Advertising
Advertising

If You Want to Read 10 Times Faster, Outread Is the App You Need

If You Want to Read 10 Times Faster, Outread Is the App You Need

An average adult reads about 200 words per minute (WPM). A speed reader, though, reads about 1,500 WPM. The world speed reading champion is about 4,700 WPM, but we’re not going to worry as much about that level in this article.

If you assume the average article is 500-1,000 words and the average book is 55,000-100,000 words, then an average adult reads an article in 2.5-5 minutes and reads a book in 275-500 minutes, or somewhere between 4.5 and 8 hours.

A speed reader, though, could finish three articles in 1 minute and an entire book in 36-66 minutes (so slightly over an hour at most).

Imagine if you increased your reading output at this level. The amount of information you would be able to consume over an average reader is staggering. Across a year, it looks like this:

Advertising

  • 360 books vs. 30 books
  • 30,000 articles vs. 3,000 articles

Reading is a cornerstone of information-gathering and coming across as intelligent in group dynamics. If you’re operating 10-12x higher on consumption simply because of a change in your reading approach, it could be huge for your career and personal life.

The Fast Way to Speed Up Reading

The app that I want to introduce to you will guide your eyes through a reading list with the help of a highlighting marker. This improves your speed, and you can adjust the preferred speed — and the highlighter size, determining how much text you’ll be shown at once — to either scale back or push yourself.

Outread has a number of features, including a built-in eBooks directory with classic books and sync with Instapaper, Pocket, and Pinboard. A simple switch of reading mode will help you read faster and read more.

Let’s take a look at some of the key features of the app.

Advertising

Create a Reading List

You start by creating a reading list, which you can do from one of the connected services like Pocket and iBooks, or pull in from stories loaded into Outread.

    Adjust the Reading Speed

    You can also adjust the reading speed in the top right, as seen here.

    The highlighting technique teaches your eyes to move more efficiently through the text. It provides a rhythm, which lowers the number of unnecessary jumps and makes you more focused.

    Advertising

      Start Your Training with A Preferred Reading Mode

      There are two modes to train up your speed reading skill. You can pick from one of them that fits you best.

        Track Your Reading Speed Progress

        Outread also allows you to track daily (and other time duration) progress points.

        Advertising

          Start your speed reading training now!

          Simply install Outread here for $2.99 and you can start your speed reading training and read 10 times faster.

          And hey, this article was just about shy of 500 words. So if you were already a speed reader, you’d have been done a while ago … think what you could be onto now!

          More by this author

          Brian Lee

          Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

          100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier 10 Best New Products That People Don’t Know About Book Summary: The Power of Habit in 2 Minutes 1 Minute Book Summary: How To Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less 2 Minutes Book Summary: Thinking Fast and Slow

          Trending in Smartcut

          1 How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch 2 How to Make Going Back to School at 30 Possible (And Meaningful) 3 What to Do When Bored at Work (And Why You Feel Bored Actually) 4 30 Best Procrastination Quotes to Get You Back to Work 5 How to Set Short Term Goals for a Successful and Highly Fulfilling Life

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Last Updated on July 17, 2019

          The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

          The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

          What happens in our heads when we set goals?

          Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

          Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

          According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

          Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

          Advertising

          Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

          Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

          The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

          Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

          So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

          Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

          Advertising

          One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

          Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

          Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

          The Neurology of Ownership

          Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

          In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

          Advertising

          But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

          This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

          Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

          The Upshot for Goal-Setters

          So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

          On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

          Advertising

          It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

          On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

          But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

          More About Goals Setting

          Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

          Reference

          Read Next