Reading is something we do very frequently for various reasons, sometimes for leisure, for work and academic reasons. Do you have a tough time understanding the materials you read or gets bored often? Following tips will help you to stay motivated and benefit more from reading.
1. Make it a habit Nothing benefits you more than things you do on a regular basis, things you do as a part of your daily routine. If you want your reading to be beneficial, then make reading a habit. Read at least few pages, no matter how hectic your day becomes or how lazy your gets.
2. Choose a time and place Reading is a work of the mind, especially if you are actively reading something. That requires silence and comfort. Hence choose the most appropriate time of the day for reading when the brain is fully functional. Also don’t forget to select a calm, neat and comfortable environment.
3. “Never read a book without a pen in your hand.” Benjamin Franklin once said, “Never read a book without a pen in your hand”. It helps you to circle and underline the critical points and to make notes. That way you can remember the main issues discussed in the material. It further helps you to revise the content, especially if you are reading for an academic purpose.
4. Take short breaks Reading is a complex task and employs more parts of the brain than usual thinks we do in our daily life. The more the parts of the brain that are up in function while reading, the better you understand the material you read. When you take short breaks and do something relatively different than other areas of your brain are activated. Hence when you get back to reading after a short break, more parts of your brain is functional, and thus you will understand better. How I practice, this is taking a break of 3 – 5 minutes after every 20 – 25 minutes of reading. I do things like squeezing a stress ball. And I make sure I stand, walk and do things different than reading. Make sure you do something during the break rather than staying idle.
5. Visualise & Question Visualisation of complicated things your read helps you to understand it easily. So is questioning the logic of it. That way you can engage more with the text. These two techniques are practised by many great people and known to be successful.