The Industrial Age is behind us now. Machines can out produce even the most diligent worker. But no form of artificial intelligence can match the brilliance of the human mind. Thus, while machines can replace muscle, nothing can replace the brain. So, we in the Information Age must sharpen our skills to keep up with the rapid pace of knowledge.
Yet while multi-media presentations are becoming more ubiquitous, reading remains the primary way to learn. It remains an essential skill. The faster you can read, the more you learn. And, of course, the more you learn, the more you can earn.
Yet it isn’t enough just to process written information faster, you also have to be able to retain it.
Speed reading appears to be an answer to how you can read faster, understand what you read, and retain more of the information in long term memory.
Here are 7 ways you can start speed reading right now.
One, relax as you read. The more stressed you are, the less you can retain. A relaxed reader is an attentive reader.
Two, read with a purpose. Before reading isolate why you are reading, then select those parts of the text or book that gives you that information. Many books have low content because of the need to fill out a two-page theme to book length. Sometimes, too, even with a high content book, you may only be interested in a few chapters.
Three, weed out the nonessential. In line with identifying your purpose in reading something, use the table of contents to isolate the essential chapters. Yesterday I wasted many hours of the day reading a book on concentration, only to discover that the chapters on techniques were profitable. The rest of the book was filler material. Now, I’m wiser.
Four, skip the structure. Many words exist in a sentence to hold the sentence together. Focus on key words. When you do a search on a search engine, you use key words to find what you want. Similarly, the human mind processes key words better than whole sentences. Usually more than 60% of any text is merely structure. By focusing on key words, you understand more.
Five, practice speed reading. Reading faster is a skill like any other. The more you practice, the better you get. Reading faster is more than an intellectual skill; it is also a motor skill, because you condition your eyes to move efficiently.
Six, condition your speed over time. Set a goal, and create a simple plan. Once you get to 200 words per minute, then aim for 250 words per minute, and so on. If you “train" consistently, you will actually be able to read a page a minute. A fit and conditioned runner can do a mile in 4 minutes…a page should be easier.
Seven, expand your vocabulary. The more words you know, the better your comprehension. Consequently, the less you pause to figure out what something means. Furthermore, the better your vocabulary, the higher your level of literacy, income, and social influence.
Reading faster does take some effort. However, your results will be worth it. As your knowledge expands, your income will soar and the quality of your life improves.
Alternatively, those who still have an industrial age mentality risk becoming obsolete. While we can’t slow the brisk pace of modern life, we can prevent the tragedy of falling behind.
Saleem Rana is a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado. If you would like more information on how to read faster, and understand and remember more of what you read, you can find it at http://theempoweredsoul.com/SelfImprovementBooks/speedreading.html