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Year in Review: The 70 Best Lifehacks of 2007

Year in Review: The 70 Best Lifehacks of 2007
The 70 Best Lifehacks of 2007

2007 was a great year for personal productivity at lifehack.org! We’ve added more than a dozen new writers, who have brought new perspectives, new topics, and most importantly new hacks and tips to our virtual pages. 

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If you want to be more productive in the New Year, take a look at these 70 best lifehacks of 2007 now, and subscribe to our feed so you don’t miss any of the great advice and information to come in the year ahead. These were the most popular posts of the last year, based on their popularity, your comments, and links from other sites. As 2007 winds down, invest some of your time and read them all. Or bookmark this page and make reading them one of your New Year resolutions.

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Networking and Communication

  1. How Not To Suck At Socializing – Do’s & Don’ts
  2. How To Initiate Conversation
  3. Using Compliments To Control Communication
  4. How To Exit A Conversation
  5. How to Cut Crutch Words When Giving a Speech

Writing and Studying

  1. Advice for Students: 10 Steps Toward Better Research
  2. Advice for students: Beware of thesaurus
  3. Advice for Students: How to Write Research Papers that Rock!
  4. Advice for Students: Taking Notes that Work
  5. How To Study
  6. How to study with a full-time job
  7. How to Take Notes like Thomas Edison
  8. Improve Your Writing with these Editing Tips
  9. Design Better with CRAP
  10. How to punctuate a sentence

Productivity, Creativity, and Motivation

  1. 11 Tips for Nuking Laziness Without Becoming a Workaholic
  2. 20 Productive Ways to Use Your Free Time
  3. 50 Ways To Increase Your Productivity
  4. 6 Rules to Work Less and Get More Accomplished
  5. How to Become a Creative Genius
  6. How to Boost Your Creative Output
  7. How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
  8. Simple Productivity: 10 Ways to Do More by Focusing on the Essentials
  9. The Top 4 Misapplications of the 80/20 Rule
  10. Thirteen Tricks to Motivate Yourself

Leadership, Work, and Money

  1. Hack Your Boss
  2. Lead, Follow, and Get Out of the Way
  3. Bringing More Efficiency When You Work from Home
  4. Why One Partner Needs to Go Out and Work
  5. How to Live on a Tight Budget

Body and Mind

  1. 10 Unconventional Diet Tips: How to lose 50 pounds in three months
  2. 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)
  3. The Secret to a Healthy Body
  4. 13 Tips to Actually Enjoy Exercising
  5. Power Napping: How To Fall Asleep Anywhere
  6. 7 Stupid Thinking Errors You Probably Make
  7. Your Brain is Not Your Friend
  8. Three More Reasons Why Your Brain is Not Your Friend
  9. Nine Brain Quirks You Didn’t Realize You Had
  10. Writing and Remembering: Why We Remember What We Write

Software and Technology

  1. 10 Free Ways to Track All Your Passwords
  2. 10 Smart Hacks for Google Reader
  3. 5 Ways to Use Twitter for Good
  4. Beginner’s Guide: Run Linux like any other program in Windows
  5. Beginner’s Guide: Start a blog, get 100,000 page views and make over $100 your first month
  6. How to Survive as the Family Tech Support Guy (or Gal)
  7. Top 10 Firefox Extensions to Improve your Productivity
  8. Top 10 Greasemonkey scripts to improve your productivity
  9. Top 10 Ways to Use del.icio.us
  10. 9 Ways to Get More Out of Windows Live Writer

Family, Home, and Life

  1. Things I wish I’d known when I was younger
  2. Getting Rid of Yesterday: How to Start Your Day Fresh
  3. Hacking Church: How to attend service 52 weeks in a row
  4. How to raise the odds that it’s going to be a fantastic day
  5. My 7 Year-Old Son’s Life List
  6. The 7 Energy Sinkholes (and How to Avoid Them)
  7. The Seven Essential “Stations” Every Home Should Have
  8. Throw a lifeline to your future.
  9. Why being yourself matters
  10. Why Your Free Time is Boring

Success

  1. Success Lessons Most People Know But Too Few Follow
  2. The Ten Videos to Change How You View the World
  3. 10 Reasons You Aren’t Achieving Success
  4. How to Find Your Passion
  5. To Be Motivated and Successful, First Forget How You Feel
  6. 10 MORE ways to create a breakthrough in your life.
  7. 10 simple ways to save yourself from messing up your life
  8. 10 virtually instant ways to improve your life
  9. 18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick
  10. How to Set an Appointment With Yourself

Were there any other posts that you enjoyed which haven’t mentioned here? Was there anything you learned here that changed your approach to work, family, or life in general? Let us know in the comments!

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Finally, let’s take a moment to recognize all the contributors whose incredible work in 2007 made lifehack.org a must-read resource for personal development:

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  • Lifehack.org Staff: Leon Ho, Scott Young, Craig Childs, and Dustin Wax
  • Contributors: Reginald Adkins, Marco Adragna, Brian Armstrong, Leo Babauta, Chris Brogan, Lawrence Cheok, Tony Clark, Rob Crawford, Raj Dash, Jonathan Fields, Lisa Gates, Brett Kelly, Donald Latumahina, Michael Leddy, Shane Magee, Rowan Manahan, Rory Marinich, Lorie Marrero, Tatsuya Nakagawa, Tom O’Leary, Tejvan Pettinger, Kyle Pott, Vishal Rao, Gleb Reys, Kim Roach, Susan Sabo, Adrian Savage, Rosa Say, Nick Senzee, Alex Shalman, Pamela Skillings, Mike St. Pierre , K. Stone, George Tee, Bob Walsh, and Rob Witham

Thanks to all of them, and to all the lifehack.org readers who have made lifehack.org successful.  We wish you all a happy, healthy, and productive 2008!

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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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