less than the cost of an MBA you can read a dozen books on . Want to start a business but don’t know how? There are plenty of books and websites dedicated to entrepreneurship. How about personal finance? From TV personalities like Jim Cramer, Dave Ramsey, and Suze Orman to hedge fund managers like Ray Dalio, every “expert” out there has written a book or four.
Magazines are another great way to learn more about your hobbies. Subscriptions to high quality, curated content are cheap, usually only $10-$20 a year. Keep one magazine at your desk for breaks or lunchtime reading. Keep one in your car for down time at kids sports practices or the doctor’s waiting room. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about running out of battery or having WiFi.
A great way to read more online content is to use the Pocket app. Pocket gets added to the list of options on your phone’s share menu. As you browse the internet and find great content, like this blog 😉, that you want to read but don’t have time to right now, you save it to the Pocket app. Then when you have time to read the article you open the app and see the list of the articles you have saved. The best part is that Pocket will display a version of the article that strips out all the click bait and advertisements that try to distract you on the actual article.
If, like me, you prefer to listen to content instead of reading it Pocket can even read the articles to you. You may even find you prefer reading from this distraction free version of the site.