How To Read Faster Even Without Learning Any Speedreading Courses
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There are a bunch of speed-reading courses, software, seminars, tools and techniques that's available in the market today.
Some of them claim to increase reading speed up to 300% with practice while some only require you to download an app to your devices which will do all the heavy lifting for you.
Without getting into the argument of whatever they work, or which programs are the best to use, let me give you 3 easy techniques that you can use immediately without spending a dime investing in any of those materials.
Technique # 1 Use A Pointer
Your finger is your best friend.
One common reason why people are slow at reading is because they are purely on their eyes.
Our eyes actually do not always stay fixed in the same spot. They are constantly twitching to collect information outside your focal point.
If you rarely only on your eyes to read, it's easy to miss where you are and you'll have to waste time locating the paragraphs and regaining comprehension.
To avoid regression, use your index finger or a pen. Point at the words as you proceed quickly across the line and down the page. With such help, your eyes can follow the flow much easier and it will increase your reading speed.
Technique # 2 Skip Reading 2-3 Words From The Margins
Without getting too scientific, central vision is how we identify objects on a higher resolution while peripheral vision is how we get a gist of the scene with lower visual resolution.
Imagine there are 3 people standing near you, A stands exactly in front of you 5 meters away while B and C stand at about 60 degrees perpendicular to you (one on the left, one on the right).
If you look at A straight into his eyes, you can see a very clear vision of who this guy looks like because you're using your central vision. But when you maintain that eye contact, you can only see B & C next to him without being able to recognize the faces because you're seeing them with your peripheral vision.
During reading, most of us only use our central vision. That's why we read every single word on the line without realizing it's taking excessive time.
What you should do is to skip reading 2-3 words (depending on the size of the font) at the beginning and at the end of the sentence.
Your peripheral vision is able to capture those words without affecting your comprehension. This way you save 30-40% of your time by skipping a chunk of info while still understanding what's being said.
Technique # 3 Know Your Major Purpose Of Reading
I can not believe so many of us have overlooked this simple idea.
Books are not created equal. Articles are not created equal. Contents are not created equal. It is a huge mistake if we use the same time or speed to read everything.
If your purpose is for pure relaxation, enjoyment & entertainment, then chill out while you read Fifty Shades of Gray.
If your purpose is to do some serious Harvard research, study & analysis, then do not over indulge in speed reading and rush through the process.
If your purpose is to find a particular solution, method or technique taught by a reputable author, then skip the first 5 chapters and read Chapter 6 only.
Stop being so single-dimensional and logical minded when you read.
Be strategic. Be selective. Be purposeful. Be willing to change your rhythm.
If you just practice these 3 tips above, I guarantee that you do not need to spend another dime purchasing another speed reading program.
Have fun with it!
By Keye Wu