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Anxiety about reading: I never have enough time

Learn more about techniques and tools to help you if you feel anxious about reading scholarly texts

You might be feeling:

  • I just don’t have enough time to read everything 
  • I'm overwhelmed by finding the time to read lengthy academic articles
  • I think I'm a slow reader and I need strategies to read faster

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

What can you do right now?

One of the most common frustrations we hear from students is that they don't have enough time to complete all the readings they are assigned, let alone find time to read widely as they research for their assignments.   The fact is, there are exactly 168 hours in one week.  Since we can't make any more time magically appear, here are some strategies you can try to help you make the most of the time you have with your busy schedule:

  • Reading takes time. Make sure you account for it as your plan out your week. Block time intentionally in your agenda to make space for doing your readings each week. 
  • Try the Pomodoro Technique for time management when you have a lot to read and are feeling rushed for time or distracted.
  • If you are procrastinating doing your readings, try to figure out where this is coming from. For example, are you feeling unsure of what you're supposed to be reading? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the amount of reading expected of you? Are you struggling with getting started?  Are you struggling with comprehension or how to apply the readings? Based on the answers to these questions, please contact the appropriate people for help e.g., Librarians, your instructor, the Writing CentreCounselling & Learning Strategy Service. There are lots of ways you can get help at RRU, so don't be shy to ask!
  • If you are avoiding your readings or are feeling anxious about them, try some relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing, to clear your mind as much as possible before you start reading.  Please consider booking an appointment with one of our counsellors to explore stress reductions strategies especially if this is a persistent problem. 
  • And finally, be sure to turn off distractions!  Try the Cold Turkey app.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay 

Frank, T. (2015). 5 Ways to Read Faster That ACTUALLY Work - College Info Geek [Video file]. Retrieved from


Where can you learn more?


Ask for help

Counselling & Learning Strategy Services
(250) 391-2600 ext. 4515  
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