Reading is one of my all-time favourite activities and something I have rediscovered recently. I love finding a quiet space and losing myself in a novel. I've missed this little escape in my day. Now my girls are big enough to choose their own books from the library, it gives me the chance to browse through the selections and pick some of my own reading material. Not the "How To Grow Your Home Based Business in 5 Easy Steps" manuals, which are all well and good, but that's still business. I'm referring to the wonderful world of fiction!

As entrepreneurs we need to find more balance. We often spend way more than our fair share of hours in a day thinking and doing business. We must switch gears and stimulate other interests.

Here are 5 reasons why you should make time for the joy of reading:

1. It allows you to single-task. Have you ever read and re-read a paragraph or a page in a book over more than once because your mind is elsewhere? Multi-tasking is not an option when it comes to reading and comprehending what you've read. You cannot cook dinner, allow your mind to wander to your to-do list, or have a conversation. You have to bring yourself back to the task at hand.

2. Learn something new – even when reading fiction. All good writers invest time to research their story. They include details, essential facts and statistics that give their stories meaning and create a reality we can recognize and be drawn to. They also use personal observations and quotations giving a story authenticity. You will gain some genuine new information that may indirectly affect your business.

3. Escapism. As entrepreneurs, we spend so much of our day dedicated to work. Reading fiction can be magical. We go places in our minds that we may never experience in reality. Or we may uncover our next travel destination.

4. Practice being present. This is related to single-tasking but takes it a bit further. You need to clear your mind of the 101 other things going thru it in order to be aware of what you’re reading. If you find your mind wandering to something you need to do, bring yourself back to the present and focus on what’s going on right now. Being present takes practice and is an incredibly useful skill in all aspects of work and life and increases your enjoyment of the here and now.

5. It’s a forced break. Because we are drawn away to another time and place, a good story gives our minds a break from what might be going on in our own reality. Time away is a good thing - we usually come back refreshed and often with a new perspective. We may be inspired by new ideas picked up through something we've read. Somehow answers seem to 'find us' if we're open to it.

So, my question to you is this? Have you read anything good lately? I hope so and would love to hear about it!

Author's Bio: 

As a Business Support Specialist to small business owners, Jennifer Hazlett provides technical and administrative assistance specializing in planning, implementing and managing various internet marketing strategies. Jennifer combines her current work experience with her extensive corporate background to create programs and services that help the small business owner get their business going, growing or back on track. Sign up at Jennifer's website, Alternate Admin for your complimentary report "101 Ways to Boost Business with a Virtual Assistant" and receive her free monthly ezine "Home Sweet Home Office" full of practical tips, tricks, tools and resources for the small business owner.