I often find myself coming home at the end of each weekday looking forward to the stack of books I have by my bedside. When the day is done and I finally get to read that first chapter … I wake up the next morning having fallen asleep with the book on my face.
If I don’t have the energy or time to read, how am I ever going to improve and advance my career as a reporter and screenwriter?
I’m sure most of you are nodding your heads in agreement.
Let me ask you — if you created a pie chart of your average weekday, what would it look like?
24 hours in a day.
Subtract seven for sleep—yes, seven, because any less increases your chance of dying early—we’re down to 17.
Subtract nine for work if you’re lucky—down to eight.
Subtract two hours for your daily commute during rush hour traffic—down to six.
Subtract an hour for exercise if you’re smart—down to five.
Subtract three hours for eating breakfast, preparing lunch, cooking dinner, cleaning up, laundry, paying bills, whatever general necessities are required to function for you and your family—down to two.
Subtract at least one more hour for work you needed to bring home because you’d otherwise fall behind.
How do you choose to spend it?
I’m a writer. Obviously, I should be writing.
But what about that guitar I want to play? Or the community theatre I want to join? Or the Catch 22 that writers need to watch more Netflix in order to get better at writing? Or, most important of all, the fact that I have family, a significant other and friends I like to spend time with?
We are clearly pulled in far too many different directions to put that rare hour into good use.
So in a desperate attempt to find the time to incorporate reading back into my life, I plan to blog about business-related books every so often to encourage us all to find the time to read.
We can read while we’re eating lunch at our desk — instead of browsing our iPhones. We can read while we’re taking public transportation — instead of napping. And once in a while, we can and should stay in on a Friday night to read books such as “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating A Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.”
If Arianna Huffington found the time to write 14 books, we should have the time to read at least one of them within a few months.
Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, including the news and blog site she launched back in 2005.
Two years later, Huffington collapsed from exhaustion, breaking her cheekbone and requiring stitches.
“By any sane definition, if you find yourself lying in a pool of blood on your office floor, you are not ‘successful,’ ” Huffington said in an article written for Inc. Magazine’s June 2014 issue.
“Thrive,” published this March, discusses her challenge to focus on a “third metric” of success in her life, past the conventional metrics of money and power: a metric that incorporates herself, her family (Huffington has two daughters), her health, meditation, disconnecting, wisdom, wonder and giving.
Obviously, her transformation from working 24/7 to doing the job on her own terms is working in her favor.
In 2011, she was named to Time 100. In 2012, the Huffington Post won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. And in 2013, Huffington was named to Forbe’s Most Powerful Women list.
“Who knows what else I might have done if I hadn’t paid such a price in terms of stress, anxiety and the impact that had on my health and my relationships?” Huffington said to Inc. Magazine.
Women, especially, are more likely to burn out and deal with stress-related illnesses.
So I encourage everyone reading this blog to read “Thrive” — and yes, I will be picking up a copy myself this weekend.
Here’s to finding the right work-life balance we all so desperately hope to achieve.
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