Reading is a crucial part of our lives and we are going it all the time, and mostly involuntarily. Even right now, as soon as you landed on this page you started reading without actually thinking about it. At any given time we are reading, be it for leisure, professional needs or academic purposes. Whenever you see some text, you read, that’s how deeply reading is embedded into our daily activities.
But let’s say, you have a huge pile of paperwork or content to read and have tough deadlines. Would you want to spend endless hours reading and understanding the content? Or do you wish, if you could just read a little faster and understand it easily? Well, here are some proven methods that could help you improve your reading skills.
Minimize sub-vocalization as much possible
The habit of reading the text is your head is one of the major factors that limit your reading pace. Reading each word inside your head often comes along with various inherent steps which are similar to talking. So, if you want to increase your speed, try to eliminate this practice and focus on continuous reading. If wouldn’t come naturally, so use a distraction like soft instrumental music or something to reduce vocalization.
Leverage peripheral vision
Your peripheral vision deserves more credit than it actually receives. You can use it skim through the content and read multiple words at a time. Words like articles, determiners and common phrases can be easily read and processed by the subconscious mind. And, letting you focus on the focus on the keywords in a phrase.
Don’t get stuck on the words
We tend to read faster and fluently when we understand the phrases and context. But, there are often some words that look different and you don’t know the meaning. You don’t have to get stuck trying to understand the word in itself. Rather, focus on the phrase and try to make sense of the context to understand the word. You can later look them up in the dictionary to enrich your vocab.
Skimming has its benefits
Many times, you don’t have read through the entire content to understand the ideas. When you have a time-crunch or too much to read, skim through the content and read the main points. If there are any illustrations or sub-headings, read them first to get a summary of the entire content. Moreover, you can read some sentences from each paragraph, skipping lines to cover as much possible.
Set goals and time yourself
A great way to improve is to beat your personal goals. Set challenges for yourself and try to achieve them. Sit down for timed reading sessions and read a variety of texts to build on your capabilities. Setting goals would allow you to track your progress and help improve.
Practice is the key
When it comes to being great at something, practice is all it takes. If you want to improve your reading speed and skills, work on it. Spend some time daily to read something, work on your vocab and read different types of content. Focus on the best practices and follow a routine.
To summarize, if you want to be effective and good at reading, just focus on the content, use the right technique and accelerate your learning with your goals.