This blog often explores abstract ideas relating to personal development, creativity, productivity, and the like. Today, though, I have a concrete recommendation: a simple, 30-second tip that will make it slightly easier to maintain a reading habit.
How do we keep track of our progress in a (physical) book?
Using a bookmark, obviously. The trouble with bookmarks, though, is that they only tell us where we left off within a two-page range, and that’s actually not very specific. It’s slightly (okay, very slightly) annoying to open a book and not know if you left off at the top of the left-hand page, the bottom of the right-hand page, or somewhere in between. The denser the book, the more irritating this is.
To solve this, simply grab a sticky note and draw an arrow on it. When you finish a reading session, place the sticky note on the page pointing at the exact spot where you left off (see picture above).
The next time you open this book, you’ll know exactly where to resume reading.
Why It Works
A key to habit-building is lowering barriers. If you want to start jogging three days a week before work, laying out your running clothes the night before will make it slightly easier to follow through. And some mornings, slightly easier will be the difference between hitting the asphalt and hitting the snooze button.
Reading is the same way. If you make it as easy as possible, you’re likely to do more of it.