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Why I started reading fiction for 20 minutes a day and how much more productive it makes me.

 

A while back, I wrote a blog post about how I need to read more fiction

Well, since that post, I’ve been making a lot more time for it on a daily basis. I’ve also discovered what floats my boat and when. I used to lie in bed at night with a personal or business development book and a highlighter (I’m not kidding), sounds relaxing doesn’t it? Now, I know to only ever read business or motivational books first thing in the morning and definitely not before bed time.

I make sure to turn off all screens at least half an hour before bed (this is such a hard one to remember, I’ve had to set an alarm on my phone) and look forward to climbing into bed for a cosy dive into whatever book is taking my fancy. It’s much more luxurious and pleasurable than the aforementioned highlighter wielding. 

While I love this little routine (most nights), I barely get through five pages and I’m snoozing. I have also noticed that during the day, I’ve got back into the (terrible) habit of eating my lunch at my desk. Which is made even worse by the fact that my desk is currently in my bedroom!

So, in true two-birds-one-stone form, I’ve decided to start implementing Midday Fiction Breaks. 
At around 12noon each work day, I stop what I’m doing, go have lunch at my dining table and then take a 20 minute break to read my book on the sofa. 

Honestly, I cannot stress how much this has increased both my productivity and daily pleasure. The difference is HUGE.  

It was hard to force myself to break focus at that time each day to begin with, but now that I know the benefit it’s having, it’s far easier to ‘down tools’ and get some downtime midday. I’ve found there to be two main benefits worth noting:

  • It forces me to break up my day into smaller batches. I know that I only have from 9am to 12noon to work on a project, so I tend to be much more intent on completing what I set out to do, knowing that there’s a strict 12noon finish time. 

  • The sheer indulgent pleasure of getting comfy with a cup of tea (often some dark chocolate) and my book for 20 minutes kickstarts my creativity for the afternoon stint. I used to find I was running out of creative juice by about lunch time, when really, I was actually just running out of juice altogether. Having this dedicated break to read some creative writing has me all fired up to get back to designing afterwards.

Are Midday Fiction Breaks something you’d consider injecting into your day?
Do you find that taking a break in the middle of your work day is worth it?

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