5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Master The Art Of Speed Reading
One of the hardest parts about being an entrepreneur and owning your own business is setting aside a significant amount of time for personal development especially when it comes to reading educational material. When your business’ welfare and growth potential lies in your ability to learn new business practices quickly and keep as much time free as possible, it can be challenging to make sure that you are not reading too rapidly.
Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. – Frederick Douglas (highlight to share)
When an entrepreneur can perfect the art of speed reading, they are able to use their time for more efficiently and focus more on their business. By following these five helpful tips I’ve gathered from very busy entrepreneurial authors, you can master the art of speed reading your business books and other educational material.
1. Read In The Morning
There is an erroneous belief that circulates among those who read over important business books and documents, a belief that reading should be done at night, when there are fewer distractions. But did you know that a person actually reads best during the early hours of the day? There are far fewer distractions that present themselves during the morning, and this is when important reading should be completed.
Your brain functions best early in the morning, whereas your nighttime brain functionality is compromised by all of the events that have already taken place that day. Reading in the morning gives your brain a clean slate to work with and is proven to increase your concentration skills. By reading earlier in the day, your speed is doubled and you are able to deal with your most important tasks first, clearing the remainder of your schedule for other crucial entrepreneurial duties.
2. Look For The Main Ideas
A great way to read business books faster is to skim the text first, before you do a full-fledged read. This allows you to isolate the key points and phrases and figure out the main ideas. Once this has been accomplished, you can then take a deeper plunge into the material, knowing that you have a greater understanding. This technique is especially beneficial to those with a job that requires them to read a great deal of non-fiction material.
By taking the time to understand the structure of the book you are trying to read, you decrease the total amount of time you will need to spend reading it. Not only does this technique exponentially increase your overall reading speed, but it also does wonders for reading comprehension. Being able to speed read is great, but it is all for naught if you do not fully grasp the material you’ve consumed.
3. Choose The Best Environment For Reading
What many entrepreneurs do not know is that the environment that they choose to read in makes a huge difference in their ability to read quickly. Even something as simple as the way you hold the book can make a world of difference. Rather than holding the book up on your own, use a reading stand, one that allows the book to rest at a 45 degree angle. This reduces the strain on a person’s eyes, while also enabling a much faster reading speed.
Some enjoy reading in bed, but this is not a good place to absorb crucial materials. The body’s natural instinct is to relax once you have laid down in bed, which decreases reading comprehension, increasing the chances that you will need to go over it a second time. More difficult materials should be read during the daytime hours, in a place where your mind will remain focused. Relaxing and reading comprehension do not go hand in hand.
4. Don’t Worry About Highlighting
Of course, highlighting may have worked for you back in your college days and there are a variety of people who swear by this tactic when it comes to speed reading. Yes, highlighting in bright, pretty colors may give you the illusion that you are reading faster, that you can skim the material and come back to the important stuff later on. When you highlight, you’re essentially delaying your actual learning of the material.
When you highlight, all you are doing is giving yourself more work to do. Instead of taking an extra second to ensure that you understand the material during the first read, you will know have to go backwards and read it again. The more times you read a certain piece of material, the less of a chance you are able to retain over the long haul. So put the highlighter away and make sure you read properly the first time.
5. Adjust Your Speed As Needed
There are bound to be moments in any business text that are less important than others. Learning what is truly important and training your focus on these specific parts will help you to cut down your overall reading time. Don’t be afraid to preview the book before you read it, so that you get a true sense of the book’s structure and the lessons it is trying to teach.
This will allow to speed up your reading and slow down as necessary. Speed reading is not about attempting to fly through a book as rapidly as you can, it is about absorbing the material quickly and efficiently, without sacrificing your comprehension. Certain materials can be read at different speeds than others and an experienced entrepreneur knows how to speed up and more importantly, when to slow down.
As a business mentor for MentorMojo, speed reading expert Emerson Spartz has more speed reading tips in detail here: