This year in particular, I’ve been trying my best to find ways of reading more and keeping concentration on reading. Reading more productively if you will. This has always been my biggest downfall. When it comes to my TBR pile and hitting my yearly goals.
Usually, i’d sit down with a book and say to myself that i’ll have an hour to read, or however much time i have spare. This almost never happens because i’m so easily distracted by everything around me. I need definite start and stop times and strict rules, or else i’ll waste time and feeling nothing but horrific about it.
I’ve known about reading sprints for a long time. They’re most common during read-a-thons and they involve reading for a certain amount of time – usually between 10 to 20 minutes – stopping for a break and then going again. It’s become quite common for Twitter accounts to tweet when reading sprints are happening during events and such, to help people concentrate and get the most out of their allotted time.
I never really thought anything of them until recently. I wasn’t sure how they’d help or how to go about doing it for myself successfully. I always figured that if i was to set myself a timer, i’d go off and lose concentration again.
Very recently, i wrote a post about reading three books at once, after Sophie then wrote a post about reading multiple books at once. Once i’d started reading all these books and trying to figure out a way to keep this organised, i figured i might as well try reading sprints. I set an alarm on my phone, 15 minutes, 5 minute break and continued like that for an hour or two. I’d read a book for 15 minutes, take a 5 minute break (or if i felt like it, read a different book – usually non-fiction – for 5 minutes) and then move on to another for 15 minutes and so on.
This actually ended up working out ridiculously well for me. I’d been skeptical for so long and i ended up really enjoying the focus it gave me to read. Knowing that i had such a short amount of time to read as much as i possibly could in that one book pushed me to keep concentration. I ended up reading over double my average amount of pages on both days that i first tried reading sprints.
My only tip would be to set alarms with your sprints, something that makes a noise so you don’t have to keep checking the time or checking your phone. That’s when you get distracted. Make sure your focus is solely on the book in your hand.
I would absolutely love to get more people involved with reading sprints at some point and figure out a way to host some successfully. They’ve definitely worked for me, so if you’re struggling in the concentration department and want to get some more reading done, try setting your own sprints.