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Seven tips to help you spend more time with the books you love

Jordan Milne and Martin Bjergegaard, the authors of Winning Without Losing: 66 Strategies for Building a Wildly Successful Business While Living a Happy and Balanced Life give you seven simple steps to get things done and make more time for reading...

Posted on 2nd May 2013 by Waterstones


Winning without losingFor many of us there is really nothing like getting into a great book. That feeling of being completely immersed in the characters, the plot, or the philosophy is one of the great pleasures in life. I for one am sometimes a little sad when a good book comes to an end.

In an age of over stimulation, the written word still holds a special place in many people’s hearts. A world where we can let our imaginations run wild. It’s a shame then, when book lovers view reading for pleasure as a luxury, and amidst a contrived sense of urgency believe they simply don’t have the time. How often have you heard the phrases: I read a lot more when I…. or when I…I will have more time to read. We get excited over a book and then it sits on our bed-stand, unread and unloved. One after one they pile up, a reminder of our hurried lives.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Everyone has 24 hours in a day and with the right mindset and strategies we can be more efficient than ever before. With a little planning you will soon find your day opens up, making way for more of the things you love.

Here are seven tips from our new book Winning Without Losing to help you start finding the time:


Learn it from day one: When was the last time you fully read the instructions for a new piece of software or equipment, or methodically went over the steps before setting out on a task instead of just diving in? It may seem slow and counterintuitive while you are doing it, but by figuring out the most efficient way to do things from day one, you will reap the rewards over the long-term.


Double up: Ok, so maybe you can’t pull time out of thin air. At least not yet. However it is possible to make your time work double for you. Discuss a project while working outside, read on the train, or seize an opportunity for mini-workouts. If you look you will find many hidden pockets of time throughout your day


Release your grip: When you surround yourself with good people, let them contribute. You don’t have to control every situation. This lets you focus on the things only you can do. You may also be pleasantly surprised by their input.


Start setting small safety nets: Many of us can be balanced when things are going as planned – it’s when things go wrong that we scramble. Putting in back-up systems to avoid worst-case scenarios lets you rest easy and avoid those crazy times. When was the last time you backed up your hard drive?


Do the worst first:  As we procrastinate and let a task sit, it builds and builds, sucks our physical and mental energy and distracts us from our other work. Start tomorrow by getting that thing done that has been hanging over your head all week.


Shorten your list: We make lists in order to feel organized, writing a long list of everything we need to do. This often results in being unfocused as well as unhappy when we don’t accomplish them all. Instead, write a today list. Focus on the 3 most important tasks that will have the most impact today. Do them and feel good about it.


Make the time to read: I can see the look on your face now. How does reading give you more time to read? Reading can be a wonderful way to relax and have a mini-holiday that lets you bounce back refreshed. It helps you by: allowing you to pause your mind, gives you a perspective as well as fresh input, knowledge and experiences…it can even help you get to sleep. Finally, with the right book, reading can be pure pleasure…and what’s more important than that?


So escape into your favorite novel or book. Pick it up off your bedside table and enjoy the journey, for in the end that’s all there is. And that’s the way it should be.


Jordan Milne and Martin Bjergegaard, for Waterstones.com/blog

Read an extract of Winning Without Losing now.

You can find Winning Without Losing: 66 Strategies for Building a Wildly Successful Business While Living a Happy and Balanced Life in your local Waterstones bookshop (http://bit.ly/YlTNkn) or online at Waterstones.com (http://bit.ly/Zzq5XN)