Busy people can read 10x times faster now with 4 easy steps
Welcome to the age of massive information!
Information is everywhere. Is on all of your surroundings; your cellphone, your brain, your TV, your computer, on the radio, on all kinds of papers: newspaper, magazines, flyers, books, etc.
The information has been produced since the time of the caves when your ancestors used to draw an image of a mammoth to warn others about the dangers in that area.
According to Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, we produce 2 exabytes of information every day! That is 130 million iPhones worth of data. 1,073,741,824 Gigabytes. That means buildings around the globe full of computers (servers).
There is not enough time to read that huge amount of information. Unless, of course, you read faster.
In the age of data where there are tons of information around, the logical thing to do is to teach people to read faster.
If you don’t read faster then you will be caught by the huge wave of information. By the time you finish reading about a certain topic, probably there will be new information just coming up that could contradict what you just read in the last year.
Now, imagine you could read a book a week. Plus the articles you read on the internet (Medium ;) ). You will have the power of more than 50 books in a year.
What could you do with that amount of knowledge? become a CEO?
We all know that CEO’s are know for reading 4 books per month, now you will acquire the skill to do that.
We also know the advantages of reading, but let me put it here as a quick reminder:
- Reading improves your focus.
- Reading improves your memory.
- Reading improves understanding.
- Reading improves your imagination.
- Reading improves your vocabulary.
That being said, let’s start with the 4 simple average human achievable steps:
1. Give your reading the finger
For our sight is easier to focus on things that move. When you are reading the letters don’t move, so, you have to do an additional effort to concentrate on the text lines while you are reading from one side to the other (horizontally), and even doing an effort also to avoid jumping accidentally to the line below. Plus when you finish reading at the end of the line on the right, you have to go back to the left to continue on the line below, which sometimes can be hard by using just your eyes.
Studies show that the use of the finger while reading can increase your reading rate anywhere from 25 percent to 100 percent.
Using your finger as a guide keep your eyes focused and prevents them from wandering, also eliminates the effort on your eyes and mind of having the pressure to avoid skipping lines or jumping on the incorrect one, which reduces regression.
2. The 4–3–2–1-Breath-2 exercise
Maybe the title for this step sounds hard but is extremely easy I guarantee you that.
- Set your alarm for 4 minutes start it and then start to read as you usually would read; comfortably, no hurries, no pressure, just relax and read. You can use your finger or a pacer. When the alarm goes off, mark the line that you were just reading, that will be your “finish line”.
- Now set your alarm for 3 minutes and try to read until your “finish line”.
- Set your alarm for 2 minutes and do the same. Don’t worry about comprehension, just try to reach your “finish line” as fast as possible. You can move your finger or pacer faster to help you.
- You know what is the next step, don’t panic. Set your alarm for 1 minute and do your best to reach the finish line. Again, don’t worry about comprehension, and don’t skip any line.
- Finally, set your timer for 2 minutes, but this time start at your finish line to read a new section. Read at a comfortable rate with comprehension. When the alarm goes off you will notice that you read more lines than the first time you tried on step 1.
The explanation is simple, you were reading insanely fast when you tried to reach your finish line in 1 minute, and then you apparently slow-down on step 6 to read comfortably, but you don’t really slow to your reading-rate to the read you had on step 1 because now you will feel that rate really slow. It is all relative.
Is important that you practice this exercise once a day.
Is like the athletes, in order to run faster they have to practice every day. But if they stop practicing they will slow down.
3. Expand your peripheral vision: See groups of words
Instead of reading word by word as most people were taught, you should be reading groups of words.
Let’s take a look at the following text:
“The little girl wearing the black jeans is walking to get her report card”
When you read “the little girl”, you will first see an image of a girl on your mind. We usually picture girls on our mind wearing dresses so you imagine her like that.
Then when you read “wearing the black”, you will see an image of the previous girl wearing something black.
Then you suddenly read the word “jeans” and your mind automatically put her some black jeans. You imagine her just standing because you haven’t read that she is taking action or doing something.
Then you read “is walking” and you imagine her like that.
Then you read “to get her report card”. And now you imagine a report card being delivered to her.
Reading word by word or little groups of words is too much processing for your mind which makes you read slowly.
What if you could read the whole phrase in a single glance? You will immediately see the girl receiving the report card. Just 1 glance and 1 quick picture in mind, that allows you to quickly proceed to the next sentence.
To start reading in groups of words you should first start reading pairs of words, of course, the pairs should make sense, just as in “little girl”.
Then you should start reading in groups of 3 words, then 4, and so on until you are reading a full line. This way you will be reading from top to bottom instead of reading from left to right.
This exercise should help you achieve this step:
Learn to Speed Read by Expanding Your Field of Vision
The goal of my last tip was to explain the importance of increasing your vision span. I told you that the easiest way…
The process of reading in groups of words will become easier with the following step:
4. Eliminate Sub-vocalization
Sub-vocalization is the inner voice that you “hear” in your mind while you are reading.
According to Zabisco, humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than plain text.
When you have passed a certain rate (about 300 to 350 words per minute), it will be impossible to subvocalize all the words. As you hit this threshold, your brain will begin to make the shift from saying the words to seeing them more like images. Reading a book will be more like watching a movie.
Trying the first 3 steps will make this easier to achieve.
Anyway, here is a good exercise to eliminate sub-vocalization
Counting.- The process is deceptively simple: count out loud as you are reading, “one, two, three . . .” and so on. This way you’ll find it is very difficult to count out loud and talk inside (subvocalize) at the same time. Doing this process conditions you to subvocalize less, allowing you to see the words rather than say them, thus leading to better speed and comprehension.
Initially, you may be a little confused (and your comprehension may even decrease), but in a very short time, your mind will grow bored of counting and will eventually stop. With practice, your comprehension will soon increase and expand because
Here are the 4 steps:
- Practice reading with your finger or a visual pacer each day. Schedule your reading, for even 10 minutes each day, to build your “reading muscle.”
- Exercise: 4–3–2–1 — Breath-2
- Read by seeing groups of words.
- Counting: out loud while reading to quiet your inner voice.
Reading will make you better in your whole life:
- Cognitive Mental Stimulation and Brain Exercising.
- Vocabulary and Knowledge Expansion.
- Memory Improvement and Better Focus.
- Strengthens Your Writing Abilities.
- Enhances Your Imagination and Creativity.
Imagine if instead of going out for a 20 minutes walk, you go out and start running at full speed without getting tired and only receiving the good benefits of doing it. How much benefit you will get for your muscles, your lungs, your heart, the brain oxygenation?
You’ll train your mind to be fully focused on one thing since you are running at full speed and you don’t want to get distractions or can you can have an accident.
Well, speed reading is this, is getting all the benefits of reading, plus increased concentration, better retention; improving your memory because now you are seeing images when you read. And of course, the huge amount of knowledge you can get.
Hope this helps you.
Since you are interested in speed reading, you certainly will find this article interesting:
Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes
How much more could you get done if you completed all of your required reading in 1/3 or 1/5 the time?
And the best book about self-improvement ever written: https://www.limitlessbook.com