Studies have shown that reading for 6 mins whether is its for business or pleasure can not only reduce your stress by 68%, but suggests that it may even fend off Alzheimer’s, says John Coleman in his latest HBR article. http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/08/for_those_who_want_to_lead_read.html.
But when can I fit it in?
The biggest challenges I found was finding the time in my already hectic day, not having what I wanted to read on me, and believing that it was time well spent not wasted.
How I made it work for me
- Firstly I succumbed to buying an iPad and wow! I can download anything I want, when ever I want and read it when ever I wanted to.
- Then I took those difficult in-between times to read. You know the ones, between appointments or when waiting for someone to turn up.
- Next I had to consciously reframe my thinking about the value of the time spent reading. This time is now my self development time ( yes that’s the time that usually comes last after everything and everyone else)
- Once I was getting snippets of time to read and getting excited about either learning something new or just taking a bit of self care time I realized I wanted more. I now plan my reading time over coffee. I go to my favorite cafe in Christchurch, Seven Cafe http://www.pulpkitchen.co.nz/seven-cafe/ and set up my iPad over coffee or lunch and indulge myself.
What’s in it for you?
Taking time to read improves your leadership skills, verbal and emotional intelligence, and enables empathy. Communicating articulately and adeptly improves which stimulates creativity and innovation. If that’s not enough, its a great way of reducing your stress, taking time to just stop and get rid of the pressures that are terrorizing your brain. By choosing a favourite cafe I also create a feeling of pleasure in taking some self care time which means I re-energise and become more efficient for the rest of the day instead of driving through the day and burning out. I also get to make smart food choices, another factor in reducing my stress.
What’s stopping you?
Not making it important enough!