How I X2 My Reading Speed in 3 Weeks

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by khaled, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. khaled

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    Jan 24, 2021
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    Hey guys, as you may now, the average CEO reads about 5 books a month so I want to share with you the techniques I’ve used to go from reading a book or two a month to reading two or three a week

    Now this is only my own experience and I don’t know if you’ll get the same results, but I’ve collected this information after months of researching about the best speed reading practices
    I tried to keep this post as concise and to the point as possible so I just added the most important points but it’s still a little long, so you might wanna grab a cup of coffee and go through it, or you can save/bookmark it for later

    WEEK 1
    Find your starting speed

    · Get a book, make sure it’s not full of information or data, just choose a “fun” or a story-driven book to start with (preferably a hard-cover)
    · Set a timer to 2 minutes
    · Read for comprehension (how you normally read)
    · After 2 minutes count the number of the lines you’ve read (it counts as a line if it goes more than halfway across the page)
    · Divide the number of the lines by 2 (if you read 50 lines then 50/2= 25) That’s your average lines per minute
    · Count the number of words in any 3 lines and divide by 3 (30 words in 3 lines means 30/3= 10) That’s your average words per line
    · To calculate your words per minute WPM, just multiply Lines Per Min x Words Per Line (25 x 10= 250 WPM)
    Choose a time where you’re most focused to get the most accurate results, the average reading speed is about 200 to 250 WPM

    Remove Obstacles

    The most common obstacles while reading are lack of focus, sub-vocalization, and regression, in fact research shows that 25-30% of reading time is spent re-reading words

    The best way to eliminate them is to use a visual pacer for three reasons:

    · Using a visual pacer increases reading speed 25-50%
    · Your eyes are attracted to motion
    · Your sense of sight and touch are closely linked (considering you use your finger as a pacer)

    Tips for using a visual pacer:
    · Don’t sway your finger, rather use your whole arm, since your finger can get tired much more quickly if you keep moving it for a long time
    · Don’t just move your finger around the page, make sure it’s on the exact words you’re reading
    · Keep and upright posture, and don’t put the book on a flat surface

    3) Indentation Reading
    This technique depends mainly on your peripheral vision, which allows you to see a group of words at the same time instead of reading one word at a time
    So the way to do this is by moving the margins of your finger and your eyes movement closer
    The way to do this is to not move them all the way to the left when you begin a line, and you don’t move them all the way to the right when you’re ending a line
    So for example if you read the previous line, instead of moving your finger all the way to the word “line”, you can stop at the word “you’re” and you can still see the few words after it
    This save you time and energy because you’re covering less real estate on the page

    Tip: if you’re reading digitally, you can decrease the margins from the settings menu on your device so your peripheral vision won’t be wasted on empty margins

    WEEK 2

    Overcoming Sub-vocalization

    Sub-vocalization is reading each word either out loud or most commonly inside your head
    The problem with it is that if you have to say each word then you can only read as fast as you could speak
    Which means that your reading speed is limited to your talking speed rather than your thinking speed
    95% of what we read are “sight words” which are words that occur frequently in written language that you can automatically know on sight
    In fact JFK was said to be a fast reader, he read 1000 words per minute, and read 6 newspapers with one cup of coffee, which means if he speaks 300 words per minute and reads 1000 words per minute, this means that there are about 700 words that he’s not pronouncing

    The 1-2-3 Technique
    This technique is used to reduce sub-vocalization (you can’t eliminate it but you’ll reduce it)
    I’ll be honest, this technique is really tricky and very confusing at first, and it needs a lot of practice

    · The idea is that while reading you count 1-2-3, 1-2-3, etc.
    · This will be difficult at first and your comprehension will drop, and probably your speed too
    · But the goal behind this technique isn’t to be faster or understand better, it’s to interrupt the pattern of sub-vocalization
    · Because if you’re counting, then you can’t be reading the words at the same time

    Speed Drills

    You know when you lift something relatively heavy with one arm, say a chair, for a minute and then you lift something lighter like a book
    The book feels much lighter than it usually does, right?
    That’s what we’re doing here, you’ll try to read up to 4 times faster than how you usually read that when you’re back to what’s normal, your normal is much easier than it how it used to be

    The 4-3-2-1
    · Grab a book and set a timer for 4 minutes
    · Make sure you know where you started by highlighting or using a marker on the margin
    · Read for full comprehension (don’t forget using your finger)
    · When the 4 minutes finish, and put a mark where you left off
    · Now re-read what you just read but this time with a 3 minutes timer
    · When you’re done do the same process but in 2 minutes (I know this is difficult but the goal here is to finish at half the time even if you skip some lines, just make it to the end)
    · Do the same thing in 1 minute (at this point you’re basically skimming but the point isn’t reading as much as it is getting your brain used to processing the words and information as fast as it can)
    · After you’re done with the drill, continue where you left off (don’t re-read again) for 2 minutes, but this time for full comprehension
    · Calculate your new WPM, (Go back to week 1)
    · I recommend you do this drill daily and track your progress, it only takes about 10 minutes

    Ask Questions

    Now this one seemed a bit weird to me at first but the effect it has is amazing
    Jim Kwik said that when he trains SAT students he tells them to read questions first before reading the paragraph and that’s because when they read the paragraph first and then look at the question they’re like “oh he’s asking about that bit, I didn’t know it was important”
    That’s why he trains them to do the opposite so that when they read the questions first and then go back to the paragraph they already know what the examiner deems as important and when they see it in the paragraph they’re like “aha that’s the answer”
    Same principle applies to reading and it does help you pay attention and be more focused
    The researcher George Miller at Harvard University came up with the idea called 7+2 or 7-2
    Which basically states that the human brain can only pay attention to 5 to 9 bits of information at once
    So you come up with 5 to 9 questions before reading (works especially great for fiction books) like asking who is this about, where does it take place, when is it happening, etc. and while some things won’t be mentioned directly, you can look for clues yourself
    Now I don’t really read fiction so I’m sure you can come up with much better questions, bear in mind that this principle isn’t used only for fiction books and it’s not exclusive for reading either

    WEEK 3

    How To Take Notes

    Well everyone knows how important it is to take notes on what you’re reading, but do you know that you forget 80% of what you’ve read after 48 hours? Yikes
    So to help you take better notes here my two favorite ways, also keep in mind that taking notes with pen and paper is superior to doing so digitally for reasons I don’t want to bombard you with, but either way is effective

    A) Capture-Create
    · Spilt the page into two segments Capture and Create
    · The capture segment is for not taking so if you read a piece of information like the one you’re reading now just write it in there
    · The create segment is more for your impression on what you’re reading, so for example if you’re reading this right now and you’re thinking of all the ways you can apply it to your life and your imagination is starting to go wild, it’s better to do it on that segment of the page
    · The create segment could also be used to write down your questions, how the information relates to you, or how you’re gonna teach it to someone

    Mind Map

    · Write the main idea in the middle of the page with a circle around it
    · Put the sub-ideas around it like branches coming out of a tree
    · For example if Sales is the main idea you put the sub-ideas around it as building rapport, tonality, handling objections
    · You can do the same with the sub-ideas to so for example handling objections could have branches coming out of it like the price is too high, I don’t need this, I need to ask my wife first
    · This is a great idea because it’s not linear which means you can see everything in one place on the same page, if it was linear then something on page 50 could be more important than what’s on the first page
    · A great thing to do as well is to add symbols so you can add/or substitute the word sales with $

    Eye Fixations

    A fixation is when your eye stops, and it’s the difference between a child, an average reader, and a speed reader
    When a child is learning to read, they read individual letters at a time before they can make sense of the whole word so they’d read the word park like this P A R K which means their eyes have to make four stops on each letter
    An average reader reads one word at a time which means their eyes make one stop on each word instead of each letter, like this
    He was at the park, that’s five stops for each individual word
    Speed readers on the other hand use what we talked about earlier which is their peripheral vision, which allows them to see groups of words at a time, so instead of making a fixation on each word, they could make only two or three per line, which means their eyes are moving faster and smoother along each line

    3) Limiting Eye Fixations

    · Get a book and divide a page into four segments, so there are two ways to do this, you can either use a pencil to draw three parallel vertical lines
    · Or if you don’t want to that you can put three dots on the top of the page and imagine a vertical line coming down from each one of them dividing the page into quarters
    · Those four areas are now your fixations
    · Using your finger or any visual pacer you’re using, instead of going through each word at a time, go one segment at a time, which means you’ll be making just four fixations on each line
    Note: The number of lines or “imaginary lines” will depend on the size of the book you’re reading and how comfortable you are using your peripheral vision, so you don’t have to draw exactly three lines, just start with whatever number you’re comfortable with and make your way into decreasing eye fixations


    Now this isn’t something you have to do the exact same way I did it, it’s just my own experience and it worked for me, just don’t expect to implement one or two things and then you’ll find results straight away
    You’ll have to practice each new technique first before you move on to the next one, and feel free to measure your new WPM whenever you feel like
    It’s important to asses your progress but don’t get discouraged if your reading speed or comprehension fluctuate, it’s normal and it depends on a lot of factors like your mood, how focused you are, how well you slept, nutrition, etc.
    It took 3 weeks for me to double my reading speed but it might take you more or less, depending on your starting speed, I saw great improvement especially because English isn’t my first language and I do all my reading in English.

    I also can read much faster now that I can finish up to 3 books a week which I never thought I could do, which also enabled me to finish and summarize books.

    I hope you can get value out of this and that it helps you, if you have any questions leave a comment and I’ll answer it
    #1 khaled, Jan 24, 2021
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2021

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