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10 Reasons Why You Should Learn Speed Reading

10 Reasons Why You Should Learn Speed Reading

Speed reading offers enormous benefits for everyone in daily life, especially for business people, students, and for anyone who does a lot of reading.

With vast amounts of information coming at us every day, investing a little time in learning strategies for faster reading makes sense. Imagine zipping through your email in half the time, or whipping through the social media updates of your friends and responding quickly.

However, since speed reading strategies take time to learn and you’re busy already, you’re probably wondering why you should bother adding yet another “must do” item to your To Do list.

Let’s look at some reasons why you should learn speed reading.

1. Empowerment: you’re comfortable wherever you are.

People judge you: every day, by every word that comes out of your mouth. If you’re in a business meeting, you’ll hesitate to put forward your point of view if you’re not sure of your facts. Reading (and comprehension of what you’re reading) gives you facts you can turn into knowledge.

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In social situations, you’re comfortable with your friends. They know you. However, at parties, you need things to talk about. And when others are discussing topics, you need an opinion. Speed reading the news—from world events to gossip—gives you lots of topics for social chatting.

2. Money: you can access better employment.

Money means freedom and security for you and your loved ones. Whether you want promotion in your current job, or want a better job, knowledge is power.

If you want a promotion, you need to stand out. Online courses and formal advanced education help you to do that. Getting a degree or an advanced degree makes you more attractive to potential employers in general. Equally, having a degree or a certification that others angling for promotion don’t have increases your value to your employer. That increased value translates into a better income.

Speed reading helps you to improve your education: you’ll easily manage all the course work that further education demands.

3. Strengthened personality traits: you’ll become more confident.

How comfortable are you speaking to your boss? If you understand your company, its competitors, the current marketplace, and the financial news, you’ll feel confident that you can handle his or her questions. You’ll confidently make suggestions for your department and the business as a whole.

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What about putting your point of view across to someone you know will disagree with you? Are you comfortable doing that?

In both situations, you’ll feel at ease if you’re well-read: learning to speed read is the key.

4. Enhanced memory: you’ll remember more easily.

Speed reading not only makes you a faster reader, it increases your understanding as well. When you understand why a topic or a fact is important, you’ll remember it. Your improved memory will extend to other areas in your life as well.

Since memory is an aspect of creativity, you’ll also find that you’re more creative in everything you do.

5. More opportunities: you’ll enhance your ability to learn.

Do you have problems focusing on tasks? Speed reading skills help with your focus, too. You’ll be more interested in everything you read, and combined with your enhanced creativity, you’ll find yourself eager to extend your education.

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Your increased education leads to more and better opportunities.

6. Sophistication: your thinking will improve.

Speed reading can affect the neuroplasticity of your brain. It helps your brain to map new connections. This means that only does your creativity improve, your thinking does also.

7. Experience less stress: focusing is a meditative skill.

Do you find it hard to focus on tasks? Information comes at us in so many ways, many people try to multi-task to get more done. This leads to fragmented attention, and overall inefficiency. Speed reading teaches you to focus. This relieves stress, just as meditation does.

8. Enhanced ambition: you’ll be inspired to climb your career ladder.

With a better memory, fresh creativity, improved thinking abilities and the ability to focus on tasks, you’ll find that you become more ambitious. Your world expands. You’ll be ready and eager to climb the career ladder in your field.

9. Thought leadership: the more you know, the more you can innovate.

Speed reading helps you to innovate
    Steve Jobs, a master of innovation

    Thought leaders in any field innovate. They’re innovative, because they use what they know. They cross-pollinate ideas:

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    Being able to connect and combine non-obvious ideas and objects is essential for innovation and a key part of the creative-thinking process. Along with your ability to reframe problems, it engages your imagination and thereby unlocks your innovation engine. – Tina Seelig

    Speed reading may just lead you to the next billion-dollar idea—and the ability to implement that idea.

    10. Enhanced problem-solving skills.

    Everyone has challenges. Your subconscious mind can solve them. In Learning To Learn Faster Part II: How To Read Faster And Solve Problems Like MacGyver, Steven Kotler reports:

    The conscious mind solves problems at roughly 100–150 miles-per-hour. Meanwhile, our subconscious blazes away at close to 100,000 m.p.h.

    Speed reading allows you to stream more information to your subconscious mind. With more information, your subconscious can solve your problems. (Kotler’s article is fascinating, and repays close reading.)

    Are you convinced yet? We’ve looked at ten reasons why you should learn speed reading. It can change your life for the better! Have you had success with speed reading? Let us know in the comments.

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    I’m Feeling Bored: 10 Ways to Conquer Boredom (and Busyness)

    I’m Feeling Bored: 10 Ways to Conquer Boredom (and Busyness)

    If you’re saying “I’m feeling bored,” it’s important to realize that boredom and feeling too busy are the same problem. Some people claim I’m being too ambitious trying to strike down chronic boredom and busyness at the same time. I’d argue that the only way to take them out is simultaneously.

    The problem stems from how you manage your attention. Both boredom and busyness stem from feeling there is a lack of quality in how you focus your attention.

    Boredom is feeling that there are too few high-quality ways to spend attention. Busyness is forced boredom. This means that you feel there are high quality ways to spend attention, but your attention is being stolen from you before you can use it.

    I’m Feeling Bored: It’s in Your Mind

    Feelings of boredom and busyness are subjective. You can’t look out in the world and claim it is busy or boring. To say these feelings are subjective is obvious, but that misses a key point. The real problem is quality.

    Being engaged, neither busy or bored, happens when your attention is focused on high-quality activities.

    You can probably remember times when you were completely engaged. This could have been working on a project you were passionate about, spending time with your family, sky diving or vacationing under the sun. Why were you engaged in these moments and not in others?

    A likely reason was because those experiences had a higher quality. They allowed you to enter into an immersive flow state, in which your entire consciousness was devoted to the activity.[1]

    In the best cases your entire reality revolves around what you are doing. You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (which, I must admit, inspired most of these ideas).

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    Improving the Quality of Your Activities

    So how do you improve quality in your experiences when you’re saying “I’m feeling bored”? I believe there are two major ways you can do it: externally and internally. If you are chronically busy (and actively disliking the busyness) or bored, then you’ll need to tackle external and internal factors that contribute to these negative feelings.

    Here are some ways to consider improving quality in your experiences:

    Externally

    1. Plan Ahead

    Schedule your life to ensure there aren’t huge gaps or work overflows later. This can mean scheduling high-quality experiences if you find yourself frequently bored. It can also mean dividing large projects if you find yourself chronically busy.

    • Plan weekend activities for next month now. This not only gives you something to look forward to, but it also forces you to stay productive instead of just busy.
    • Map out what is placing demands on your time. Can you consolidate all your “busy work” (such as responding to emails) into one block of time instead of allowing it to cause constant interruptions in your day?

    2. Win-Win

    If you must perform an activity you think has low quality, you’re going to feel bored. Find ways to reorganize your life so that jobs, chores, and duties can become interesting, high-quality experiences.

    Turn mind-numbing chores into opportunities for growth and learning. For example, listen to an audio book or lecture on the commute to work or while you’re cleaning your house.

    3. Prioritize

    If you don’t manage time, you’ll never have enough of it. There are always more things to do than you have time for. Get your values straight so that the highest priorities are handled first and your life doesn’t get overtaken by the unimportant.

    Set a vision for your life, and determine how everything you do either contributes or detracts from that vision. Chances are, the things that don’t align with your vision are some of the same things that bore you. After you identify low-priority activities, you can try to make them more meaningful, or you can find ways to eliminate them.

    4. Put Quality of Experience First

    It is easy to get caught up in external goals that don’t fulfill their promises. Focus on goals that will give you a greater quality, not just a bigger paycheck or more status to brag about.

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    Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals that align with your life’s vision.[2]

    5. Escape the Motions

    Habits are a part of your life, but don’t let them become the only thing. Break out of your patterns if they aren’t giving you what you need. Instead of staying in, go out and meet new people on a Friday night. Just do something to get away from doing the same old thing.

    Schedule times to break from your routines. I thrive on having a routine most days, but I also give myself opportunities to break from sameness.

    Say “yes” to trying something new. Nothing spices up your day like trying something new.

    Internally

    Most of the ways to improve your quality of experience and conquer boredom are internal. Remember, it’s not just what you do, but also how you do it.

    1. Build an Inner World

    I’m not suggesting you create a complete rift between yourself and reality when you find yourself thinking “I’m feeling bored,” but also realize that if you can’t find quality in your immediate surroundings, you can find it within yourself.

    Solving internal problems, reviewing knowledge, coming up with new ideas, creating stories, or even planning for the future are all areas you can explore in the mind without any external stimuli.

    Use “boring” moments as opportunities to brainstorm. It’s a lot easier to cope with a humdrum reality if you’re able to use the time to explore possibilities within your mind.

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    If you’re really at a loss, you can imagine a story about 2-3 of the people and objects in your vicinity. This is a great way to exercise your creativity and sharpen your observation skills.

    2. Seek Quality in the Now

    Try starting small with some simple questions. What are you doing right now? What can you find that has value for you? Seeking quality right now allows you to find it even if your environment is bare or overloaded.

    Activities like waiting in line can be turned into moments of self-reflection or times to remind yourself of your vision.

    3. Don’t Resist

    Busyness and boredom could also be described as symptoms of resisting what is. Fully accepting whatever situation you are in and making the most of it is one way to conquer feeling bored.

    Resistance is something that can’t be done half-way. Either completely push away and seek quality elsewhere, or accept your surroundings and find it here.

    4. Unchain Yourself

    A lot of mental unease is caused because you feel forced to do something. You have to go to work, study for your test, do this or that. Realize that you don’t have to do anything, just accept different results. Freedom is in your mind.

    Weigh whether the activity causing your discomfort is essential or expendable. For example, paying your bills is non-negotiable, but you can opt to live a more modest lifestyle or actively search for a job you enjoy.

    Use a mantra to remind yourself of your freedom. “I am free” and “I have the power to change my circumstances” can reinforce the notion that you have choices.

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    5. Stop

    Boredom and feeling overloaded are both patterns. They are mental spirals you run on yourself that loop back on each other. If you just interrupt yourself for a few minutes and think more deeply about the problem, you can often come up with a good answer independent of these suggestions.

    Meditate your way out of boredom. Sometimes boredom and busyness are caused by feeling disconnected from what you are doing. Use meditation to ground yourself in the present.

    You can learn how to meditate here.

    Take up a gratitude practice. Whenever you’re feeling too bored or too busy, stop to think about all the things that are going well. Being able to simply say, “I got out of bed this morning,” and “I have food to eat,” help you take stock of your blessings.

    The Bottom Line

    As boredom and busyness arise from the same source, the same strategies can be used to tackle them and find a sweet spot of a balanced mindset. Find high-quality activities when you start saying “I’m feeling bored,” and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can turn things around.

    More Tips on Tackling Boredom

    Featured photo credit: Siddharth Bhogra via unsplash.com

    Reference

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