Speed Reading tips — Essential skill to Learn

Many of us have heard of the idea of speed reading, and maybe some of us have already known some principles. However, the most difficult part of it is to put into practice, so I will share my experience of practicing it and how to keep myself motivated.

For beginners, here are the principle of speed reading:

  • Read Actively
    • Set up learning goal and time limits, in order to:
      • fit the best condition for operation of our brain
    • Ask question to yourself all the time, in order to:
      • organize information
      • enhance attention
      • keep ourselves be motivated
      • help to memorize information.
  • Read by meaning unit not reading by words
    • Our brain receive information by word chunk, not the each of the pronunciation
    • Adjust our visual movement to read faster

My experience of Practicing Speed Reading

Phase 1—Start to know how to do it

In this phase, you may not know how to do the speed reading, so the following part are some exercise that you can put the principles into practice.

  • 1st exercise— Use your finger or pen to guide visual movement, and get used to it, so that you can make yourself to broaden your vision and read by word chunk.
  • 2nd exercise—Try to expend your vision to read more in each glance, and read the information for half of a line in each glance.
  • 3rd exercise—Read an article for 3 minutes. After that, try to read the paragraph that you have already read in the previous 3 minutes with only 2 minutes. Practice it until you can reach this goal.
  • 4th exercise—Read the paragraph that you have already read in the previous 2 minutes with only 1 minute. Practice it until you can reach this goal.
  • Send one week to practice the 3rd and 4th exercise, and remember to guide visual movement with your finger or pen.

(The method that I put into practice in Phase 1 is based on the instruction of a famous German book[1].)

Phase 2—Get used to it

In phase 2, you may have know how to do the speed reading, but sometimes you will still forget to use it. Therefore, here are some suggestion for getting used to it.

  • 1st, set up your reading goal for both weekly and daily basis.
    • Before you start to read, remember to set a time limit for yourself, so that you will read more actively.
    • What gets measured gets managed— if you set up a goal for a period, you can review the whole process to see how to improve in next period.
  • 2nd, list down how many pages you have read every day.
    • If you do the record every day. you will keep yourself motivated by the numbers you have reached.
    • It is OK for us to read less sometimes, just remember to keep the record even if we fail to read in some days. The true failure is not keeping the record.
  • To get a habit of doing speed reading, it normally takes 2 months. If you are interested in habit, the book “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” is highly recommended.

Phase 3—Apply Speed Reading in Our Daily Life

In this phase, you may be used to speed reading, however, if you want to keep it as a life long habit, you need to apply it into your daily life.

a. Building Relationship

Speed reading has long been a course in the Business Department of Harvard University, and former presidents in USA, Richard Milhous Nixon and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, are all experts in speed reading.

Many studies have shown that many rich people read at least 20 professional books every year, and lots of leaders read a lot and fast. Due to the high amount of knowledge and information, they know how to connect with others in both business and private relationship.

Take the former president of USA, Roosevelt, for example. Every time when he needs to meet up with others, he will investigate what topic that person like? and also spend less than 1 hour to read a book which is related to the topic.

b. Acquire High Reading Comprehension

Besides saving more time to read, it is also an important skill to learn deeper. If we acquired the speed reading skill, the higher reading comprehension will we have, since we will train this ability with the training of speed reading.

Share your idea with us

After reading the above paragraph or even put the suggestion into practice, do you have anything that is wanted to be discussed with? What kind of books are good for speed reading? What kind of books are not? (maybe Math is not a good option?)

Your reply will be the greatest motivation for me to write more content with you, and it can also help everyone to learn this topic better.

Let’s create a wonderful learning to journey together!

Best,

Ian


[1]Garantiert erfolgreich lernen – Wie Sie Ihre Lese- und Lernfahigkeit steigern

Self-Direct Learning with online platforms

As a netizen, we have been questioning about what kind of education is best for ourselve, since we know that the way to reach our own success is different comparing with the past. Therefore, we should think deeper about the change of life long education and what actions we need to take in this circustance.

30% of the Skills will be Replaced in Each Industry

Things that we need to learn is quite different comparing with the past, and so does the way we learn.
According to the report “The Future of Jobs” of World Econic Forum, average skills stability is less than 65% in each industires(shown as the graph below), which indicates the growing demand of training ourselves for new skills and knowledge.

With the trend of knowledge-based economy, the focus of training for our career has shifted from training required skills and knowledge to facilitating the understanding of the content and context of the organizational task-specific situation, and provide an increased ability to use the information to solve problems in the workplace.(Martocchio & Baldwin 1997)

As a result, we need to quickly adapt ourselves for the skill and knowledge to solve problems, and self-direct learning is a good approach of it.

What is self-direct learning?

Self-direct learning is a kind of learning process that enable individuals to design their own learning journey and reach their own goal.

There are many definition of self-direct learning from different researcher, but the content is quite similiar.
Knowles describes self‑directed learning for 5 steps: [1]

  1. Diagnosis the need of learning
  2. Initiate the learning goals
  3. Ensure the resource needed for learning
  4. Choose and execute proper learning startegies
  5. Evaluate the learning result

It is a kind of loop that every self-direct learner need to progress with, and many studies have indicated that the self-direct learner learns better than passive learner for the reasons belows:

  • Clearity of goals and motivation
  • Self-direct learning fits the mental learning process more
  • Taking the responsibility of learning leads us be more mature

Therefore, we should find some ways and resource to boost self-drect learning, and find some resources like oneline platform is the top choice nowadays.

How can platform contribute to self-direct learning?

There are several types of online platform, some of them help us to maintain habits, some of them provide us with plenty of online courses etc. These features can booste the process of becoming a self-direct learner.

When it comes to online platform, people may think of platforms like coursera and khan academy, which is like an online high school or online college.  As the indusrty of online learning gets bigger, there’re some platforms have features which perfectly fits the needs of becoming self-direct learner.

For taking courses, you can take coursera as your first attempt, since they have plenty of free courses
Here is the introduction video from their Youtube channel.

For taking notes, you can try notions as a tool to faciliate your learning journey
Let’s see how Thomas introduces this powerful app.

Get Prepared for Your Journey!

After you have tried the two examples I mentioned above, you can start to think more about:

  • What kind of coueses you need?
  • What is the goal of your self-direct learning?

And I will write some articles to recommend some platforms, books and tools which are related to these topics in the future:)

Let’s create a wonderful learning journey together!

[1]M.S. Knowles, “Self-Directed Learning”, A Guide for Learners and Teachers. (N.Y.  Cambridge Books 1975) p.18