Taking a break from reading made me more productive

Taking a break from reading made me more productive

God, it’s so hot in here at home. I need an air conditioner, but they always make me sick. So I’m trying to cope with the heat, but it’s not going well. I should at least buy a mini fan or something, but I’m sure it’ll be October until I decide on the brand. Anyhow, this is not the topic of this post.

A month ago or something, I realized I don’t have the time for the things I wanted to create, such as to get back into blogging again, YouTube, to start a podcast series… This led me to question the things I do daily. Why didn’t I have the time? How would some people have the time for side projects and I didn’t? I decided to make a list of the things I do daily.

I was…

  • working (morning to evening)
  • reading (after my shift ends or in the morning, without a time limit)
  • watching Netflix shows or movies (some days in the night, but not like an addiction)
  • wasn’t using social media really

In 2019 I experienced burn-out because I had to work more than sixteen hours a day for a few months to deliver the projects I had. That’s why I stopped spending my free time in front of my computer. It was reminding me how tired I was and how much I hate working more than I should. Therefore, this made me stay away from my side-projects for a long, long time.

I’m not sure if since then, but there has always been the next book to read. I was jumping from one to another. That’s totally fine if you don’t have any desire to do other things, but I had. I’m already a slow reader because I’m terrible at focusing, so it takes ages for me to finish even a short book. Basically, reading was the main thing I was doing in my spare time, and I wanted to see what I would do if I stopped reading. I was so close to finishing Dune, so I decided not to start a new book.

In the first week, I couldn’t do anything. I laid down on the bed and started to check out social media. Then, I found a mobile game called Merge Mansion, and surprisingly liked it! It was the only mobile game I played daily for a long while. I didn’t want to force myself to do anything creative (because it never worked,) so I waited until I feel like doing something.

A few days later, I really wanted to pick a template for my blog and edit it until I like it. I didn’t want to write something. I played the mobile game I mentioned, watched a few Netflix shows with my sister, started reading Cup of Jo, and it inspired me to start blogging again. The only thing I didn’t do was reading.

After a while, I had an idea about a podcast. I immediately ordered a microphone to invest money in this idea and start planning before losing my motivation (then I ended up using it to record the voiceover of a YouTube video).

Long story short, this was just an experiment for me to see who I am and what I do without reading, and I’m glad I did, even though I miss reading so much. Getting back to blogging made me really happy. Starting to create content on YouTube and everywhere else was something I wanted to do for the longest time. Now I know I should limit my reading time to continue doing these “other” things.

I saw this Tweet below a few days ago; it summarizes where I was before I started to question how I spend my time.

I know that reading is an enormously productive activity, and I love it so much, but for me, it was reading that I needed to cut off to have the time for the things that I want to do.

Do you have something you really want to do, but you can’t find the time? Or do you know you should be doing something else, but you have no idea what it is?

You might want to read: A story from a decade ago that affected me deeply

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