Get More Done By Speed Reading

Speed Reading Class

Photo credit: iBjorn)

With only 24 hours in a day, finding time to get everything done in our hectic lives is really a challenge. Each day I find new articles, books, or little tidbits that I am dying to read but they just end up collecting dust in a pile on my counter or get lost in one of my cyber folders – what a waste!  I’ve started using a new system to capture some of the tweets and articles I want to read later but it’s not enough. It’s hard enough to read what I need to (especially now that I am attending B-School) and it’s frustrating that I have no time to read for fun.  But recently, I thought… “What if I could speed read?” that would solve this problem, right?

Speed reading is a technique that allows you to obtain the material you are reading in half the time as normal by reading groups of words at once. It may seem strange and it’s a little intimidating at first, but it really works !

Here are two tools that I found for quick and easy speed reading:

ReadQuickApp: This app displays an article (no books) of your choice one word at a time at the pace you are comfortable with. You can start at the slowest speed and gradually move on to get used to the technique! It will also tell you how long an article will take you to read based on your words per minute. (Cost $9.99 and is available for the iPhone)

Spritz: Want to read a whole novel in 90 minutes or less? Well now you can with Spritz. This app works by displaying one word at a time with a “fixation point.” One letter of the word is a different color and that is where you focus your eye. This allows you to focus on the word individually and obtain it, rather then moving your eyes side to side – this leads to distraction. This app can train you to read up to 1,000 words a minute – that is some serious speed reading! (Comes out around March 21st for Android, Javascript for web, and iOS. Test it out on their site here.)

If you can’t get into the speed reading that’s okay- it’s not for everyone! There are other ways to cut down reading time by using some old fashioned skimming techniques:

Yahoo News Digest (formerly Summly): No time to read lengthy news articles? This app will summarize them for you. Each story is created from multiple news sources that way you are consuming the essential information. You get all the important stuff without wasting your time! And it’s free!

Need 2 Know: This awesome free newsletter gives you “Need 2 Know” news coverage! It’s one of the first things I read in the morning.  They consider themselves the CliffsNotes for news. In each news category they sum up everything you need in 1-2 sentences. Want to know more details later – no worries, they provide the links for the full coverage.

How do you get all your reading done? Let me know which reading techniques you like best – I’m always looking for new ideas.

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