I admit it, I have several to-read piles in my house. If you are like me, an avid reader and a visual learner, you have a pile of books, newsletters, magazines, blog posts, or pins waiting for you to read. These to-read piles take up space in our homes, our computers, our phones, and our to-do lists. It can also add stress as the piles get bigger and other things take a priority. So what can you do to get through the slog of reading that needs to get done?
First stop feeling that every pile of to-read material contains some nugget of information that could change or improve your life.
As a society, we have developed this belief that since information is widely available to us, we should take advantage and absorb as much information as possible. If we don’t read some book or newsletter, then we are getting behind in this era of information. Stop trying to keep up with the Jones and concentrate on reading what brings you the most pleasure, and the most insight in whatever subject you are interested in, at the time. Nancy Perlman, Librarian and book critic, advocates that life is too short to read bad or boring material.
Still believe you can’t let go of anything you have on your to-read list?
Try This Exercise:
Think about a clipping or article that you have held on to that you use and refer to over and over again. Was it from a magazine you held onto for months before you unearthed that gem or was it something that immediately grabbed your attention and was too irresistible to put aside to read when you had more time? More than likely, it was the latter.
What would happen if we listened to our gut, glanced through a magazine or newsletter and set a specific time to read it or made the comfortable decision to let it go? I think we would all be living less stressful and cluttered lives. Those stacks of reading piles would not be around to taunt us with their promises of hidden information that we think we can’t live without.
Try setting a deadline. Look through either a current to read pile or any new reading items you come across this week. Glance through it quickly and decide: is this worth my valuable time to read? If so, read it or assign a specific time to read it. Otherwise, you are determining that the article is not important enough to read at this time and you need to get rid of it. The internet is vast and you could probably access the information when you need (or an updated version of it anyway.)
I know that letting go of a to-read pile is hard. In fact, I want to challenge you to join me in getting rid of to-read piles. I’ll be posting a Tuesday Tip next week where you will see me getting rid of a small box worth of magazine clippings I tore out and meant to reference but hadn’t looked at in over 4 years! I’d love to see you post pictures or videos of you paring down your to-read pile. Let’s work together. It’s time to end the guilt, get past it and let go … let’s not stress over not reading something.