Advertising
Advertising

Why Reading Word By Word Is A Bad Strategy To Better Understand An Idea

Why Reading Word By Word Is A Bad Strategy To Better Understand An Idea

You may not realize it, but we all read very often in our daily life. We always want to go through all the documents faster at work; we just want to find out the main point of all the long letters and notes from the government or any kinds of organizations quickly; even when we read for leisure, we’d probably be traveling on the bus and just want to finish the current chapter as soon as possible. Yes I get it, you want to read faster without missing the gems.

But is speeding up your word-by-word reading what you should do? The answer is definitely no.

Advertising

Reading word by word slows you down from processing the idea.

When we read, our eyes normally stop on each word. We call this fixation. It is a bad idea to stop at every word in the text because it slows down the reading speed and may even affect our ability to understand the text.[1]

Advertising

Language would not have worked without a context. It is true that every word has its own literal meaning but what makes it alive is the context of the text. With the same word but in different contexts, it expresses different contextual meanings, revealing different meanings behind the word. Instead of reading every single word, understanding the context is more important. By having the context in mind, you know what kinds of words you should pay attention to more.

Advertising

Try to read phrase by phrase instead.

English readers can read roughly two or three words at a time, so instead of stopping at every word, you can stop at every three words. Ideas are not made up of a single word. Being able to read a text phrase by phrase instead of word by word even helps you to understand the idea better.

Skim for the keywords only.

Words play different roles in a sentence. Some are more meaningful while some are less. When our eyes do not stop on each word anymore, we can try skimming to absorb the more meaningful words and ignore those which are less meaningful. What makes a sentence complete is a subject and a verb while all the other elements are only complementing the sentence. For most of the time, you will not have any difficulties in understanding the text despite absorbing the keywords only.

Remember, ideas are bigger than words.

Ideas are made up of words. When you stop reading word by word and focus more on the idea you’re trying to understand, you will read faster. While speeding up reading can increase your productivity at work, it allows you to enjoy reading more!

Advertising

Reference

More by this author

Sheba Leung

Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

26 High-Protein Low-Fat Foods to Help You Lose Extra Pounds The Only Guide You Need for the Best Movies to Watch If You Are Not Using Essential Oils I am Sure You Are Missing Out! Obession with Sugar Can Get Us Killed, Here’s How I Curbed My Sweet Tooth How to Get Your Great Ideas Heard with Just One Page of Proposal

Trending in Productivity

1 The Lifehack Show Episode 5: Taking Learning to the Next Level 2 26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life 3 How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve Success 4 How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day 5 The Importance of Time Management: 8 Ways It Matters

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 22, 2019

The Lifehack Show Episode 5: Taking Learning to the Next Level

The Lifehack Show Episode 5: Taking Learning to the Next Level

In this episode of The Lifehack Show, we interview Scott Young, author of  Ultralearning:Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career.

Scott shares with us how ultralearning can be a powerful tool anyone can use to improve their own life. He believes that learning is the key to living well.

In addition to being an author, Scott is also an entrepreneur, philosopher, programmer and cook–as well as an avid learner of anything that catches his attention. He offers several programs to help you accelerate learning and reach goals faster.

    Scott Young
     

    Episode 5: Taking Learning to the Next Level

    Also available on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

    View on YouTube

    Featured photo credit: J. Kelly Brito via unsplash.com

    Read Next