As we all know, having to read large amounts of information is still very much a reality within the workplace and sometimes this can place a sharp halt on any tasks you may be in the swing of. Even in this day and age, where technology is ingrained into everyone’s lives, the looming thought of having to physically read and process a large amount of information can be daunting; can’t we all somehow click the ‘download button’ to transfer the information directly into our brains?

Nevertheless, there are clever ways that can make the chore of reading tiresome documents, reports and emails easier, and that’s by speed reading and adopting the reading techniques that come with it. It really is incredible how much speed reading can help you, especially if you’re a naturally slower reader or find it difficult to process information by reading. By embracing the following reading strategies, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a professional speed reader, ready to dodge any obstacles that may hinder your productivity:

Speed Reading

  • Chunking: This involves reading multiple words at a time rather than reading words individually. While doing this, think about particular collections of words as a whole element of information.
    Focus on key nouns and verbs because they’re vital for comprehension. It also helps to be mindful of what is coming up on the next line with this technique.
  • Guiding: Following a guide down or across a page with your eyes can train them to read faster. Use a ruler or pointer to direct your eyes and urge them to keep up while taking in information.

Reading Techniques

  • Predicting: An educated guess on what the text is about before you start to read by reading the title or subject bar.
  • Scanning: Looking for key words by running your eye through the text very quickly.
  • Skimming: Finding out what the text is about by reading the introduction and the first line of each paragraph.
  • Reading intensively: Reading a small section of text slowly and prudently.

It’s also worth noting that there are now various online websites and apps available on both iOS and Android that help you with speed reading, increasing the amount of words you can read per minute.

A few examples include: Spritz; Spreeder; BeeLine Reader; Readsy and Accelerator. These are great for digesting lengthy documents, news articles or emails. However, be wary that reading quickly doesn’t always equate to comprehension so these apps don’t really cater for fiction. You want to be engrossed in stories, not skim through them!

As always, if you implement these techniques into your daily life then practice will make perfect. Good luck getting through those documents!

This article first appeared in The Pitman Training Magazine, which features a great deal of articles, hints & tips etc.

You can read the magazine online by clicking this link:
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