Most of us read constantly in our everyday lives. This is why learning how to read faster and more efficiently is a skill that will be useful in life.
Whether it’s e-mails, books, magazines, or other type of content, reading is a big part of our everyday lives. It allows us to pick up all the knowledge we need. In particular, the category of people for whom reading efficiently is of the utmost importance is CEOs.
They receive a huge amount of information on a daily basis. They need to go through all of that information in order to make important decisions. For this reason, learning speed-reading is something that can bring many benefits to their work.
People like Tim Ferriss and Jim Kwik are great examples of how speed-reading can help you maintain your peak performance. Tim is a well-known author, public speaker, and entrepreneur. Jim is the CEO of Kwik Learning, a company that helps people reach maximum brain performance.
Both of them have helped many people learn how to read quickly, so they can read just like the CEOs of major companies. If you believe that this can be a useful skill, here are some of their best tips for speed-reading.
Tip #1 – Sit up Straight
Even though this might seem like a small thing, it’s far more impactful than you might think. Simply sitting up straight to read can help you read much faster, with maintaining the same level of comprehension.
The reason behind this is our brain, or more specifically, the connection between the brain and the lungs. Even though the brain takes up a small percentage of our weight, it uses around a fifth of our body’s oxygen. If your posture while reading is bad, you make it harder for the air you breathe in to reach the bottom of your lungs. Since this is the part of the lungs where air enters the bloodstream and goes to the brain, this results in your brain not getting as much oxygen as it can.
An obvious result of this is a sub-optimal brain performance. When you maintain a straight back, you allow the oxygen to reach the brain easier, which should increase your pace of reading.
Tip #2 – Use a Visual Pacer
This is one of the best tips for speed-reading, especially for people that have trouble concentrating. For this purpose, you can use a pen, your cursor, or your finger to track the text that you’re reading.
The main reason why this can make a big difference is the connection between our senses of sight and touch. A visual pacer makes it easier for your eyes to register the text you’re reading. And since pretty much any motion catches the eyes’ attention, you can learn how to read faster simply by following the text with the pacer.
If you try this yourself, you’ll notice how much your focus improves, and how easier and faster you’re reading any content.
Tip #3 – Use Your Peripheral Vision
On average, a human eye can register a 1.5-inch portion of text using central vision. This means that you’re able to see no more than five words. Focusing on every portion of the text you read can slow you down significantly.
Instead, try to scan the text with your eyes by going from one portion to another. This is where your peripheral vision comes in play. It helps your eyes register more portions and faster, which can increase your reading speed by a lot.
Another way this helps is by preventing subvocalisation. This is when you pronounce each word you read in your head, and it’s another thing that can slow you down by a lot. By scanning through the text, you can increase reading speed and still be able to understand everything you read.
Tip #4 – Find Natural Light
When you read in dim light, your eyes tend to get tired very easily. This is why you’re not able to read like this for a long time before your vision starts blurring. To make sure this doesn’t happen, find the right amount of natural light.
A good idea would be to go outside and find a place where there’s enough indirect sunlight. This way, you ensure that your eyes can reflect the text more easily, so going through it is much faster.
If you can’t or don’t want to go outside, you can find many light bulbs that are as good as natural light. The most important thing is that your environment is bright enough, but not too bright, as this can also exhaust your eyes.
Tip #5 – Find the Right Temperature
As much as getting cosy in your bed with a good book sounds appealing, it’s not the best way to read efficiently. If you want to learn how to read faster, you first need to make sure that you’re alert enough for your brain to work as fast as you want it to.
Being in a warm room can make you tired or sleepy, which can have a negative impact on your ability to read fast. Instead, cool down the room you’re reading in a bit, to help you stay more alert and focus on the text in front of you.
This is another one of those tips that are very simple but can bring huge progress, if you combine them with the other ones. So the next time you feel like you can’t read fast enough, make sure to check whether you’re just too comfortable.
Tip #6 – Read Mindfully
Mindfulness is an extremely beneficial concept. It means that you devote your full attention to everything you’re doing. Whether it’s having a coffee or lunch, working, or doing pretty much anything else, as long as you’re mindful while doing it, you can experience it fully.
Mindful reading lets you put all your focus into anything you’re reading. It helps you concentrate and can improve reading efficiency by a lot. The best thing about it is that it’s fairly simple to ensure you stay mindful.
All you need to do is eliminate all distractions. CEOs know how important this is, and so should you. If you’re reading something important, make sure there’s nothing around you that can disturb your focus. Turn off your phone and make sure you’re in a quiet place, and you’ll be able to read much faster and remember more of what you’ve read.
Tip #7 – Make Sure You’re Hydrated
Even though this is more of a general health tip, staying hydrated can make a big difference to your reading capabilities. Water makes up about 75% of your brain, so it won’t function properly if your fluid intake is too low.
Even 2% of dehydration can have a negative impact on your cognitive abilities. This means that if you don’t rehydrate your body, your brain won’t be able to process enough information in a short period of time.
To avoid this, drink around eight glasses of water per day. For most people, this is enough to ensure optimal brain performance and improve reading efficiency.
Tip #8 – Take Advantage of Technologies Available to You
In this day and age, there’s an app or software for pretty much everything you need. There are many speed-reading apps available to you, so it would be a great idea to check them out.
Some of these programs help you by highlighting certain parts of the text to help you move through it faster. Others offer you tips for speed-reading, along with the visual help. There are many apps out there that can do this, so if you’re struggling with your reading speed, try them out and see if they work for you.
The Books That Make Billionaires
We’ve showed you some ways of learning speed-reading, now it’s time to show you the reasons you should do it. Every successful person knows the importance of gaining as much knowledge as possible through reading.
People like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates have used the knowledge that they gained to create profitable businesses. There’s no reason why you couldn’t do the same, if you know where to find this knowledge. To help you with this, here are some of the best books that have helped billionaires reach their success:
- “How Asia Works” by Joe Studwell – This book discusses the economic history of nine Asian countries. It shows why some countries have developed successfully, while others fell behind. It’s a great book for understanding how the economy works, which is useful for every businessman.
- “The Myth of the Strong Leader” by Archie Brown – An eye-opening book that discusses leadership techniques of people who shaped our world. It’s suitable for everyone aspiring to become a successful leader, as it teaches some important aspects of leadership.
- “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” by Peter Thiel – This book can provide motivation to everyone aspiring to start a business. It discusses all the opportunities that we have today and how we can turn them into success.
- “Our Final Invention” by James Barrat – In this book, James Barrat talks about the development of AI and its potential impact on the human race. It’s one of those books that really leave you with a lot of questions, a great read all in all.
These are only some of the books that can motivate you to learn how to read faster. Mastering this skill will help you take in all the knowledge easily and in no time. This leaves you with more time to put that knowledge to good use.
The Final Word
As you can see, learning how to read quickly can bring many positive changes to your life. It can help you decrease the time you need to spend reading by a lot, so that you can devote more energy to improving different aspects of your life.
There are many books that can help you reach your business goals, so making sure you read as much of them as you can is very beneficial. If you follow the tips for speed-reading above, chances are you’ll be able to expand your knowledge quickly and easily.
At CUB our ambition is to unite those who are changing the world through their businesses. We support these people by building a private community of Australia’s next titans of industry. And we bring these titans together to accelerate the achievement of each other’s ambitions.
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