How to find Time to Read- when you have none to spare

One of the many questions I get asked A LOT is how I find time to read while homeschooling, blogging, doing Virtual Assistant work, raising 4 children, having time with my husband, who’s a pastor, and you know, breathing. There are a few tips I’ve picked up along the years to allow me time to allow my beloved pasttime. I will admit there were years in motherhood I didn’t pick up a book for months at a time. Looking back, I’m not sure if it’s truly that I didn’t have time or was just using that time in other ways.

(pssst…  please join me for my Summer ’17 Reading Group! I’d love to have you! Click here for more info)

This picture exemplifies a perfect outing for me- reading by the beach. Yet that happens approximately .8 times every two years. (Oh, how trips to the beach change when you have kids! It’s so much fun, but definitely different!)

how to find time to read, when you have none to spare

How to find time to read (when you have none to spare)

1.) First and foremost- keep a book with you at all times.

I have one in my purse, 15 on my nightstand (no joke, it’s a lot!) and usually have one in the living room and one in the car, too. If you’ve got one with you, you’re 100% more likely to read than if you do not! That way, if you’re stuck in a waiting room or carpool line, you have something to do- besides your phone. The other day, I was stuck in a doctor’s office for TWO HOURS but I had my book with me and was able to read quite a bit!

This is one reason I also highly advocate having a Kindle. You can keep TONS of books with you at all times, with hardly any weight added to your purse! Here’s the one I’ve had for almost 3 years. L-O-V-E it!

2.) Get up early or stay up late- just 15-30 minutes will do it!

Find a good book (here are a few suggestions) and either get up a bit early or stay up a few minutes later to read.

3.) Read while you exercise.

You can either stick a book or Kindle on the treadmill, or if you’re running/biking, you can listen to an audiobook (click here to download 2 free audio books of your choice!). I love multi-tasking. Even if I’m mowing the lawn, I’ll listen to a podcast or audiobook.

4.) Turn. off. the. TV.

Ouch. I know this one hurts. But chances are, you’re spending AT LEAST one hour watching TV a day. Ben and I recently set a rule for ourselves (copying some friends of ours!) to not watch TV after the kids are in bed Monday- Thursday. We spend that time instead reading or just hanging out. I actually feel more calm in the evenings. We also have (usually) getting to sleep a little earlier by doing this.

5.) Get off your phone.

Another ouch. Think about how many times you mindlessly pick up your phone to -again- mindlessly scroll through Facebook or Pinterest. Referring back to #1, if you keep a book handy, it’s a lot easier to read a bit rather than waste time (again).

Reading as parents is instrumental in teaching our kids to love reading. They watch everything we’re doing and if they never see us pick up a book, they may not feel compelled to read either.

How do you find time to read? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!

About Kelli Hays

Kelli Hays is a wife, mother, writer, and friend. She has been blogging since 2008 and loves sharing inspiration for the everyday woman!


  1. Thanks for the tips. In your post you mentioned you had a few suggestions but then I didn’t see where the suggestions were. Best wishes, Linda .. Pinned.

  2. I think it is like with most things. If you truly want to do it, you’ll make time. Like you said for example, turn off the tv or phone. Once a week I have to wait for my son doing psychomotricity and instead of using my phone I decided to read instead. In the end, it’s all about priorities.

    Stopping by from the SITS sharefest, have a great weekend!

    Alex – Funky Jungle

    • Kelli Hays says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by Alex! That’s a great idea you have about making time to read!

  3. I keep my kindle in my handbag at all times and snatch 5-10 mins where I can to read. When I’m teaching I don’t read for pleasure as much but I’m sure the kids books count. Thanks for sharing your tips. Came via sits sharefest.


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