8 Ways To Fit More Reading Into Your Day

14
Jan
2014

 Finding-Time-To-Read-Moms

I share a lot of books with you all that I read, and I am often asked, “How do you find time to read?”  I thought I would share with you how I find time to read – and that is the key word – FIND!

Time doesn’t just magically appear.  You have to put a priority on managing the time you have for the things that are important to you.  So if reading is important, you will need to carve out time purposefully as well as use the time that often goes unused in effective ways.

As we look to start a new online book study in a couple weeks, I want to challenge you to make time to read, be prepared for the discussion each week and be committed to reading, both for pleasure as well as to improve yourself as a mom, wife and woman.

Here is how I find time to read, amide the juggling of motherhood duties:

Morning Hours

Morning is by far my most favorite time to read, before everyone else gets up.  I have a regular routine of getting up before my family, it fluctuates on time, but it can be anywhere from 5:15 AM to 6:30 AM depending on circumstances of the evening before  {Like the other night, I didn’t get to bed til after 10 PM because I just HAD TO watch Downton Abbey – I mean priorities right?}  So I didn’t get up til 6:30 AM.  But I much prefer having more time in the morning for my devotional time and then diving into whatever I am currently reading.

Make Waiting Time Count

All that time can be lost or put to good use, the waiting.  Whether it is waiting for an appointment, waiting in the car pool line, waiting on hold, the grocery line – if you add up all that time, it really counts.  Have a book with you at all times, you can pick it up and read a few lines and benefit from that time rather than really looking at it as wasted time.

Portable books

This is where things really pay off.  A lot of us have portable devices to carry our books with us very easily.  Most have heard of Kindle books, but even if you do not have a Kindle, you can enjoy the incredible benefits of having a book on several devices all at once.  You can download Kindle reading APPS for your phone, iPad, Mini-iPad and computer.  I love the flexibility of reading a book on my iPad Mini, but also having the same books on my phone.  By downloading the Kindle APP for my phone I can access the same book I was reading in the morning on my iPad later in the day while waiting at an appointment and it knows exactly where I left off.

This is by far one of the easiest ways to get more book reading for your time costing you nothing!

Exercising

I haven’t been real good lately with reading while I am on the treadmill, but there was a period of time when I was walking that this was a great way to get ahead on my reading.  Now, I am running, which makes it a bit tricky to keep my eyes focused on the page, but it can be done – if you are skilled!  So if you are a walker, use your iPad on prop it up, or you can even use your phone and hold it while walking on the treadmill.  If you are an audiobook fan…..keep reading!

Audio Books

If you enjoy listening to podcasts in the car, then why not add books to your options?  Our library system has a wonderful set up so that I can download audio books right on my phone and play – love it!  You can also enjoy audio books on the treadmill so as well as grocery shopping {sans kids!} and doing household tasks.  Did you know that there is an option on amazon.com to pay a bit more on a kindle book and get Whispersync on some eligible books, which allows you to switch back and forth between the text version and audio?  It is so cool!

I have used Audible.com before I enjoy the ease of downloading books and their selection.  You can grab a 30 day free trail too, which gives you a chance to try it out and see if it works for you.  The variety of books is pretty amazing, more than what my library offers for free.  

Ax the TV

I had to set up some perimeters with my kids with regard to the TV watching in our home.  It all started last summer and I was the bummer mom in everyone’s eyes!  I decided that from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm the TV would stay off.  It works well, and amazingly enough, I even benefited from it being off – I was able to pick up a book more often and enjoyed some quiet reading while my little guy played outside or was in the bathtub.  See what turning the TV off will do with your reading time!  I dare you!

Self-Care 10

How about that little task that appears daily on the Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner - up at the top – Self-Care 10?  You can grab 10 minutes a day at least and apply that towards you needs of caring for yourself.  If reading is something that you enjoy and that fills your tank up, use that as one of the fun things you can do each day to care for yourself.

Before Bed

This one can be a bit tricky for me, as I tend to drift off really easy when I read, most especially in the evenings.  Half of the week I am home alone, my husband travels and my older kids are at their other parent’s house, so it is just me and my four year old.  So at 8:30 PM, I am left to my very own agenda – no one else but me and what I want to do.  I often will crawl into bed and open a book.  I love the quiet and can often read a chapter or two before the sleepiness overcomes me.

When is your favorite time to catch up on reading?

Don’t forget the FREE class tonight – if you can’t make it – don’t worry, you can view it anytime you like using the link provided or click here

Find-Your-Mojo-Energy

Keeping It Real

4
Dec
2013

 Keeping It Real in the Home

Chapter Twenty One:

Wow, can you believe we are at the end?  Well….it may be the end of the study, but it certainly is not the end of the process.  We have a lot of tips, strategies and the like from the book that can be revisited over and over again, keeping us on track – or getting us back on track!

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“I want to leave you with encouragement from the Word of God for the challenges you will face to bring order and pear into your life

“Insecurity plagues the most confident woman at times.”

“Only with God can you start over more than once with an unblemished, untarnished, 100 percent, still-intact potential.”

The big one for me:

“To stay on course and live a life or priorities, order and peace, we will need strength beyond ourselves.  many don’t believe that and are certain of their own power.  I know – I lived that way for many years.  Believing in your own strength keeps you walking on a path parallel to a life of victory.

I think for me one of the areas I am left with as a continual battle will be one of the things Glynnis talks about during this last chapter – Learn to Finish Well.  I am not the best finisher – in fact today, I got home after dropping my little guy at preschool knowing I had a set agenda for what “work” items I need to work on, and I felt the need to clean my carpets.  I have a procrastination problem at times and then will procrastinate finishing!

“Great intentions are easy, but establishing consistent follow-through has taken years of work.”

This is an area of great diligence ladies.  We must focus moving ahead and changing bad habits.  What does that look like for you?

Remembering that it is not our call to do it all – “For every yes there is a no.”  Remember that.  I have to – even in the midst of wanting to please others.  What do I need to remember:

  • Keeping my commitments simple and within my realistic ability.

  • I need to finish something before I start the next – this will solve a lot of my problems – self-discipline.

  • Realizing that I do not have to be perfect and not allowing what others think of me to jeopardize my self-confidence.

Getting over the hurdles – I especially loved this section, as I am right now going through a hurdle time in my life, but I can take heart knowing that I can learn to overcome, or the other option is to allow it to consume me.  When given time to think about it, I know I want to overcome, not sink.

Consider these questions, answer them in your journal, comment here or you can leave your comment on the private Facebook page.  

  • What is your biggest lesson from reading this book?
  • How can you challenge yourself in the weeks to come to stay on track and conquer more areas?
  • To finish your race well, what needs to happen?
  • What goal do you have for yourself – what can you start doing today to make it a habit?

I did mention on the Facebook page that I am considering another study after the New Year.  I would love your input, suggestions and ideas on how to do this again.  I was very happy with the success of my first online study and look forward to serving you in this way.  I currently have started reading, “Choose Joy, Because Happiness Isn’t Enough” by Kay Warren.  I think it would be a great focus to begin 2014.

Tackling Organizing Your Child’s Room

3
Dec
2013

 Organizing-Childrens-Room

Chapter Twenty:

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“Her heart was in the right place, but the more she “organized,” the more overwhelming the project became.”

…organization isn’t a skill that is taught once, then caught forever.  It’s an ongoing process to teach children how to categorize items and make discriminating decision about what should go where.”

“The Bible teaches that it’s better to give than receive (Acts 20:35)  One way to help your child apply this lesson is to build times of giving into your year – ideally before a time of receiving gifts.”

Start your child on a lifelong habit of keeping track of upcoming events and responsibilities on a calendar.”

The big one for me:

“There are no right or wrong organizing practices.  What works well for one child won’t work for another.  Become a student of your child, and understand how she thinks  What would make the most sense to her?  How does she process information?  Armed with that information, you’ll be better equipped to bring order to your child’s room.

I honestly think going in to organize a child’s room is the worst!  I hate it!  Talk about being overwhelmed.  With my personality type I can get easily distracted with “their” stuff and not understanding how important simple items are to my children.  Things that seem to be such non-sense, are important and I have to be careful to not just go directly to my reaction of throwing things out.

I really liked how Glynnis gave steps in helping us navigate our children’s rooms.  Creating zones is a great tip and strategy to help them develop habits about where items go and will also help build skills on doing this as they get older.   Consider simple storage options that are easy for little hands to operate.  Baskets are great, drawers tend to me more difficult.

We’ve managed to have a book shelf in the closet of our kids’ rooms which opens the space in their room allowing for more play area.  The same is said for putting the dresser in the closet as well.  This works really well until they are about 12 or so, when clothing tends to be more on hangars and takes more room in the closet.

I love to label items and using pictures is a great way to help your child who is not at the age to read.  This simple step makes it easier for them to see where things belong and they can be encouraged to clean up on their own and do not need your help after a few times of ‘together’ clean up.

If you have not gone through toys and clothes lately, this is the perfect time to purge those areas before more comes in your home!

Consider these questions, answer them in your journal, comment here or you can leave your comment on the private Facebook page.  

  • Does Glynnis’ Step by Step Plan outline seem like a realistic plan of action?
  • Do you have a system for keeping school papers and sharing them with other family members?
  • Do you have a calendar in your child’s room or at a place he was refer to that is just his?

Don’t forget to jump over and listen to the last call in our series – I just got off from recording the call with Myra and it was perfect!  A wonderful way to wrap up our study and enter the Christmas season too!

Myra-Hope-call-1

I Used to Be So Organized Book Study – Week 7

2
Dec
2013

 

I-Used-To-Be-So-Organized-Study-Main

  

Week Seven Reading Assignment:

Read Chapters 20, 21

I will be posting my thoughts on Chapter 20 on Tuesday and Chapter 21 on Wednesday.   Oh, and for those who have been so patiently waiting –  I will be sharing my miracle story about our dog Riley on Thursday.  You won’t want to miss it, even if you are not a dog lover – grab some tissues because it is an amazing story – really!  (If you are new here you can read this post I wrote 3 years ago about our dog and our heartbreaking battle).

We will be talking about one more area in the home for staying on top of organizing as well as truly grasping the reality of what it means to be organized and have grace with ourselves.  I do not want anyone to leave this study feeling even more discourage then when they came.

This study and the 7 weeks we’ve shared together are a journey….a path to get you back on track with a few strategies to impact some change.  I hope you’ve taken a few ideas and started to implement them and as you grow those into habits, then take a hold of a few more and venture forward.  Growing is a process ladies.

Here is the bible verse for this week.  

Week-Seven-Bible-Verse 

Also, for those who signed up for the “Getting Real – Conversations that Spark Change” Conference Calls, we have a call tonight!  

Myra-Hope-call-1

What a fun and relaxing call we will have tonight – you will love wrapping up our study with a conversation to inspire you to make your home a place of peace and refreshment.  Myra is who I want to be when I grow up – seriously!  She is crafty, an adorable decorator, cooks wonderful down-home recipes and loves to share it all.

If you didn’t purchase it before now – don’t worry, you can run over and get it now  and the rest of the series too.

Also, a quick note – if you are doing any online shopping I would greatly appreciate you using my amazon affiliate link, which is always shown below in my posts.  I do not accept paid advertising on my site and will only ever share products or resources that I would pay for myself.  Each time you order an item and use my amazon link, I earn a small percentage of the purchase price, but it doesn’t not cost you anymore.  It is one way I can keep my site going and offer free products, resources and especially this online study.  My biggest FREE resource will be released shortly and you will love it!

Cyber Monday!!! If you have procrastinated getting eMeals – don’t miss the 30% off sale – use CYBER to get your discount!

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Closets and Storage Spaces

28
Nov
2013

Organized-Closets-Storage

Chapter Nineteen:

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“Storage spaces are the foundation of home organization.

“We delay making decisions about things when we don’t’ have the space to store them.  So, we stack boxes on the floor of a closet, pile bags on top of each other, or throw things in bins.  It’s easier.”

“It can be painful to release things you’ve loved, but you will be lighter in spirit afterward.”

“The problem most of us have is too much stored in too little space.”

The big one for me:

“When I find it hard to part with a skirt I once loved, there’s an image I bring to my mind.  It motivates me to make the right decision.  The image is of a single mother who is trying to get a job.  She knows she needs to provide for her daughter, but she doesn’t have anything nice to ear, nor the money to run to the mall and pick up a cute outfit.  She needs something.  Then I look at the lovely skirt I no longer wear.  That skirt can either hang in my closet gathering dust, or it can help a sister I haven’t met.

I honestly do not have that much trouble going through my closet and getting rid of clothes.  This has not always been the case though.  I used to have a lot more clothes than I do now, but you know, my life is simpler if I have less.   It is the same for my kids too – a few basic items are better than a ton of many items.  Less to wash, less to put away and less to find somewhere to store them!

I like Glynnis’ suggestions to store items that you are not using in that season, somewhere else.  I have a bin that is up high in my closet for out of season clothing, it helps free up space and brings about an ordered look to my closet.  Which lowers my anxiety!

Removing what you are not wearing is a key strategy to keeping things in order.  If I haven’t worn something in a year -bye bye!  It is gone, period.  It is a good rule to have.

I do not have a linen closet in my entire house! Seriously, not anywhere.  I use the space below my bathroom sink to store towels and one cabinet that we installed above our toilet in a bathroom to keep spare sheets.  Not much space, but it works.  I think by having less space we accumulate less stuff – amazing how that happens.

Consider these questions, answer them in your journal, comment here or you can leave your comment on the private Facebook page.  

  • Do you need to work in your linen closet or hall closet first?
  • Do you feel you have too many items of clothing?  What could you donate or take to a consignment shop in the next week?
  • Are you in a habit of putting away items in the closet in an orderly fashion, or is keeping a closet organized a challenge for you?

For those in the US – enjoy your day with family – Happy Thanksgiving!  Say a prayer for me as I will be flying back home tonight after leaving my dog with his new family.  I am sure I will be quite the mess – a blubbering mom on a 6 hour flight!