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Double Your Reading Speed in One Day

Philosophical Hall

I’ve had an on and off again relationship with speed reading. It’s kind of like that girl friend I like, but not enough to keep the relationship going past a month. Or perhaps it’s like that office acquaintance that I can’t get around to hanging out with outside of work. For this article, I decided to get serious on the topic and bought a few additional books.

I’ve read 3-4 books on Speed Reading and a handful of articles (probably much slower than I could have utilizing the information I was reading at the time). I did all of this research to figure out a simple speed reading system that I could use without hours of painful, reading training. I needed a method I could practice while I read in my normal life.

As in everything, what you put into practicing speed reading is what you’ll get out of it. I offer a chart at the end that tells you what speed you can expect to achieve with different levels of serious training. I do have a dream of one day achieving super-reader status. Imagine the sparks flying off your fingers as you race by at 2000 words each minute … 240 pages each hour… 1 book every 2 hours! But for now, I’ll settle for the Clark Kent version.

This article is for readers who like simplicity and want to double their reading speed. That’s easy to do with a few tips. To triple your reading speed or go even faster, I suggest doing a more rigorous speed reading technique as described in Triple Your Reading Speed or my favorite, Breakthrough Rapid Reading . These books separate speed reading steps into a series of exercises that you can master. They also require you to take time to practice the exercises. Now let’s get into the meat of the article.


Conquer Life - The Science of Expertise


The master musician plays his violin to a crowd listening in hushed admiration. The beautiful ballerina prances across a stage, making each movement with finesse. A professional athlete competes for the title in his sport after years of intense training.

What do these stories have in common? They’re all stories from a field of research that seeks to understand expertise. After digging through the scientific studies on expertise, there’s one simple concept that stands out: deliberate practice. On average 10,000 hours of deliberate practice over 10 years is required to bring a person with no skill to the pinnacle of his field. Mastery across many domains has been studied extensively by Anders Ericsson and others like him. The 10,000 hour concept was further popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers which was where I first ran into the concept.

In this article, I’ll explain a few relevant discoveries in the field of expertise research to help you achieve higher levels of performance. I will also question the relevance of a 10,000 hour requirement and offer you hints on how to reduce the time required to achieve expertise.


Think Deeply

IAN_0126Understanding simple truths deeply is a fundamental skill of life. This depth of thought is the bedrock that you set before building mansions of concepts. Without depth, thinking skips like a rock along the surface of your true self. With depth, thinking becomes a volcano inside. Its rolling lava creates peninsulas of habits that extend throughout your life.

In this article, I will delve into effective thinking. I plan on writing future articles to discuss how to improve thinking. Many of the ideas I discuss in this post came from a book I recommend: The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Burger and Starbird.


Creative Notes: Mind Maps

mind_map_topI’m a big fan of Mind Maps, as popularized by Tony Buzan. Mind maps are a way of taking notes that allows you to engage your capacity for creativity. This is how I take notes when I feel like doodling or brainstorming.

I prefer using a pencil and paper or perhaps a drawing app on my IPad. Paper is my favorite app (not affiliated). I’ve tested out a few different mind map software applications, but I haven’t been impressed with any yet.


The Adventure of Peak Learning

milford sound

For me it all started with a nagging thought in the back of my mind. I remember the thick college text books wrapped in clear plastic with pictures scrolled across the book covers. Each semester I unwrapped the package as if this was learning. Yet something seemed wrong. These books promised knowledge, but after each semester I was unsatisfied. Boredom. Drudgery. Stress. After the lectures faded from my mind, I kept wondering what was the point? I was exchanging a fortune for a diploma, but was I wasting myself?


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