"Start slow and start small. Stick to it and stay consistent." That's the motto with which I live these days.
Last year I tried to read one book every week. It went great for the first 9-10 weeks but then I experienced a job loss which was soon accompanied by the lockdown. As I'm a software engineer and a stoic, my obvious response was to accept the situation and to start preparing for interviews and leetcode every single day until I got another job.
In the 3rd week of April 2020, I finally got a remote job in a healthcare startup from New York City, which was wonderful, and allowed me to schedule my day according to my liking. With that remote job, I got a significant hike which allowed me to splurge on my first guitar. I never knew that I would love to learn a musical instrument so much. I already had one month of books in my backlog because of interviews, but after getting the guitar, it just became less of my priority. It took me a long while to set up a system for reading books.
Is there a new system in place?
Absolutely! By the end of the year when I was reading the 19th book of 2020, I realised what I was specifically lacking after getting into remote job that I wasn't being able to read books.
There was an absolute lack of system. In my previous job I used to commute every day via metro which was an hour long one-way commute. I used to force myself to either read a book or listen to a podcast, but nothing else. That strict system used to give me 60-90 mins of reading time every day, and because I was readign regularly, it wasn't uncommon for me to pickup my kindle during a break and start reading. Because of lack of those commutes, I did set an hour of reading time during the day after, I was done with work at my remote job, but it just didn't feel comfortable because I couldn't stop thinking about guitar.
Now, I'm going to replicate the system that earlier had. Neither, I'm not leaving my remote job, nor I'm going to start commuting just for reading. I've realised that half an hour of reading before starting to work, and half an hour of reading after I'm done with work, playing guitar, and cooking.
Yesterday, on 1st Jan,2021, I've started reading a new book "Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art". Now, I'm simply divide the book in 7 parts and read one of that part every day.
I'm sure there must be something that you tried to achieve in 2020 but failed doing that. I request you to give it another shot, try to find out "HOW" you can accomplish that and break it down into a daily actionable plan. Have a great year!
That's it for this blog post and if you feel that you've something to add to this or you have a different perspective then share it and discuss it on r/StoicHuman or go to the Reddit discussion post for this blog post linked down below.
Stay healthy, Stay safe!
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