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September 28, 2011

Read Faster for Results

Do you have stacks of documents to read every day? If you are like most people, you spend hours a day reading printed and electronic documents. Use these tips to rev up your reading speed to get through that pile faster without harming comprehension. 

  1. Stop reading word-by-word. Instead, read entire phrases or clauses as single units of information. 
  2. Pay attention when you read to avoid re-reading. You can retain focus by running a pen or your finger across and down the page. 
  3. Keep distractions to a minimum. Do not multi-task, avoid auditory distractions and stop daydreaming when reading. 
  4. Focus on the most important information. Read headlines, subheads, photo captions and the first sentence or two of paragraphs. If a document is well written, the topic sentence (the major point of each paragraph) will appear early in the paragraph. Once you get the major point of the paragraph, you usually do not need to read the entire thing. 

It is not appropriate to read everything quickly. Slow down as appropriate. Take your time when reading legal documents, when editing or proofreading, or if you need to analyze or summarize the material.  Check out the book “The Power to Read Your Best” by Bobbi DePorter for some great tips!

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