Last week, I shared about how I’ve been purchasing more Kindle books as a way to deal with stress.

The only challenge? Now I have to find time to read all the books!

Recently, I started using a simple technique that is helping me to consistently work through the books on my to-read stack. I’ve read 14 books so far this year, and I’m on track to reach my goal of 100 books read in 2021. (Remember, you can always follow what I’m reading on Goodreads.)

So what’s my secret? 

It’s the easiest thing in the world: I’m adding what I want to read as tasks on my to-do list.

Yep. I’m giving myself reading assignments each day and, so far, it’s working out pretty well.

Now this is different than just say that I want to “read every day” or “read more” — I’m actually choosing the books I want to read, breaking them down by chapter or page count, and then adding reading “assignments” to my schedule.

It kind of makes me feel like I’m back in school again.

I started using this method as a study guide for my upcoming CPTD exam to make sure that I could squeeze in all the books that I wanted to read before my exam date. I’m also taking an online course for work that comes with a lot of reading assignments, so this strategy has come in handy for that.

However, I’ve also found that these reading assignments work equally well for the “fun” reading that I want to get to.

Now, I can understand not wanting to make fun things a to-do item on your list, but what it’s really allowed me to do is plan out my schedule to ensure that I’m finding time to do the reading that I want to each day. 

When I know that I have reading assigned, then I’m looking for the margin in the day where I’m going to be able to get to it. For the fun books I want to read, usually that means reading early in the morning, over my lunch break, or right before bed.

I’m also really liking this strategy because when I plan out my reading this way, I can see when certain books will be finished and when I can start new ones. 

It’s like having a strategic plan for my reading.

Too nerdy? Then you probably don’t want to know about the database I’m building of all the books I own so that I can track what I have left to read in my collection…