Speed Reading Tips: What Do Hackers and Time Management Have to Do with Speed Reading?

The term “hack” has been used in recent years to refer to a short cut, or more efficient way of doing things. From time to time I will continue to post reading hacks that can help you with both your speed and comprehension, as well as being tactics for more efficient reading. Today’s reading hack is going to look at your day and your time management as it relates to reading, whether you read traditionally, or with a Dynamic Speed Reading approach.

If you’re like most people, one, if not the very first thing you do when you sit at your work station is to open up your email application. Of course you want to do that because you want to:

  • Be responsive to your customers,
  • Be responsive to your customers,
  • “Be respectful” to your friends,

or, for some other reason that may or may not be as praiseworthy, such as a procrastination technique because your brain hasn’t fully awakened. Right?

Wrong!!!

Be honest with yourself. What have you noticed about this habit? For most people they realize that a big chunk of their most productive time has vanished leaving them late to get other important tasks and activities accomplished.

Additionally, time challenged people most often find their day being consumed by all kinds of activities that require them to focus outside themselves to the other people in the workplace – phones, email, texts. im’s, meetings, drop-ins, etc. Because they want to be perceived as being an “accessible team player,” they put off their important work related reading (except for email) for when “things quiet down.” Or, they adopt an attitude of, “when i can get around to it.”

But here’s the problem – “around to it never comes.” By the time it does come, you find yourself exhausted from all the other activities of the day. You may try your best to do the reading at these times. But what happens? Do you find yourself falling asleep? Or, do you find your mind drifts off to all sorts of other things rather than the meaning of the material you are supposedly
reading?

Unless you are the exception, this is the norm. Not just for you, but for most people in today’s digital world.

So here’s your Speed Reading and Time Management Hack
(there’s actually 2 parts to this that will save you enormous amounts of time)

  1.  Do not open email first thing in the morning (there are some rare exceptions to this rule). Take care of other important high payoff activities first.
  2. Schedule and block off time slots to do your important readings. If you need to read things that will take more than 2-5 minutes, if it doesn’t get scheduled, you will fall into the trap as described above. Why shouldn’t it scheduled and blocked off like any other important meeting or activity? Schedule your reading time for when your brain is freshest for the day. During work hours you may have to put up temporary “do not disturb” signs, or go to a quieter place in the office.

What do you think?

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