How to Double Your Reading Speed

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Investment: $285 per person
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INCLUDES: One-on-One Telephone Coaching

When I began working, I thought I would have to do a lot less reading than what I did when I was in college, turns out I was wrong. I am always reading something at work, email, reports, and books to up skills myself, client and product information etc. The only difference is that I was supposed to spend a lot of time reading in college. At work, I am supposed to read in addition to all the other jobs that fill my day. Do you have the same problem?

One of the things that can help deal with all the information that comes our way when at work is the ability to speed read. Speed reading, is the art of reading information quickly and faster than your regular reading speed. It takes practice and is a skill that can be learnt fairly easily. While there are classes and training programs that can teach you to speed read, our podcast can also provide you with five tips to help you improve your reading speed almost immediately.

The five ways that we are going to talk about how to improve your reading speed are:

  • Ask yourself first if you really need to read this document
  • Try and batch all of your important reading (during the day)
  • Always use your hand as the pacing device when you read
  • Learn how to become good at scanning and skimming your documents
  • Understand the power of your peripheral vision on a page of text

1.Ask yourself first if you really need to read this document

The first question you want to ask yourself before you learn to speed read is, do I really need to read this document? Will I benefit in some way if I read this information? If the answer to your question is yes, then you could go ahead and add this document to your ‘to read’ pile.

If the answer is ‘no’ then you may want to consider discarding the document. You really don’t need to read every document that comes your way. With the internet and an efficient filing system, you can find the information you need in a few minutes when you really need it.

2.Try and batch all of your important reading  (during the day)

Rather than reading in spurts, it helps to set aside sometime in your day for the important reading that you need to do. Maybe for an hour after you get home from work or just before you turn in for the night. A lot of people also feel that it helps to finish their reading first thing in the morning, when their minds are alert and fresh. Pick a time that works for you and aim to finish all your reading for that day in that time period.

3.Always use your hand as the pacing device when you read

Our eyes tend to jump all over the page when we read normally and this slows down our reading speed considerably. Try using your hand or a pen as a pacing device. Hold your finger or a pen under the first word of the first sentence and move it from left to right. Your eye will follow the pacing device. To increase your reading speed, you can slowly increase the pace at which you move your pen or your finger across the page. Your eye will move at the speed of the pen even if it is faster than the speed you normally read at.

4.Learn how to become good at scanning and skimming your documents

Before you begin reading a document from cover to cover, it is a good idea to spend a minute or two skimming through the table of contents and key headings or chapters along with the images or tables. This gives you a good idea of how the document is laid out and what information is contained in it. Another thing you may want to do it to skim the document and locate the information you are looking for, it helps to note down before hand what exactly you hope to learn from this document. That way you really don’t need to read the entire document, just the relevant portions..

5.Understand the power of your peripheral vision on a page of text

Using your peripheral vision, helps you speed read in clumps, which means that you can take in more than one word at a time while you read. A clump ranges from 4 – 16 adjacent words that you take in, in a single glance. When you read in clumps, your speed goes up, because you cannot vocalise the words as you read them.

When you use your peripheral vision, you want to focus on the centre of the text and let your peripheral vision take in the words on either side. Speed reading is a great tool and a great skill. When you begin to speed read, it helps to  remember that speed reading is a good way to read to understand and not read to remember