Five things that slow down your reading and how to fix them

No, it’s not using you finger as a guide or subvocalization


Here are the top things that really slow you down:

1. Not knowing what you are reading – if you don’t have a clue what the text is about, you won’t get much out of it – even more so when reading a textbook. You will read slowly and torture yourself with it. How to fix it: read the headlines and summary first.

2. Not having a purpose  Why am I reading this? If you don’t know what you want to get out of a text, you will read slowly and won’t get the gist. How to fix it: pose questions before reading and search for the answers in the text. Create a goal and the rest will flow.

3. Not concentrating – you can keep reading a passage again and again, but you won’t get much out of it if you won’t concentrate. Rereading a part of a text is not as bad as some people think, but only if it is justified (if the content is difficult, the text unclear etc.) but if you reread something again and again just because you were daydreaming, you should definitely fix that. How to fix it: Take a break, make a mind-map while reading or learn how to improve your concentration – subscribe to the newsletter for more information and resources.

4. Reading every word – obviously you will read slower if you read every single word. But not all words are equally important. How to fix it: If you have a goal (as mentioned earlier), you will find the main information quickly and you won’t feel the need to read every single sentence. Read the most important things first and decide if it is necessary to read the less important parts as well.

5. Narrow visual span – many people fixate their eyes on every word as they read. This slows them down a lot. When the text is difficult you are going to read slower, but you easier texts or texts on a familiar topic can be read at least 2 or 3 times faster. How to fix it:  Get a few centimeters away from the book and try to see 2, 3, 4 and then 5 words at the same time. Practice it and soon you will read with nerdy speed!

For more detailed instructions on how to read nerdy fast, subscribe to the Newsletter.