Image courtesy of dispicio via Flickr (CC 2.0)
In this digital age, information comes at you with lightning speed.
We are constantly swamped with different types of information too, in the form of messages, posts, emails, news stories, and so on.
So, how can you deal with this overload to get the information that’s important to you?
While there is no straight answer to this question, one way to cope with the problem is to use speed reading.
Put simply, speed reading refers to the activity of reading something faster than usual, focusing on the general meaning of a text rather than individual words.
Here are some dos and don’ts for training yourself to read faster….
1. Use a pointer
When we read, we mainly use two body parts – the eyes and the brain. Our eyes see the text in front of us, moving from left to right to read each sentence. The brain, on the other hand, absorbs this information, leading to comprehension.
In order for us to read faster, our eyes have to be trained to move quicker across texts. One way to achieve this is by using a pointer, such as our finger, a pencil, or a pen.
Initially, the pointer’s job would be to guide the eyes across the text rhythmically, gradually increasing the speed at which our eye balls move. Over time, the speed at which we read should correspond to the speed at which we move the pointer across a text.
2. Learn to retain information
Often people have the misconception that speed reading is all about flipping through the pages of a book as quick as they can, retaining very little of what they have read.
Nothing could be further from the truth. After all, if you cannot remember what you read, what is the point of reading something in the first place?
A skilful reader should know when to go at a steady pace and when to slow down. For example, when they come across a challenging concept or complex description, it’s best to go slower so that they are able to retain information better.
We’ll have more on speed reading in the next parts so watch this space.