I wonder if you remember the day when people claimed that by the end of 2020, we would be in the globe of the paperless office. The truth is people now have more than ever to read. Besides traditional stuff like meeting papers, social media, and emails (for millennials, this is traditional, it is modern for us, though, ha! ), we now have discord and a whole host of community stuff. Given that time is forever an issue, how can you add a pinch of creativity to increasing your reading skills?
- Distinguish between overall impression and total understanding: It is essential to understand the material topic you are reading. For instance, if you are reading about some new cryptocurrency in the market that could disrupt the payment industry, you’ll have to read it entirely before investing a single dollar in it. However, if you’re trying to decide whether or not to binge-watch a new Netflix show on a Saturday, an overall impression of the show can be obtained by reading a few reviews.
- Limit yourself: Most individuals (including me in it) can only read for short periods without a break. I can constantly read for around 40 minutes before taking a break. Make a habit of putting a time limit for how long you will present to each reading session to enhance effectiveness without spending way too much time on an article or a book.
- Try and find out what you know about the topic: Many a times, the topic you’re reading about is entirely news. The topic could be at least familiar to you. Chances are you will have read something complimentary or similar about the topic. To help inform your reading, quickly ask yourself what you already know about the subject matter.
- Read with a purpose: It is simple to fall into the trap of reading something just because it is right in front of you. The alternative is just to ask yourself what the exact purpose or goal is from reading the item. Is it to gain information, to get a different perspective, or to inform a decision. When you are totally clear on your outcome, it is much simpler to direct your attention to what really matters.
- Skim through the document first: A useful technique is to skim through the paper first, focusing on the sub-headings, headings, and conclusion to get a general feel about the document’s content.
- Read synopsis first: Most long publications or reports have a one-page synopsis. In printed articles in magazines, a summary of the key themes is often provided in a small box. Start with these summaries first.
- Prepare detailed notes as you go: Capturing notes as you go is a remarkably effective way of keeping focus. Mind maps or checklists are beneficial ways of capturing what you might need to refer to in the future.
Reading can become a very time-consuming task, but you can significantly increase your overall effectiveness by making a few easy changes.