Concentration is an important part of what it takes to become a speed reader. If you can learn to focus better, you will not only read faster but do so with a better understanding. Learning to focus better will also help you become more effective in your professional or academic career. Here are our tips on How to Read Faster with Better Focus.
Listen to Music While You Read
Have you ever tried listening to music while you read? It’s a great way to help you concentrate on a task, particularly reading. Although it does depend on the type of music you are listening to. Typically, classical music is ideal for helping you focus while you read. Try to make sure the music is instrumental (without lyrics).
If you have to read for an hour or more, then you should make sure you factor in some breaks. Your break doesn’t have to be very long. It can be a quick 30 seconds if you want. Taking a quick break from reading will give you a chance to collect your thoughts. You can use the break to take notes if you want, or just to simply look away from the page.
Once you start reading again, you’ll feel refreshed because it will feel like you just started reading. If you try reading in 10-15 minute spurts, with quick breaks in between, you’ll notice a higher level of focus than if you just tried reading for an hour straight with no breaks.
Exercise Before You Read
Raising your heart rate is another good way to clear away stress. It has also been shown that exercise improves concentration and memory. There’s a book called The Real Happy Pill on this topic if you want to find out more. A boost like this will make you a good reader instantly.
The benefits are pretty immediate, so you should try to read straight after your activity. But doing it regularly will help long-term as well. And while we’re making you healthier, food is also important for better focus.
Improve Your Nutrition For Better Concentration
What you eat and drink affects your concentration. The simplest change is to have less sugar and more protein in your diet. Whilst a little kick from sugar and caffeine can get you through a bit of reading, don’t go over the top. Nuts, eggs, fish, and lentils are all good reading fuel options. Foods that are good for your body and energy levels generally help the brain too.
Bring a book with you to read during any downtime
For many of us, reaching for our smartphones when we have even a minute or two of downtime throughout the day is a deeply ingrained habit. How do we break the cycle? Get into the habit of bringing a book with you, and the next time you’re waiting for an appointment or find yourself with a few minutes to kill, leave your phone in your bag and take out your book instead. This will help you get rid of that pesky instinct to check your phone every time you have a spare minute, and you’ll be surprised at how much reading you can get done during those lulls in the day.
The Read & Recall Method
Did you know that most readers regress 33% of the time? How to Read Faster with Better Focus:
Regression is going back to re-read the same material all over again because our mind wandered off or we did not comprehend it well the first time. This is a huge waste of time and also signals a lack of focus. One can only imagine how much more we regress when reading boring material. We can combat this problem by performing a little trick. After you read a paragraph of text, stop and take a quick note of what you just read. Simply write down a word, phrase, or a quick sentence on anything that caught your attention. Repeat this process after each paragraph or section to help you stay focused with better comprehension and retention.
The idea is that when you know that you have to write something down, you’re more likely to hold yourself accountable to pay attention and maintain focus while reading.
Review What You Read
Reading boring material is a flavorless experience. It’s like eating food with no seasoning. While we can do it, it does not particularly stimulate us. When it comes to the core purpose of why we read, which is to comprehend and retain information, our brain needs “seasoning” to help us read it well.
You can spice up your reading by reviewing your material in creative ways. Try reading your notes out loud, drawing images, or creating a mind map! The more we engage different parts of our brain, the more easily we can make boring reading material come alive.