Category Archives: Time Management

Speed Reading: Can it Change Your Life?

by Kim Allarie

You might have read the hype about speed reading being able to transform your life by enabling you to take in information considerably more quickly than usual, thereby enhancing your skills as well as upping your value as an employee.

For a number of people, increasing their reading speed is the main objective, while for others, it is more essential that they develop their ability to comprehend and retain what they read. A high-quality speed reading program can do both, and consequently amp up both your personal and professional life.

The typical reading speed is around two words a second with standard comprehension. For ordinary reading this is probably sufficient, but with the help of a good speed reading program the average rate could be boosted to four or six words a second with similar comprehension.

But there are those who have very particular reading requirements and wish to improve their reading speed to ten-plus words per second with better than normal understanding. A comprehensive speed reading program with lots of practice and testing can help them reach their objective.

Many speed reading programs train students to rapidly search through the text to ignore irrelevant information and pick out the pertinent parts. The idea is to be able to gather the essence of the material through reading entire sentences or phrases as a block, instead of just individual words.

Improve Speed, But Don’t Lose Comprehension

Sometimes individuals who undertake to learn speed reading encounter difficulties with the practice of sub-vocalization. This is the tendency to mentally sound out each word while they read. In speed reading, a primary focus is on developing the ability to not sub-vocalize while you read. In its place, you are taught to concentrate only on the words that have significance to the general context. You will become skilled at intentional reading and will therefore increase understanding at the same time as speed.

There are various ways of teaching speed reading, as well as different ways that each individual learns. One method might work better for some students than another. Basically, speed reading endeavors to guide the brain to distinguish only important words without sounding them out mentally. If you have difficulty with one approach, find another speed reading course that teaches these skills in a way that will assist you to progress more efficiently.

Just like learning any new activity, you need to continuously practice your speed reading techniques in order to master the art.

Learn more about the time management skill of speed reading at The Speed Reading Site.

Shopaholics And Other Holics

I wondered why it took me so long to discover Shopaholics the book series. When I read the first few pages, I totally couldn’t stand Becky. She was such a weakling who kept buying clothes and useless stuff. It was later then I realised there were other things we had in common.

My weakness is books. I’m always buying books and borrowing them. I borrow my husband’s library card, and I borrow 20 books at one go. Sometimes, I borrow from the public library at the same time, and borrow a lot more. Then I end up not having enough time to read them, and I just have to return them. I have bought a number of books which had not been unwrapped. My book shelves are full and I tried to bring them to my workplace and put them in the shelves, but even then, when my companies hold condemned library book giveaways, I bring back so many more and they are left unread.

Sometimes, people lack the discipline to know what they need and what they want. They think that everything is important. When I borrow books, I go for the cover, the feel of the book, the font of the book, the author, and sometimes I read a few pages to see whether I liked them. However, when I buy and borrow so many at a time, they lack the attention.

Whether it is an addiction to shopping or books, many of us have such momentary lapses of judgement. I am a bookaholic. I have a lot of work piling up and I still spend so much time on them. Other people are workaholics. It is a disguised legitimate way of caving in to our addictions. People who spend a lot of time at work say that they are doing their best to move up the ladder, to bring home the bacon and because it gives them satisfaction when they are doing well.

Look at it this way. When a student is addicted to computer games, the parents will scold the child and threaten to take away the modem, or the computer. However, this does not help much. It only spoils the relationship because the child refuses to comply with the instructions. Each time they spend on the computer, they want to move up just one more level, buy one more weapon, kill one more soldier or monster or just earn more points to buy food for the pet. Isn’t this similar to workaholics who just want to get one more promotion, one more month of bonus, one more hour to touch up the presentation?

You may say that by touching up the presentation, you will gain the clients’ confidence. By spending that one more hour or two or more at work, you prove to the boss that you can move up. This is just similar to the computer addiction, and yet, have you thought of the detrimental effects? Your relationship with your family gets affected. Your eyesight deteriorates because of that long hours of not blinking in front of the computer. You pile on fats around the waist. You keep falling sick because you refuse to rest. You are stuck in a rut because you failed to upgrade yourself or relax properly. 

Think through what you can do to cut the addictions out of your life and get a balanced life. It’s time to smell the roses.

Outsourcing Your Life

I had been reading The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss and some of the ideas simply astound me. Much had been said about outsourcing work to India and other countries, and people losing jobs as a result. Why not make use of this trend to your advantage?

It is rather affordable for individuals to hire virtual assistants to help you do work. If you need to find some research, they can do it for you. If you need them to help you select a few good places to eat near your place, they can do so too. Let’s say you need to buy an anniversary gift, and you want to find out which watches are nice and within your budget. They can do the research for you in table form, and even order it for you.

One man who lost his job due to outsourcing to India actually found a job by outsourcing his own interviews arrangement to India. Another one simply got the VA to call him to remind him to pay his parking tickets and drive slower.

The best part is when you are sleeping, they can do the job for you, so when you wake up, the work is all done.