Reading slumps and other speed bumps

Hey, remember when I so wildly enthusiastic about everything and set myself a bunch of goals I was going to achieve?

Yeah… about that.

As January draws to a close, I’m faced with the stark realisation that I’ve done the same damn thing I do EVERY TIME I do just about anything in life – slipped into the same old habits!

I’ve barely read anything (currently cackling at my TBR list – the one book I read this month wasn’t even on it!), I’ve fallen woefully behind with #LDCJan? (sorry Laura!), and I ran out of queued reviews like a week ago and haven’t done anything about it since – despite having a bunch of reviews ready to be posted up!

I am, dear friends, in a bit of a slump.

There’s nothing inherently wrong in watching Netflix instead of reading, drinking a bit of soft drink instead of water, hanging on the couch instead of walking. But they’re becoming the norm and I’m getting really quite frustrated with myself.

So this morning I started brainstorming ways to combat this and I think I’ve come up with a game plan.

First, I’m setting a schedule.

I don’t believe anyone who says they function better spontaneously, because I positively THRIVE with a routine. Waking up at the same time every day, working with a to-do list, scheduling posts in advance – the moment I stop, I lose all momentum and suddenly it’s been days without a post or me picking up a book.

Let’s start small – scheduling in an hour of blogging and reading a day. One in the morning, one at night. And look, TICK! I already managed the blogging part today!

And then there’s Sunday. Sundays are my day off to myself and I’ve got between 7am and 6pm to get shit done before my boyfriend gets home and I inevitably get distracted. So on Saturday night, after work, I’m going to sit down and write my to-do list – what did I get through during the week? What do I still need to do?

And, once that’s done, I can set up a timed schedule for the day. Having those little hour or so blocks here and there is massively helpful for me, and with a few exciting projects coming my way in the next few months, it’s imperative I build good habits now, so I’m not beating myself up (and letting people down) later on!

Second, I’m planning in advance.

With the blog and now a fully book focused Instagram (thesloanrangerreads), I want to make sure I’m posting content consistently and regularly.

So let’s start by setting time aside on Sundays to take Insta pictures for the coming week. Time to brainstorm a few blog post ideas. Time to read other people’s posts and interact and build my presence.

Getting ahead is the key for me, so I can have that hour or so in front of the TV guilt free!

Third, I’m cracking out the apps.

In my bookstagram support group (shout out to the team!), I waxed lyrical about the Forest app, which rewards you for staying away from your phone by growing cute little trees. These trees add up to – you guessed it – a forest of productivity and time away from social media!

I might be cheating a bit by setting it to record time spent planning social media posts and blogging, but it’s also used to log my reading, writing, and walking time too – and I’m still not using my phone!

Honestly, if you struggle with getting focused, I highly recommend the app. The tree DIES if you check your phone. IT DIES.

Also there’s a really cool feature where you can use the points you’ve accrued from growing this pretend trees and have them plant a REAL TREE. A win for both your productivity and the environment!

If any of you reading this have any suggestions for apps that might help, I’m all ears! I’m particularly keen for apps that help me schedule Instagram content!

And that’s kind of it. It really just boils down to me getting back into a good, solid routine – which is always the case for me! Maybe I just took too much on early this month, I don’t know. What I DO know is that I have a holiday from the 13th to the 21st of next month and I want to have plenty of content scheduled so y’all don’t forget about me while I’m sunning myself in the Philippines!

What are your tips and tricks for staying motivated? Anyone looking for an accountability buddy? Let’s chat in the comments below!

(And also, shout out to FTLOV for the Get Shit Done candy heart that judges me from my desk every day)

2 thoughts on “Reading slumps and other speed bumps

  1. I feel like January was a pull your shit together month. From February I will be better (at least I want to think I will be).

    If it wasn’t for the readathon this month, I won’t have read hardly anything.

    I also only posted one blog post (for the readathon) and have a reading wrap for 2018 still in drafts that’s taking forever to edit.

    You are doing way better on your blog than I am and you are adjusting to a new foster dog which takes time.

    Forest is a great suggestion, thanks 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree – January should forever be designated GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER Month.

      We’ve all got these wonderful new resolutions to get started, a lot of people are just returning to work after a hefty break – it’s not a time to be beating ourselves up!


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