How to Speed Read

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Speed Reading

Looking to save yourself time and get more done in the small amounts of time you do have in the day?

Then how about trying to speed read?


Speed read is the process of scanning through text while at the same time still taking in all the information. This is something some people are very good at and other people struggle with, so let’s look at some methods you can use to learn it.

Use a Tool

One easy way to learn to speed read is to try using a tool such as ‘spreader’. Spreader is a program that lets you paste a large amount of text into a website and then quickly runs through all the words, showing you one word at a time for a set duration. You can choose that duration and then by looking at the word count, the program can tell you precisely how long it will take to read that content. You can this way read a very big novel in a couple of hours!

Use ‘Jumps’

Normally we read by letting our eyes scan left to right across the page. You can speed this up though by letting your eyes ‘jump’ from one block of text to the next and by taking mental snapshots as you go.

When you do this, you may notice you are no longer sounding the words out to yourself but instead just trying to take the meaning in. This is a good thing – as you remove the need to mentally verbalize you can start reading with ‘unsymbolized thought’ which is much faster.

Time Yourself

Timing yourself at any task is an easy way to get quicker. Likewise, if you’re giving yourself 30 minutes to read in the evening, why not challenge yourself to see how many pages you can get through and then try to better that next time? The old saying goes: ‘that which is measured, improves’.

Eventually, try going just a little faster than you can comfortably understand.

Have a Goal

Often we don’t need to read a lot of the text in an article or even a book. If you’re trying to get a specific piece of information from the text then set out with the goal of retrieving that and then look only for relevant content in the page. This is a good way to make sure that you aren’t wasting time by reading long introductions etc.

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Posted March 24, 2018 by David Peterson in category "Self Improvement