Concentration when reading for pleasure or study can be hard, especially if you’re tired. However, these tips are there to make things easier.
Put Down The Technology
Most of us have a cell phone by our sides throughout the day. However, to improve your focus, you need to put it down and turn it off. Every time you hear a ding indicating that a new email or message has arrived, you can’t help but think about what is waiting for you in your inbox or on your messenger. You stop thinking about what you are doing. You likely check to see what.
You are no longer in the zone. Your brain may not immediately be able to transition back into reading afterword. When you get interrupted, you lose your momentum and that momentum won’t return right away. That isn’t good and hurts your ability to effectively read the material. You may also have trouble retaining what you are reading if you are constantly faced with interruptions. So, do yourself a favor and turn off your cell phone and any other piece of technology that might get in the way of your reading.
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Alternatively there are plenty of brain supplements out nowadays that can help with focus – this post from CogniTune shed some light on the matter.
You are expending much more energy when you slouch than when you sit properly. You want your hips to line up with the back of your seat. Your feet should be touching the ground. Your hips should also be a little higher than your knees. The back of your chair needs to be at a one hundred percent reclined angle. In addition, don’t forget about back support. When you sit properly, it allows you to pay more attention to what you are reading. It also helps protect you for the future; you don’t want to have back problems when you are older!
Relax Your Mind
Meditation is very powerful; it can help reduce stress and anxiety. Those that do meditate find that they enjoy reading once they are done. Their mind is clear and they can focus on what they are doing. You may not have time to engage in true meditation prior to a reading session. However, it is a good idea to close your eyes and allow your brain to relax for a minute or two before you pick up your reading material. This helps you to focus on your material better and even understand it better as well.
Read for fifty minutes at a time. One business management professional, Peter Drucker, indicates that this length of time is perfect when it comes to reading. You should be able to focus for that length of time, but any longer than that, and it may become difficult for you to maintain your concentration. Your brain just doesn’t work as well. Taking a short, ten minute break can rejuvenate you and get you ready to read again. Do it for another fifty minutes before you take an additional break. You’ll find that you can be very efficient this way.
Have A Goal
Don’t read just to read (unless you’ve picked up a book for pleasure). Have a goal when you get started. For example, perhaps you want to learn more about a certain skill. Maybe you want to pass a test. Regardless of what goal you set, having one will keep you focused on the task at hand. That makes it easier to read.
The tips above aren’t complicated, but they can make a big difference when it comes to focusing on your reading material. If you implement them, you will find that no only do you read more effectively, but you are able to maintain your concentration on other tasks as well. Practice makes perfect, and that statement holds true when it comes to focus as well. As with anything, when you read, you want to do it well. Being able to retain the material is a crucial part of that, and you won’t be able to do it very effectively unless you focus on what you are reading.