Conquering Time and the Digital Age

Apr 09, 2018 | Posted by Nick


Since starting college in the fall of 2015, I’ve had very little time to read for pleasure. I have deep admiration for those who manage to find the time to read in such a chaotic daily life. Although I do my best to maintain a strict schedule, it can be difficult to anticipate how long assignments will take me. However, moving into 2018 and my junior year, I have decided to commit myself to a reading challenge.

The challenge is mainly to see how many books I can read within the year. The length, genre, and format are not restricted or limited in anyway. So far, I’ve read six books, and I’m working hard on my seventh. How have I found the time amidst taking fifteen hours of classes and working 25‒30 hours a week? Audiobooks. Call me a cheater if you will, but audiobooks are the future. Although I love to read a printed book, audiobooks allow me more mobility and the ability to multitask. I can listen while I walk to class, clean my living space, drive home for the weekend, workout, and sometimes, if the task is monotonous, while I work.

We live in a very monochronic society, meaning our culture views time as a commodity; we want to complete our tasks in an orderly fashion and without delay. Those who “waste time” are often viewed as being lazy, while those who use their time wisely are praised. With a monochronic mindset, it’s easy to think that we don’t have the time to read. However, when we closely examine the amount of time we allot to certain activities, we realize that we could make the time to accomplish more than what we think. Reading can be one of these activities. Spending time reading allows us to view the world through a different pair of eyes while entertaining our imagination. For me, I replaced my relaxation/Netflix time with reading, as reading is often as vivid—if not even more vivid—of an experience as watching a program.

People love competition. Some may claim that they are not competitive, and maybe that is so, but I don’t think anyone would argue that he would prefer to lose over winning. And rewards go a long way to motivate someone because positive reinforcement works. Accepting this is an important part of self-motivation. Through participating in a reading challenge, you can positively motivate yourself to read more and experience the vast benefits of literature.

But the benefits of reading aren’t just about completing the task. Through audiobooks, my sense of sentence structure in verbal communication becomes more complex. Although we have heard many words and understand them, we don’t typically use them. These words are our passive vocabulary. Reading helps us to transition words from our passive vocabulary into our active vocabulary. That’s a big benefit!

It doesn’t matter whether you challenge yourself to read more novels, more classics, or more books to your children. What matters is getting started and challenging yourself to be a better version of yourself. If you need help getting started, there are many great reading challenges available that provide monthly rewards. Pizza Hut and We Are Teachers both have great challenges for students and teachers, and there are many other reading challenges to be found on the internet. Do you need a great book list? Check out IEW’s reading list, Sarah Mackenzie’s book list, and the wonderful resource, Timeline of Classics.

I hope you begin to employ the natural desire for rewards and winning and strive to find unique ways to read more. Don’t let the digital age hinder you from personal growth, but use it to your advantage through audiobooks, e-books, and online challenges. A myriad of benefits awaits you!


Nick Buscemi has been associated with IEW since childhood when his father began working for the company. This has given him extensive experience with IEW's methods of speaking and writing, having taken many years of classes from Andrew Pudewa. Enjoying communicative interaction, Nick is majoring in Public Relations at the University of Oklahoma.

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