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10 Reasons You Should Write Something Each Day

10 Reasons You Should Write Something Each Day

    The written word is a part of every day life. At its most basic, writing is a way of communicating. This is the one inalienable characteristic of writing itself, whether you’re communicating with a colleague or friend or you’re actually communicating with yourself – though a shopping list, for instance.

    Aside from the fact that writing is an inescapable part of every day life, there are many good reasons you should make a good session of writing part of your daily routine, even if it’s just a few hundred words. You don’t have to be a pro to reap the benefits of creating the written word.

    1. Remove stress from mind, place on paper

    Writing can be therapeutic. It can be a way to vent all the pent-up frustrations burdening your mind into a far less volatile form, paper (or screen). You can address your anger, fear, worry and stress without bludgeoning the person who embodies those emotions for you with a paperweight.

    Writing can serve as a form of cathartic stress relief where you finally get to say what you can’t say out loud, in real life. Just don’t let your vented feelings get into the wrong hands, or you may end up paying some pretty hefty blackmail cash.

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    2. Sweep Your Mind

    A daily writing habit gives you regular time to sweep your mind for forgotten tasks and ideas that have been fermenting in the back of your head without your knowledge. It allows you to take the unordered thoughts floating around your head like lost puppies in zero gravity, and turn them into ordered plans and actions.

    This is the fundamental principle that the mindsweep and weekly review are based on: getting everything you can think of out of your head, and into a written format. This simple process can save your life when things are getting overwhelming and complicated.

    3. Keep Your Writing Skills Sharp

    Write every day to keep your skill with the written word sharp. Like any skill, the ability to communicate clearly, concisely and aesthetically degrades without practice. As a result, many people who don’t write regularly can freeze up, lost for words, on something so simple as an email to a friend.

    Writing every day, even in a stream-of-consciousness, unedited format will maintain and gradually improve your writing skills, and since dealing with the written word is a fundamental part of daily modern life, there’s nothing bad about that.

    4. Make Some Pocket Money

    If you’re not a professional writer, pocket money is probably all you’ll ever want to earn from your words. But if you’ve got a knack for it and just had a great dinner at a new restaurant and written about it for your daily pages, then isn’t it better to have a shot at getting that review published instead of letting the piece do absolutely nothing?

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    These days, it’s easy to submit to many publications without spending considerable time and money doing so. While you’re unlikely to get too many bites without a good track record as a writer, it’s certainly easy enough to be worth the effort, and your wallet will be pleased.

    5. Turn the Noise Off

    Get away from the constant low-quality input and output systems of day-to-day life, such as meaningless small-talk and weather conversations, text messaging, Twitter, checking the mailbox, and most email and many websites. You receive and create barrages of useless distractions that don’t help you or the people you know; sitting down to write lets you get away from it all.

    It’s important to keep the noise to a minimum so you can focus on creating and receiving strong material, things that are really worth reading and writing.

    6. Enhance Your Communication Skills

    Use daily writing to enhance your communication skills. In this culture, communication is so often hampered because we don’t know how to express ourselves, whether it be verbal or written. Writing regularly can hone the skill of self-expression, something that is useful in written communications such as email, and that can translate into improved verbal communication.

    If you have trouble communicating what you want or asking tough questions, regular writing will give you a mind for structuring words quickly to achieve the desired affect in a diplomatic way.

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    7. Know What You Want

    Part of the reason so many people do not get what they want in life is because they do not know what they want from it. Certainly not the main reason that people don’t get what they want, but in so many cases it is the obstacle. How can you get what you want or achieve your dreams if you’re not 100% clear on what they are?

    Writing each day gives you time to think carefully and reflect on what you want to achieve the most, and develop a clearer, achievable image and plan for that result.

    8. Develop Your Analytical Skills

    Writing regularly develops your analytical and rational skills. Working through your problems with a piece of paper encourages you to think things through clearly, in both linear (sequential) and non-linear (creative) ways. The best solutions come from a mix of both logical and creative thinking.

    Many people tend to panic and react emotionally to their problems, but if you’re used to solving them by processing each component of the problem in writing, you’ll develop a better approach and skillset. You’ll at least pause to think through the situation before hitting the panic button next time something comes up!

    9. Get Away from Technology

    In #5 we talked about turning the noise off for a while, which comes from all sorts of sources – not just tech-related sources. But another problem of ours is our dependence on technology, and it seems that everything that can be done on a computer, is done on a computer.

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    If you opt to use a pen and paper instead of a computer, you give yourself valuable time away from technology to gather your thoughts without constant, meaningless interruptions and distractions. But more importantly, you give yourself time with the tactile and real.

    10. Meet Yourself All Over Again

    In a fast-paced society it’s easy to forget things like what you believe in and what you’re doing this (whatever this may be) for. Letting words flow out of your brain unedited can introduce you to a part of yourself you’d been censoring from yourself to cope with everyday life. Why did you start down the path you’re currently on? This is an important question whether you consider your current path to have begun on the weekend, or a decade ago.

    Discontentment, disillusionment, and unhappiness often come from forgetting why we’re doing something (or, on a different track, not having a good reason for living a certain way) and it is important to keep those simple reasons at the forefront of your mind or you run the risk of letting your life become a series of boring, menial actions.

    It’s not only important to remind yourself of your motives for your current actions; it’s important to monitor your actions to see if they align with your life goals so that you can change them. Sometimes, the only way to keep such a close monitor on your actions and goals is to write about them every day.

    More by this author

    Joel Falconer

    Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

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    Last Updated on February 13, 2020

    What Is Speed Reading and How to Successfully Learn It

    What Is Speed Reading and How to Successfully Learn It

    Too much to read, too little time! Don’t you wish you could read faster without compromising your knowledge intake? This is where a valuable learning technique comes to the rescue: speed reading.

    Speed reading is the top skill to learn in 2020. Read on to find out all about this amazing technique!

    What Is Speed Reading?

    On average, an adult can read somewhere between 200 to 300 words per minute. With speed reading, you can read around 1500 words per minute.[1] Yes, that sounds impossible, but it is true.

    In order to understand how this skill works, you first need to know how the reading process works inside a human’s brain.

    The Reading Process

    The first step is for the eyes to look at a word. This “fixation” on every word takes around 0.25 seconds.

    Next, the eye moves on to the following word. It takes 0.1 seconds for the brain to move from one word to the next. This is called “saccade.”

    Usually, a person reads 4 to 5 words or a sentence at once. After all the fixations and saccades, the brain goes over the entire phrase again in order to process the meaning. This takes around half a second.

    All in all, this allows the average person to read 200 to 300 words in a minute.

    Speeding up the Process

    The concept of speed reading is to speed up this process at least 5 times. Since the saccade period cannot be shortened any further, speed reading emphasizes quicker fixations.

    To accomplish this, scientists recommend that the reader skips the subvocalization: when the readers actually say the word in their mind, even when reading silently.

    Basically, speed reading is the technique of only seeing the words instead of speaking them silently.

    Do not confuse this with skimming. When a reader skims through a text, they skip the parts that their brain considers to be unnecessary.

    You may skip important information in this process. Moreover, skimming does not allow the brain to retain what has been read.

    Why Speed Read?

    Speed reading is not just quick, but also effective. This skill saves a lot of of time without sacrificing information.

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    Also, it has been proven to improve memory. The brain’s performance improves during speed reading, which allows the reader to remember more information than before.

    Since speed reading stabilizes the brain, the information is processed faster and more efficiently.

    Believe it or not, this technique leads to improved focus, too. As the brain receives a lot of information during speed reading, there is far less chance of distraction. The brain focuses solely on the job at hand.

    Since the brain is, after all, a muscle, the process of speed reading acts as an exercise. Just like the rest of your muscles, your brain needs exercise to grow stronger, too.

    A focused brain means improved logical thinking. As your brain gets used to receiving and organizing so much information so quickly, your thinking process will become faster.

    As soon as a problem is thrown at you, your brain will quickly put two and two together. You will be able to retrieve stored information, figure out correlations, and come up with new solutions, all within seconds!

    Still not convinced? Read 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn Speed Reading

    Greater Benefits

    With a healthier brain, you can expect better things in other parts of your life, too. A boost in self-esteem is just one of them.

    As you begin to understand information at a faster pace, you will also begin to figure out more opportunities all around you.

    With the ability to deeply understand information in a shorter period of time, your confidence levels will quickly grow higher.

    Moreover, all the aforementioned benefits will relieve you of stress. You will manage your readings in lesser time, your brain will be healthier, and you will feel so much better about yourself.

    With all these advantages, your emotional well-being will be healthier than ever. You’ll feel less stress since your brain will learn to tackle problems efficiently. Speed reading will lead to a relaxed, tension-free lifestyle!

    How to Learn to Speed Read

    Speed reading is a superpower. Fortunately, unlike other superpowers, this one can be learned!

    There are different techniques that can be used to master this skill. Opt for the one that best suits your learning style.

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    1. The Pointer Method

    The person who is credited for popularizing speed reading, Evelyn Wood, came up with the pointer method. It is a simple technique in which the reader uses their index finger to slide across the text that they’re reading.

    As the finger moves, the brain coherently moves along with it. It is an effective technique to keep the eyes focused where the finger goes without causing any distraction.

    Readers have a tendency to back-skip. The pointer method prevents this from happening, thereby saving at least half the reading time.

    2. The Scanning Method

    In this technique, the reader’s eyes move along one part of the page only. This can be the left or right side of the text but is usually the center since that is the most convenient.

    Instead of pacing through the entire text from left to right, the vision shifts from top to bottom.

    This method involves fixation on keywords such as names, figures, or other specific terms. By doing so, the saccade time is minimized.

    3. Perceptual Expansion

    Generally, a reader focuses on one word at a time. This technique, on the other hand, encourages the brain to read a chunk of words together. In doing so, this method increases the reader’s peripheral vision.

    Here’s the thing: even though the fixation time remains the same with perceptual expansion, the number of words that the eyes fixate on increases.

    So basically, the brain receives 5 times more information within the same amount of time.

    This technique is the hardest to master and takes the most time to learn. You’ll need help from speed reading tools in order to practice the perceptual expansion method.

    However, once you master it, this technique will offer you the fastest reading pace with the maximum knowledge intake.

    The Best Speed Reading Apps

    The easiest tool to aid any process in any part of life these days is your smartphone.

    You can use mobile applications to learn speed reading on the go. It has been proven that regularly practicing speed reading is the fastest way to learn this skill. [2]

    Here are a few great options to look into:

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    1. Reedy

    If you own an Android smartphone, you can download Reedy to your mobile. Otherwise, get the chrome extension on your laptop to enjoy speed reading with Reedy.

    This app trains readers to read faster by displaying words one by one on the screen. Instead of having to go through lines or long texts, Reedy prepares the user to focus on one word at a time.

    Although this isn’t an effective method to learn speed reading long texts, it is a great way to start.

    Once your brain gets used to the idea, you can shift to another app to train speed reading sentences or longer texts.

    2. ReadMe!

    Whether you’re an android or iOS user, you can take advantage of the ReadMe! application. This app even comes with some e-book options to practice speed reading on.

    Start by choosing your desired font size, color, layout, etc. Other than that, there are different reading modes for the user to choose from.

    If you want to practice reading sentence by sentence or in short paragraphs, you can choose the focused reading mode.

    The beeline reader mode changes the color of the text to guide the eye to read from the beginning to the end at a certain pace.

    Lastly, there is the spritz mode in which the app focuses on chunks of words at once. This controls the reader’s peripheral vision. However, this mode is not fully available in the free version of the app.

    3. Spreeder

    Spreeder is available on both iOS and Android. However, users may also gain benefits from Spreeder’s website. This application lets the reader paste in any text that they would like to speed read.

    Starting off at a rather low speed, the app flashes words one by one. Gradually, as the user becomes more comfortable, the speed increases.

    Slowly, the user is trained to speed read without having to skip any words.

    This app is different from the rest because it tracks the user’s reading improvements, recording the overall reading time and speed.

    The progress and improvement are tracked in order to motivate the user to perform even better.

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    Adjustable settings, such as the speed of the text, background color, etc. are in the control of the user.

    The Controversy Surrounding Speed Reading

    Truthfully, speed reading does sound too good to be true. It’s hard to believe that it is humanly possible to attain such a fast pace in reading without compromising the quality of information you receive.

    Perhaps as a result, there are people who do not trust the process of speed reading. They believe that when you read through a text at such a high speed, you cannot comprehend the information successfully.

    According to these people, your brain is unable to process information at the speed that you’re reading, and so, they regard speed reading as problematic.

    It is true that speed reading will be of no use if you do not understand the text you’re reading, no matter how quickly you did it.

    Similarly, if you were to read slowly and still not retain or understand the information you read, that would be useless, too.

    However, there a few factors to consider here. When reading at a normal pace, there is enough time in between every step of the process for the brain to get distracted.

    Conversely, speed reading leaves behind no time for the brain to focus on something else. It is unlike skimming. No part of the text is skipped, which means that the brain receives every single bit of information.

    Conclusion

    Keeping all of this in mind, speed reading cannot be labeled a hoax or a failure. Science has backed up this technique, and numerous readers have been using this skill to improve their learning ability.

    At the end of the day, it is your decision whether or not you want to trust this process.

    However, if you decide to take advantage of the opportunities speed reading provides, you will find a world of possibilities opening up to you.

    We live in a fast-paced world. Consuming information faster will help you keep up with that pace and find further success.

    Speed Read Like a Pro!

    Featured photo credit: Blaz Photo via unsplash.com

    Reference

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