5 ways to find time to study

You have probably heard all the sayings: Leaders are readers. Knowledge is power. The book you don’t read won’t help. And so on.

But you might find it hard to sit down to study after a hard day at work. Maybe you’ve had a long commute too. Maybe you have children in need of food an attention when you get home. There just don’t seem to be any time or energy left to read, study and work on your self-improvement.

At least there won’t be unless you make it a commitment and find ways of incorporating it into your daily life. Here are five ways of making sure you find time to study every single day.

1. Get up half an hour early.
Books have been written about the power of the early morning starts, and some advocate getting up at five in the morning to make the most of the day. However, unless you are already an early bird, I would not recommend that. Instead, set the alarm half an hour earlier than you usually do and spend those thirty minutes studying before the rest of your day start. Don’t be tempted to overstretch by setting the alarm an hour earlier. It takes time to change your body’s daily rythme. If you push yourself too much, you are more likely to give up.

2. Don’t waste your commute
Whether you’re walking, biking, driving or using public transport, make sure you utilize your time on the move to get ahead intellectually as well. Whichever aspect of your life you are trying to approve you are bound to find a podcast or audiobook on the subject. Set your own curriculum for the week each Sunday and dowload a few podcasts or audiobooks to listen to while commuting.

3. Feed your mind at lunch time
Take 15 minutes out of your lunch time to feed your mind as well as your body. You could watch a short TED-talk on your chosen subject while eating at your desk. Or if you need a proper break from the work space, take your lunch and a book to the nearest park and try to get through a chapter before going back to work. If your work consists of mundane tasks, you might find that your brain is processing the information you’ve study during lunch, making the rest of your day at work a little more interesting.

4. Excerise yourself smarter
Michael Hyatt, the CEO turned blogger, has written and talked about how he’s an avid reader, and yet he might not open an actual book for months. Instead he’ll get most of his reading done while running.
I am no runner, but I discovered podcasts and developed a love of walking at the same time. I realized that the only way I would get to listen to the podcasts I wanted, would be to carve out some time outside the house. And so I took up walking, and pretty soon I was taking 45 minutes walks at least five days a week. I’ve become healthier and more informed at the same time.

5. Call it me-time
If you find it hard to open that book you know you ought to read or get through that course you have signed up for, you might need to make a shift in your attitude. Reframe your study time from being a chore to being me-time. Block out half an hour each day that is dedicated to you and your improvement. A good time for this would be after work and the daily chores but before you sit down in front of the telly or collaps in bed. Make your self a non-coffeinated drink, find a quiet corner and get those books out, open that online video course or start listening to that audio book. This is your time, this is how you are going to become the person you know you want to be.

Remember, it’s not enough to want it. You have to do it as well. And it is the small, daily disciplines that will get you to where you want to be. Now go study!

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