Spreeder CX can import and accurately convert files with the following extensions.
Now you can speed read content from 46 file types!

  • abw
  • doc
  • docx
  • html
  • lwp
  • md
  • odt
  • pages
  • pages.zip
  • pdf
  • rst
  • rtf
  • sdw
  • tex
  • wpd
  • wps
  • zabw
  • cbc
  • cbr
  • cbz
  • chm
  • epub
  • fb2
  • htm
  • htmlz
  • lit
  • lrf
  • mobi
  • pdb
  • pml
  • prc
  • rb
  • snb
  • tcr
  • txtz
  • key
  • key.zip
  • odp
  • pps
  • ppsx
  • ppt
  • pptm
  • pptx
  • ps
  • sda
  • txt

Category: Speed Reading

How Time Assets Will Help you Achieve More in 2015

Are you a collector of time assets, or do you find yourself always in debt? Thinking about time as an asset or debt is a unique way of looking at productivity. People often think of productivity as a short-term goal. They’re focused on how to save 10 minutes in the morning by preparing breakfast the night before, or how to shrink a boring office meeting down to 20 minutes only. Although these and other similar strategies are efficient in saving people a couple hours per month, they miss a valuable point. Looking at short-term one-time solutions like this is shortsighted, because in focusing on them we are not taking into consideration how certain actions can save time not just in the present, but also in the future.

When we’re thinking of how to be more productive, how to fit more projects in the twenty-four hours we only get each day, we should be looking at strategies that will save us time for many, many years to come.

“Time as Asset”  (also referred to as Time Asset and Time Debt) is a concept coined by Patrick McKenzie. This approach helps us understand how valuable some productivity-boosting skills truly are.

When you think of ways you can be more productive, it’s best to try and think of more long-term strategies. For instance, it makes more sense to increase your reading speed than it does to skip reading an important report. Increasing your reading speed is an asset; it’s a time asset that will save you many hours over the course of the coming years.

Time Asset: Keyboarding  – How to Cut Down on Typing Time

One way to be more productive in the long run is to improve your typing speed and accuracy. This will substantially reduce your typing time because you will no longer have to look down at your keyboard to locate “C” or to find the shortcut “Ctrl+X”.

Ultimate Typing™ is a program that will help you pay off your typing time debt and help you increase your typing time assets. Over the years, you will save hundreds of hours of typing, just by committing yourself to improving this one skill today.

Time Asset: Reading – How to Cut Down on Reading Time

We read for work, for pleasure, for education, for keeping up with the world. One time asset you should be looking at investing in is reading. Reading efficiently means you can stay on top of developments and new knowledge, and you can be more efficient at any reading-related project, from doing research for a report, to putting together a white paper for a new software release from your company.

By improving your reading speed you will be able to save hundreds of reading hours because bad habits like sub-vocalization and regression won’t be slowing you down. Consider how 7 Speed Reading™ might be the key to improving your productivity, today and for as long as you live.

Time Asset: Language  – Minimize your Language Time Debt

If your spelling and vocabulary are poor, then your productivity more than likely suffers from it. A person with an extended vocabulary and excellent spelling skill is more efficient at writing.

eReflect’s user-friendly software products Ultimate Spelling™ and Ultimate Vocabulary™ help you improve on these two seminal language skills. When you master these skills, you won’t have to rely on thesauruses, dictionaries, and spellcheckers every time you put together a report or have to write your next pitch.

Time as Asset is an excellent way to conceptualize productivity. It takes into consideration a valuable aspect of productivity: that productivity is  an ongoing goal we must think of  as a continuum, rather than a one-time thing we conquer one task at a time.

5 Things You Never Knew About Wikipedia

Millions of people use Wikipedia every day to look up information, and chances are you’re one of them. Since this global resource went on line in 2001, it has grown to be the website everyone turns to first when they want answers to a question about a fact, figure, or statistic. In fact, it has become so common that it’s like breathing oxygen – it’s so much a part of our daily lives that we don’t even think about it any more. That’s why you might be surprised by these five facts about Wikipedia – which you can all find on Wikipedia itself, of course!

Surprising Fact #1: Wikipedia is even more multilingual than you thought.

There are more articles in English (almost 5 million) than in any other language, but when it comes to languages in which more than a million entries have been published, English-language articles make up less than a third of the total. Other top contributors are from authors who speak French, Spanish, Polish, Swedish, or Cebuano, one of the languages used in the Philippines.

And there are even more languages used on Wikipedia when you look at smaller total numbers of articles. Native speakers in Japan, Portugal, and China will all find at least 100,000 articles written in their language, and so will people who live in Norway, Lithuania, and the Basque country of northwest Spain and southwest France.

Surprising Fact #2: Earlier versions of Wikipedia articles are stored, not deleted.

Most people think that an online entry in Wikipedia can’t be trusted because anyone can go in and make changes and edits. While it is true that articles are open to editing, there are also thousands of dedicated editors who watch for people who are making destructive changes, which they call “vandalism.” The website also has automatic subroutines that watch for the same thing happening at the database level. If a page has been tampered with, the previous correct version can be restored.

Surprising Fact #3: Wikipedia is updated thousands of times per hour.

Somewhere in the world, someone is updating a Wikipedia article right now. Actually, there are likely a hundred people editing articles right this very second, and another hundred just started on a different set of article edits and additions. In many categories of information, such as politics and current events, Wikipedia is one of the most up-to-date resources you can find.

Surprising Fact #4: No matter where you start in Wikipedia, you’ll end up on the same page.

The next time you have a few minutes to spare, try this trick:

  1. Go to any Wikipedia page, such as eReflect’s Wikipedia page.
  1. Find the first internal Wikipedia link on the page (not one that is in parentheses or italics).
  1. Click the link. Now look for the first internal link on that new page.
  1. Repeat step 3.

More than 90 percent of the time, if you keep clicking on the first internal link of every article, you’ll eventually end up at the Wikipedia page titled “Philosophy.” Now that’s food for thought!

Surprising Fact #5: Wikipedia contains information on anything you can think of – and more.

If you’re interested in learning something new, but you don’t know where to start, you can always type in a random word or phrase in the “search” box at the top of any Wikipedia page. You could also click the “Random Article” link on the left sidebar menu. It’s a great way to get new ideas and inspiration for more reading and research, and you’ll see articles on topics you never even dreamed of, like these:

– the prehistoric South American mammal called Nesodon, which weighed over a ton

a) Big Time, the live album by Tom Waits released in 1988

b) the names of the global rulers and heads of government in 503 AD

c) 19th-century Cuban revolutionary Ignacio Agramonte

A word of warning: using Wikipedia’s “Random Article” link will lead you to entertaining articles and interesting facts, but it can be addictive. There’s always more to learn with just one more click . . .

How to Prioritize Your E-Mail to Save Reading Time

Most people don’t really want to go back to work in the office after a nice relaxing vacation, and for many of them one of the main reasons is the huge backlog of e-mail messages waiting for them. With all of the e-mails coming in every day it’s necessary to make sure you don’t waste time on the ones that aren’t important, but that you do get the most out of the messages containing the information that you need. To save time and get through your inbox in the most efficient way, try these useful tips:

Start using keyword searches. Even if you’ve got 50 e-mails from the same department, they might not all be about the same thing. Do a quick keyword search using a term that you know is likely to be in the messages that you need to see – for example, the word project or meeting. If you’re working on something specific with a group, pick a term that relates to your current task, such as upgrade or rollout. The most timely messages should pop to the top of the list, and the messages about the upcoming birthday potluck will fall to the bottom.

Identify key collaborators. Many e-mail services allow you to set up different groups and assign people to those groups. If you can identify the people whose messages you almost always need to read right away, you can put them in one or two separate groups, and go to those messages first.

Stay away from the crowds. While there might be company-wide e-mails sent out that you do need to read, many people use the “send to all” feature much more often than they need to. You’ll probably be able to immediately see whether you’re one of a hundred others on an e-mail list, and just by looking at the number of people who received the message you’ll get an idea if you’ve been sent the message for no particular reason other than that you’re in someone’s e-mail address book.

Highlight the important information. If you can use your e-mail service to automatically assign a color flag to certain senders or keywords you’ll have an easy way to visually sort through your inbox before you go any further. You’ll be able to quickly spot the red-flagged or urgent messages and handle those first.

Let the system do the sorting. This might be something you need to work with a systems administrator on, but it’s likely that there is a way for you to set up folders and have the e-mail system automatically route messages into those folder, either by keyword topic or by sender. In addition, you can make sure that people who you need to communicate with by e-mail set up their systems to use the same method, and your folder will serve as the go-to spot for all of your e-mails, so that they don’t get lost among the hundreds of others you receive in your main mailbox.

Paper vs Monitor: How Technology Is Rapidly Changing The Way We Read


The Internet revolutionized reading in the 21st century, something everybody realizes now. The numbers alone speak volumes: 11 years ago about 22% of Americans chose the Internet to get their news, but in 2013, that number had risen to 39%. The statistics are revealing, and attest to the fact that e-books, news, entertainment, and communication are all taking place online.

Online, tech-based reading is on the rise

According to Kathryn Zickuhr, Internet researcher at the Pew Research Center, 55% of Americans own a smartphone and 24% an e-reader.

E-reading is a trend that continues to grow. In 2011, only 16% of the American participants in the Pew study read an ebook, but in 2012 that number rose to 23%. Print book reading dropped from 72% to 67% from 2011 to 2012. Again, there’s a strong but gradual tendency to read more ebooks than paper ones.

Rituals that are intimacy-based favor print book reading

While traditional reading rituals like reading with a child or with another person are still mostly likely to be done with print books, participants in the study who commuted regularly confirmed that ebooks are their preferred medium for reading when travelling. Not only does an e-reader have the advantage of letting you keep a wider selection of books available, it allows you to access new books easily and quickly.

The future of libraries

Libraries are not dying, and many people still visit them. In fact, 73% of the people surveyed visit a library with the express purpose of borrowing books.

What’s been noticeably absent from libraries is the time spent in them. People generally no longer browse shelves as frequently. They find the books in the library’s website, reserve them on line, and go pick them up, a time-saving approach that librarians say is on the rise.

As the purpose of libraries shifts, their cultural role is becoming even stronger. People regard libraries as community spaces for ongoing cultural expression and communication. Lectures, cultural events, and meetings are all part of the many activities taking place at libraries today, giving them a role in peoples’ lives beyond studying and reading books.

Reader expectations changing

Online content is changing the expectations of readers. The print book is not going to be replaced any time soon, but libraries are already feeling the need to adjust to a more tech-based environment.

In fact, the survey illustrated that people are keen to use tech services like pre-loaded ebooks, or classes on how to use e-readers. Most modern libraries have online catalogs that let people borrow library-owned e-books, and even the smallest library is striving to offer more automated and online services to the public.

As we move into a digital era of content dissemination, the need for libraries and other cultural institutions to keep up with technology will not decrease. Libraries that stubbornly refuse to offer online facilities like ebook borrowing, free access to databases, and digitized books will run the risk of being neglected and forgotten. Technology is changing the reading expectations of modern readers, and society – and its libraries – has to respond accordingly and promptly.


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7 Practical Ways To Improve Your Reading (Guest Post)


Dominic Cole


There are a number of ways in which you can improve your reading skills. Some of these are technical – there are certain techniques that need to be trained if you want to be a more efficient reader. These techniques include training yourself to avoid bad habits such as sub-vocalization (silent speech as you read) so that you can learn to read more quickly. This article though is about a different set of skills – skills that are much less technical – they are really just practical ideas to get you reading more and understanding and learning from what you read.

1. Read for enjoyment

Okay, this one should be self-evident. If you want to read better, start out by reading things that you are positively interested in. The very simple insight here is that if you are interested in what you are reading then your brain will take in the content of what you are reading. More than that, the more interested you are in the content, the more quickly you read, the more you can’t wait to get to the next idea, the next sentence or the next page. Before you know it, you have finished the book. Job done!

2. Don’t just read – read then speak or read then write

Sometimes people find reading difficult because it is such a solitary activity – it’s almost invariably something you do by yourself. If you spend too much time reading, it gives you less time for more “communicative” activities such as speaking to other people. Here’s an idea: talk to other people about what you are reading: there are book clubs galore out there after all. The insight is that if you share what you read by speaking or writing about it, then reading becomes much less of a chore. I’d add that, speaking as a language teacher, reading then speaking and/or writing will speed up your vocabulary learning no end – it makes a passive skill more active.

3. Think about what you have read

Why does reading often go wrong? Well, quite frequently people read “numbly” – the process becomes too automatic, the eyes are moving but the brain isn’t engaged. The symptoms of this are that you get to the end of the page and you have no idea about what you have just read. If this happens, then nothing much has been achieved. Is there a solution? I think so. It can be as simple as asking yourself the question “What have I just read?” at the end of each page or chapter, or perhaps “Do I agree with that?”. These are questions anyone can ask and answer – you don’t always need a language teacher to help you!

4. Think about where and when you read

One way reading has changed is that there are now much more media out there: for example different varieties of e-readers now make it possible to read almost wherever we go. This, for me, is a “good thing”. However, it does pose a challenge to the reader: you are much more likely to lose concentration if you are browsing the net on your mobile phone on the train during your daily commute. The idea here is just that if you want to take in what you read, it is much best to find somewhere quiet first.

5. Use pictures and headings to help you

Another way technology is changing reading habits is that a huge proportion of texts are now in multimedia formats – you don’t just get words, you get pictures or other forms of media too. If you want to understand what you are reading take a look at the pictures first – they’ll give you a good overview of what the text is about. A related idea is to take time to notice and read the headings – that’s what they’re there for! A little word of warning though: newspaper headlines can be very difficult to decipher – they tend to have their own grammar and often make use of highly idiomatic language.

6. Don’t always read in the same way and give yourself breaks

Good habits are good, right? Well, yes, but if you do the same thing all the time it does tend to become boring. So the suggestion here is to do different things as you read – read in different ways and keep your mind stimulated. My personal advice is to find a number of different things to read and vary between them. For instance, you might want to read a novel in bed at night and the newspaper on the way into work in the morning. All I’d suggest is that you choose reading activities that suit you as an individual and make them part your daily routine.

7. Just read lots – forget your dictionary

There is no science behind this idea! My experience though as a teacher is that almost invariably the people who read best are the people who read most. There is a lot to be said for quality of reading, but quantity matters too. If you are aiming for quantity, I’d make one small suggestion: forget the dictionary sometimes – dictionaries are good but they do slow you down. The idea is to learn to guess at meanings and not look every word up. All this takes is a little confidence and texts that you enjoy and want to understand – which takes me neatly back to idea number 1: my very best advice is to learn to read for pleasure.


About the author

Dominic Cole is the author of DC IELTS a website for learners of English and anyone interested in the better use of language.


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Comparing Paper-Based Reading With Its Digital Successor: Three Differentiating Factors


Does the brain process language differently when text is on paper than when it’s read on an e-reader? Is it a myth that when we read on computer screens we cannot be as focused on what we are reading, or does science prove otherwise?

Digital reading has become very popular for many reasons. Some people prefer digital books for practical reasons of portability and cost-effectiveness, others for ecological ones.

Millions of people have already integrated the two reading modes, or completely switched to digital reading. All of the trends reveal that the popularity of e-reading will keep growing – but the debate over which is best may never be resolved. Here’s a look at the three main factors that make digital and paper-based reading so different:

Digital reading requires different cognitive resources than paper-based reading.

When people read on paper their cognitive processes related to reading are complemented and reinforced by the tactile stimuli of the experience.

This physical component that the hard-copy book provides doesn’t exist when we read on computer screens and e-readers, a fact that explains why reading comprehension in digital-based reading is often significantly lower when compared to comprehension when reading print media.

This study published in the International Journal of Educational Research looked into how reading modality affects reading comprehension, and found that students reading on digital screens did worse than their counterparts reading on paper.
What seems to compromise reading comprehension during digital reading is an issue that is a part of the medium itself. It seems that the cognitively heavy task of navigation using an e-reader or computer (buttons, keys to push, even tactile screen scrolling) is something that has a high potential to distract the reader, and that distraction has a toll on reading comprehension.

A difference in portability and cost-effectiveness.

The paper book is still widely used and read around the world, and despite the markedly important growth of digital reading, printed books have their unrelenting fans. However, even die-hard fans of print books admit the perks of the digital book: it’s green, it’s portable, and it’s significantly cheaper.

Reading on screen means less tree pulp wasted, and more and cheaper books easily carried around. These three attributes of the digital book obviously promote increased reading. If people can carry several books with them, they’re more likely to read while commuting to work rather than playing Angry Birds.

Book reading and the sense of control.

Digital reading is fluid and open-ended, but this means at times it’s hard to manage, both cognitively and physically. On the other hand, a paper book gives the reader increased control over the reading process.

A pdf file or an e-book gives you no tactile power whatsoever. You need to repeatedly click on the keys or scroll, scroll, and scroll again to find a paragraph you’ve missed or to re-read a passage you loved. All of that takes time, and leads to a loss in concentration and interest.

When reading paper-based content , though, you the reader are in charge. You flick through pages easily and re-reading a favorite passage is tied to the physicality of the activity of turning those pages, giving a sense of great control over what’s being read and ultimately understood.

Superficial reading and its aftereffects.

What’s more, this lack of physicality with digital reading – and of course the sheer volume of digital content available – makes digital readers more inclined to be “skim and scan” readers. People don’t pay attention to digital copy the way they do with paper-based text. Digital reading prompts careless, hurried reading, because the modality is much more difficult to keep focused on – ads pop up, social networks notifications distract you, and so on.

Researchers are keen to understand how reading modality affects reading efficiency. Preliminary findings suggest that the two are very different cognitive processes, with a different set of requirements in place.

Whether one is better than the other is of little importance. What’s important to understand in this debate is that the two are distinctively different, and for their enthusiasts, each one is the best.

Cross-posted on the 7 Speed Reading blog.


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How Reading Books Can Make You A Better Person


Next time you’re bored out of your mind, don’t reach for your smartphone, reach for a book instead. Reading books provides a range of benefits you may not be aware of. In fact, the more books you
read, the more awesome you will be.

Reading makes you (more) empathetic

Reading fiction gives you an inside peek into scenarios and realities you couldn’t otherwise live yourself. This opens up your critical thinking capabilities and activates your empathy sensors. You become more aware and sensitive to people’s plights, cultures, and customs, and feel more forgiving and nurturing where you might have once been condescending or inflexible.

Reading is an immersive experience

A good novel will have you questioning reality. A good novel will drag you so deeply into its plot that your identification with the protagonist will be mind-blowing and reality-blurring. Enough said.

Reading is knowledge

You can watch a documentary or tutorial to learn a new skill but nothing beats the original experience of reading, processing, and understanding new knowledge or how-tos all by yourself.

Reading is a bottomless chest from which you will always be able to get a few jewels — with each book and each tale.

Reading is traveling for your soul

Reading helps you leave all your workaday troubles behind, even if for a short moment. It empties your mind until you’re powerful enough to confront your daily demons.

Reading is entertainment

For the bibliophiles out there, reading is a matchless experience. Reading gives you immense joy. It engages your senses and enthralls your mind with scenery, plots, and mind-blowing images.

Reading makes you interesting

From learning smart, little-known facts, to initiating great discussions with friends, reading makes you a knowledgeable, interesting person people will love to hang out with.

Reading is inspiration

Reading stimulates your creativity. You start thinking critically and more boldly, all because you’ve already been exposed to various scenarios and have garnered the tools and knowledge to be less ordinary and more unique.

Reading is growth

Even if you don’t read a self-improvement book per se, virtually any well-written book will help you become a better person. From building your self-esteem to becoming better at decision-making, books give you the tools to cope with life’s conundrums — and the ever-important Zombie apocalypse.

Reading is power

It’s a cliché but it’s nonetheless true: reading empowers you. The knowledge and worlds you experience when reading give you confidence and wisdom on how to deal with real life situations more gracefully and wisely.

Reading is your key to becoming a better person in all aspects of your life

Reading is how you improve your marketability, your communication skills, your empathy and emotional intelligence, your appeal — and even your sexiness. Reading is one of the few habits known to man that you can never have too much of. So go on, read on!

Bonus benefit

If you speed read you get to reap all these benefits in a shorter time. Awesome, right?


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What Do Harry Potter, Reading, and Brain Scans Have In Common? An Experiment With Fascinating Results

Scientists recently looked into the brain activity of people caught up in reading a page-turner, J. K. Rowling’s popular “Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.” The experiment helped measure brain activity during reading, and it is shedding light on the questions surrounding how our brains work, how they make sense of reality, and what they experience when we read.

The eight subjects that participated in the Carnegie Mellon University were reading the ninth chapter of the first Harry Potter book, one that revolves around a flying lesson.

What scientists discovered is that when the participants were reading about the movements and efforts of Harry Potter to ride his broom and fly, this activated the brain regions that people use when they try to detect and understand other people’s movements. In other words, reading and interpreting real-life events activate the same brain regions.

The flying lesson chapter the participants were asked to read was also one laden with emotions. In this chapter, Harry is confronted with the bully Malfoy and at one point meets a three-headed dog. The many events and emotions described in this chapter helped scientists extract some important conclusions from the study.

The scientists discovered that during the reading experiment, when people were reading about a person’s point of view or character, the brain region that lit up was the one associated with how people interpret other people’s actions. As the scientists explain, “Similarly, the characters in the story are associated with activation in the same brain region we use to process other people’s intentions.” Source

This reveals that what we read truly engages our brain and activates complex processes so that we can understand  what we’re reading, both in terms of language and in terms of narrative.

In other words, whether we’re reading about how a protagonist tries to decipher a person’s actions by trying to figure out what their intentions are, or whether we are trying to decipher these intentions in a person sitting next to us, the same brain regions come into play.

While previous studies focused on individual words and sentences to understand how the brain processes language, by looking at language and brain activity through the act of reading, we get a much richer overview of how the brain responds to this complex process. The reader is expected to decipher the meaning of words and put this meaning in context. The reader needs to use grammar and context clues, and at the same time keep up with how the characters develop and how the plot proceeds through the various events introduced in the narrative.

This research is a big step towards better understanding of how the brain operates and processes visual and linguistic stimuli, and how reading affects our brain. It’s not the first time that scientists have used reading as the vehicle for monitoring brain activity. Reading is a cognitively complex process that seems to hold the key to many of our brain’s mysteries — mysteries that, as yet, are still unsolved.


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Combine New and Old Skills to Achieve More!

It seems that everyone is in a constant frenzied pursuit of more happiness, more money, more skills, more power. This pursuit doesn’t have to be entirely random and chaotic, though. You can achieve all these things if you can prioritize wisely. For instance, you cannot earn more money if you lack the necessary tech skills to succeed in the modern marketplace, and you cannot find everlasting happiness unless you engage in some self-reflection and life evaluation first.

If you combine new and modern skills with tried-and-true wisdom, you will be able to prepare yourself for a brighter future.

Leadership

Leadership is an umbrella term for being an assertive, resourceful, and confident individual. A leader is someone who’s bold enough to take risks, and yet wise enough to take these risks only at the most appropriate times.

Leadership is an attribute that will make you stand out and help you achieve more in life.

Emotional Intelligence

While our school curriculum focuses on teaching us math, science, languages and other skills, what classes are we taking that nurture and grow our emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is more than a fancy, trendy term. It’s an ability that’s essential in our homes, our offices, our societies, and our schools.

Emotional intelligence is an increased empathy, sensitivity, and awareness of your own feelings, moods, and attitude – as well as those of others. Emotional intelligence helps you make the most out of your personal potential, and also avoid interpersonal crises while nurturing a benevolent overall culture in all possible contexts.

Time Management

Time management is an essential skill. In fact, time management is the alpha and the omega when it comes to conquering goal after goal. With good time management comes better organizational skills, and the two combined ensure you can reach your goals in a time-efficient, impressive fashion.

Teamwork

In the world of digital collaboration, massive open online courses, and Ed Tech, it’s obvious that without basic teamwork you cannot achieve everything you want. In fact, you will achieve more if you don’t always work alone. Studies are now focusing on the fact that solitary work habits cannot compete with the results and side benefits of collaboration.

Cultivate your teamwork skills and you will realize the true power of collaborative thinking and acting at your job, in your home, and with your family and friends.

Tech Skills

Innate and learned skills will only get you so far if they don’t relate to today’s modern lifestyle. Our world is a tech-driven one, and if you are not adept at using new technologies, chances are you’re going to be left behind.

While you watch other people speed read and touch type their way to success, you will be struggling with slow-paced skills and outdated keyboarding techniques. The only way forward is by being time-efficient at everything you do.

Speed Reading

Since the digital content revolution, the amount of new knowledge syndicated every minute grows nonstop. This has made many people anxious and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content they must handle every day in order to keep themselves up to date with new developments.

That’s where speed reading comes in. With speed reading, you can read efficiently and always be in the know. If knowledge is power, with speed reading you become invincible.

Touch Typing

Another time-based skill is keyboarding. With work, entertainment, and communication being mostly done through computer monitors and touch screens, it’s only reasonable to want to improve your touch typing skills and make the most out of your time every day.

Digital Literacy

Educational platforms, mobile apps, the Cloud, online research, blogging and coding. The list of tech skills we are expected to at least be aware of is continually growing.

While it’s probably not realistic to try to master all possible tech skills, having a general idea as to the most popular and essential ones will ensure you can keep up with the rest of the competition and make certain your lack of digital literacy doesn’t stand in the way of your aspirations.

Level Up With The Right Business Skills

It’s true that “business skills” is a vague concept simply because it encompasses so many varied and often contradictory qualifications. Some insist that essential business skills are leadership and organization, while others point out more human-centric ones such as kindness and empathy— always depending of course on what kind of business we’re talking about in terms of size, niche, and mission.

Nonetheless, there are certain timeless business skills that can leverage any company’s success. The diversity of business skills mentioned below might seem daunting or even impossible for a single person, but through persistent effort, any skill can be mastered.

Business Management

Finance Management

A business’ sole reason for existence is profit, so it’s essential to be able to financially monitor your business so that the right choices will lead to sales and profit increases. Basic financial concepts, software, and strategic business approaches are necessary in building a solid basis for your business.

Human Resources Management

Business management is about efficiently taking care of your employees. This includes:

  • providing them incentives and adequate training to keep them up with the latest developments,

  • providing a fruitful, non-threatening environment to work in

  • ensuring your employees are at all times satisfied with their work environment and invested in the success of your business

Vision Plus Passion

These two could easily be labeled personality traits, but we feel they’re learnable skills. Having passion and vision allows anyone to succeed; these are qualities that drive innovation, creativity, and success no matter your niche or product. Vision is what will get you ahead of the competition and onto the right route; passion is what will keep you motivated enough to keep trying until you achieve your company’s goals.

Adaptability

The times when sticking to insufficient patterns and approaches are long behind us. Today’s business models are about flexibility and swift adaptability to new conditions. Strategies might be efficient but they’re never 100% under your control, because there are circumstances that will affect your business that are beyond your reach. The sooner you can acknowledge their irreversibility and try to adapt to these changes, the smaller the loss for you.

Strategic Planning and Decision Making

It ultimately boils down to making all the right choices. It’s about critically and thoroughly exhausting all possibilities to arrive at the desired end-point fast, unharmed, stronger than before. Strategic planning and decision making are two aspect of business management you will be confronted with, day in and day out. The more proficient you are in the techniques and approaches available to you, the better the choices you’ll make.

Trusting Others

People with start-ups often have this irrational urge to have everything under their own personal control. But as a business grows and gathers more opportunities for expansion, the efficiency with which a business can be managed by one person drops dramatically.

You see, it’s a skill to acknowledge your own limitations, to admit that you cannot control everything and everyone, and that sometimes it’s okay to delegate some tasks to other people. Trust doesn’t stop here, however. It’s not enough to be willing to assign tasks to people, it’s also about choosing the most competent person for each task. Now that’s a challenge.

Networking and Marketing Skills

Marketing Strategies

Increasing sales can be achieved with strategic marketing campaigns. Freebies, sweepstakes, and contests can gain your brand visibility and encourage people to talk about your business. Promoting your products/services to new audiences and focusing on target groups you may have previously thought of as irrelevant is a skill you ought to acquire if you wish to have constant (though sometimes gradual) growth.

Establishing Lasting Relationships

Good connections with existing customers increase loyalty and return customer numbers. Customer loyalty doesn’t just happen – it requires perseverance on your part to keep your customers engaged, interested, and willing to return to your doorstep, virtual or physical. Social media marketing is becoming ubiquitous and it’s certainly a skill that is easily learned but capable of increasing engagement and driving sales.

Becoming An Industry-Leading Company

Yes, even this is a skill: the skill to identify new trends or paradigm shifts early on, before your competition, and ease into an industry change smoothly and loss-free.

Other Business Management Skills

Bravery

It all boils down to being brave. If you’re brave you will find the courage to be honest with an under-performing employee, or have the power to acknowledge your own mistakes rather than ignoring them.

Speed Reading

In order to keep up with all the news and developments in your field and beyond, you must have speed reading skills, otherwise you’ll be lost in a sea of information. If you’re a slow reader, research can actually be a counterproductive process, taking away valuable time and providing you with only marginal benefits and little new knowledge. Speed reading software is a powerful tool that can increase your reading speed, helping you to always be on top of what’s happening and what you can do to implement new strategies.

Time Management

As illustrated by the reading skills issue discussed above, time is an ever-present limitation for any business. Time management is a must-have tool, helping you efficiently organize your time and energy, prioritize the most significant tasks, and deliver to the best of your power.