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How to read more in less time?

Chaitanya Prabuddha
Hey 👋, I’m Chaitanya Prabuddha. I love tech and studying to code by myself. I want to make lives easier.
・3 min read

Originally, This was published on *The Zyox Letter*, The best Newsletter for Programming, tech, entreprenuership & money.


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Reading is one thing we all do. Whether you read a blog (Just like now), read files for your office or simply read a book, you most likely do some type of reading every day. But we, of course, don’t have much time to read, which makes reading small articles very time-consuming. If you want to read faster while maintaining reading comprehension, check out these tips.

1. Preview What You Are Reading
Before Starting Reading, Preview what you are gonna read. Just as when you start watching a movie, you watch its trailer, This trailer gives you what is the main topic of the movie, a summary of the movie. This for example in an article can be like reading the Bold Letters of the topic or simply reading the conclusion of the topic.

2. Don’t Reread
Don’t reread the same words. Most of us get confused within the sentence that we read, because of this we try to read that line again and again. This decreases the efficiency of our reading speed. Try to read the whole page in one go and then see whether you understood the page or not. This definitely will increase your reading speed fastest.

3. Don’t Read Every Word
Most of us can read more than 2 words (About 1.5-inch width) at the same time. So, if we can read more then why not, try this habit forever. Yeah, I know 1.5-inch of space is not very much, especially if you read in the big font but at the same time it could be a lot if you read try to read 1.5 inches in a dictionary at the same time. So what I recommend is to try to put your finger in chunks of words and then read.

4. Set A Timer
Set a timer for one minute, reading normally as the time dwindles. When the timer goes off, note how many pages you have read. Then again start with a new time and then record your progress now. If you record some progress in a few rounds, then it’s awesome, but if not, try this for a few days and then you will surely see some benefits.

5. Write A Summary
When you are planning to read the same thing again shortly, you should definitely try to summarise what you read. It is significantly helpful when you will start reading that again. Write a few sentences to summarize what you read, and answer any questions you had before you started reading. By spending a few minutes after reading to think, synthesize the information, and write what you learned, you’ll solidify the material in your mind and have better recall later.

6. Use A Marker
If you get confused when you are reading or slip between words when reading. If your answer is yes then you should surely use a marker to mark important lines, difficult words & things you find difficult. This works more efficiently when you have to use that information for a long period of time. For example, some files that you need in your office.

7. Always Set A Goal
We all know, Setting up a goal helps a lot. It increases your productivity a lot. Holding yourself accountable will better ensure you stick with your reading and your timer tests. Give yourself a goal of a certain number of pages to read each day/week/etc., and stick to it. When you reach it, treat yourself. This will ensure that you will have fun while doing what you like.


“The Best Way To Get Started Is To Quit Talking And Begin Doing.”
-Walt Disney.

I hope you enjoyed my article. Follow me on Twitter

Originally, This was published on *The Zyox Letter*, The best Newsletter for Programming, tech, entreprenuership & money.


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Discussion (8)

drsimplegraffiti profile image
Abayomi Ogunnusi

Practice focus reading.....for example you aren't clear about a subject matter, flip to the index and look for the topic and then read that part slowly to understand. Understanding is very important because the topics you don't understand today will haunt you tomorrow.

gcgbarbosa profile image
George C. G. Barbosa

I totally agree. Focus reading is key. Also regarding reading speed, some texts are better written and easier to understand. Those can be read fast. Some texts are more complex, specially when it involves math or programing.

Another great tip is trying to code the thing that you've just learned. If you find yourself having to go back to the documentation, it means you did not learn it very well. You might have to do multiple iterations of that. If the stuff you're reading about is not practical, meaning you can't use it to build anything, try flashcards... Aim to describe the concept as simple as you can. If you find trouble doing it, go back to the text until you gain more understanding of the concept.

vladsolokha profile image
Vlad Solokha

When you say understand, you mean apply that knowledge? At least that's what I hope you mean.

mayankpathak profile image
Mayank Pathak

There are no shortcuts to Reading Chaitanya, If you will try to read more in less time than there are chances of misssing important and valuable information and can lead to errors and problems in near future.

jeden profile image
Eden Jose • Edited

There's reading to cover as many topics as possible, then there's reading to understand. For sure there are speed readers that can do both kinds of reading simultaneously, but that isn't usually the case.

I tend to read slowly to understand something, but if a particular section is something I've read from another article or book, I tend to breeze through it.

Like for example, self-development books tend to reference similar stories and concepts like the 10,000 hours rule or the power of grit and resilience. Since I've gone through Malcolm Gladwell's Outlier book (where the 10,000 rule was popularized), when I read about the 10,000 rule again on another book, I feel I've got a grasp on what that is so I just breeze through that section.

Also, there's actual techniques for speed reading which I've read somewhere, and I think those techniques deserved to be mentioned here as well:

  1. Time is an important factor. You're at your fastest on reading during your wakeup time or when you just had you early morning coffee. If you take advantage the huge amount of willpower you have in the morning to practice fast-pace reading, then you'll surely develop a habit of it.

  2. When reading sentences or paragraphs, put your pointing finger under the word then read the words as your finger moves through it. Eventually your finger will move faster and you'll improve on reading faster.

  3. Another technique is to utilize your peripheral view. I've read somewhere (and tried to practice it myself) where a single line should be able to fit or viewed by your 120-degree vision. This one I'd let you do the research because I'm a bit fuzzy on how this is done. :D

  4. Now if you've improved on reading faster, the next challenge is to actually maintain it for longer periods. Remember that reading faster still takes up willpower even though you've developed a habit of it. Personally, I can keep up a quick pace for 30 mins, but after the 30 mins, my pace tends to slow down, then after 1 hour, I tend to re-read sentences. But of course, this is just for my case.

I do agree on your #1 and #5. Checking the back of a book for the summary or simply checking youtube for reviews of the book usually saves time. If its recommended by a lot then it's something I might consider reading. Of course I'll also check what are the negative reviews.

As for #5. I believe this falls under the 2nd type of reading I mentioned at the beginning: reading to understand. I don't think is helpful if you'd like to read more with less time since doing a write-up of what you just read would requires you to sit down, open a Word, notepad, or simple write on a paper what your understanding of the subject matter is. BUT it is definitely a way to measure if you've understand what you read. As what I always tell myself, if I can tell the concept in my own words and explain it to other people in a way they can understand, then I definitely understood the subject.

Now, what I mentioned are general tips, but I would say it's helpful if you're going through books of any kind. If it's for technical stuff and documentation, simply covering more with less time isn't enough as you need to practice and apply it, make mistakes, and then fix it by going through the documentation again. :)

Anyway, that's my two cents! :)

jupyter1186 profile image
Ahmad Rehan

And thats the fastest read ive ever done after while reading an article on guiding me on how to read much more efficiently and time effectively. Nice

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