Recently I found a deceptively simple solution to a long time problem of mine: Always having too many books to read at one time.
Sounds like its not a big deal right? Well, the problem actually used to stress me out because I always felt like there was something more to read and never enough time to read it. The solution I found involved Reframing the issue in the context of something that I am very good at solving.
Reframing is similar to what it sounds like, it involves taking the problem or idea out of its usual context, and sticking it into another one. In essence, taking the picture out of its normal frame, and moving it to a new one.
What I did here was take the issue of having too many books to read, and framing it in the context of “Financial Debt”.
I’ve never had a problem with financial debt, I’ve always been on top of my bills and have been very good with my personal finances. This is an area of my life that I feel I have entirely under control. Now, when I take the issue of constantly over-burdening myself with purchased books and stick it into the frame of being in debt, my whole idea of the situation changed.
Heres How I Reframed The Situation:
I used to think I had too many books to read and I would just never finish them.
Now, I think “I am in book debt, every book I have on my shelf is similar to being in financial debt, in that it is burdening me and I need to get out of debt”.
Thinking of it in this new context, I was able to think differently about the situation, and come up with ways to “Get myself out of book debt”.
I came up with a few new rules, such as “I must read every new book I buy within 2 weeks of purchasing it, otherwise do not purchase it”
This new rule was one of the most powerful and effective changes I’ve made that has stuck. It absolutely prevents me from experiencing this issue in the future.
I went through some of the books I had piling up on my dresser, and if I hadn’t read them in over a year after purchasing them, or if they no longer interested me, I simply threw them out or attempted to sell or donate them. This brought the burden down a lot, I could always re-purchase them if I was interested, and obviously I wasn’t into them now as much as I was when I purchased them.
Now I have only about 6-7 books left on my dressed, from a humungous pile that appeared to be insurmountable before.
i’ve also taken to repurchasing some of the books on my dresser as audiobooks, since I have so much more time to listen to books than I do to read physical ones. This is especially great since I am often really interested in reading a more current book that captures my interest.
Now I’m not so stressed anymore about this first world problem.
Is there an issue in your life that you may want to reframe to find a solution? If so, comment in the facebook plugin below and I’ll try to help you find a way you can reframe it.