As much as I am enamored of my Mac, my iPad, and my iPhone, I love books more. I can literally read all day. That, for me, is a terrific vacation day (along with an occasional swim in the ocean, some eating and drinking, and time with my loved ones).
Reading a book can also be a great way to break your online addiction.
Here’s what to do:
First, set up your reading queue. You must always have at least six books lined up and ready to go. You can re-sort them, and add to them, but make sure you always have something to read. Never leave the house without something to read.
Make it a mix of books. Include non-fiction, business, science, and yes, novels and short stories. Make sure that they are books that you are really interested in. If you “assign” yourself reading, things that you’re not really interested in, you’ll avoid it and not end up reading after all.
Plan a time, every day, to read. During this time you will silence your phone, step away from your computer, and only read. I’d recommend at least an hour a day, but make it a minimum of thirty minutes. Just read. Don’t stop and check your email or Twitter. If you are reading on your portable device, don’t switch out during your reading time to check other apps. Just read.
Preferably, use a physical, printed book. If you’re reading, in part, to break your digital addiction, using a digital device to do your reading is a short step away from sliding right back into bad habits. I’m a fan of eBooks, but I’m still surrounded by print, by paper. And I like it.
There’s so much to be gained from reading, but you can also use it as a tool to help you spend less time online. And if what you’re doing online is primarily reading and looking at things, it’s relatively easy to redirect that into reading a book.
What am I reading today? Among other things, I’m reading 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare. It’s terrific.
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