Now let me switch gears and talk about one last habit that can interfere with your reading speed. Only this time, it’s a habit you may need to break only occasionally. The habit I’m talking about is daydreaming.
How many of you daydream? Or should I say, how many times a day do you daydream? We all daydream because it’s a lot of fun. When we daydream, we can be anything we want to be and go anywhere we want to go.
Daydreaming has other benefits, as well. It can take you away from the day’s problems and help you relax by releasing tension and reducing anxiety. Some people use daydreaming as a problem-solving tool. They see the problem in their mind, and use the mind to help envision solutions to the problem.
Daydreaming sometimes helps strengthen relationships, too. If you don’t believe me, think about the last time you had an entire conversation with your partner or love interest in your mind. You probably did this to help you “practice” for the real thing.
Daydreaming also helps enhance productivity and it helps people achieve their goals. Some people call this type of daydreaming visualization, but either way it involves a situation where you see yourself having accomplished some goal, and then figuring out the steps necessary turn that vision into reality.
Without a doubt though, most people daydream because they’re bored. Unfortunately, many people get bored when they read so they daydream while they read to escape their boredom. But people daydream while reading for other reasons including being preoccupied, tired, overwhelmed, or uninterested, or because they’re not paying attention.
No matter why people do it, there’s no denying that daydreaming slows reading speed.
Now, whether or not you need to stop daydreaming while reading really depends on why you’re doing it. Sometimes it’s not a good use of your time, like when you daydream about doing anything but reading. That’s when you have to break the habit.
However, there are times when daydreaming can actually reinforce your knowledge and comprehension, like when you’re able to relate what you’re reading to a previous memory. So in those instances, daydreaming while reading is actually a good thing.
The main point I’m trying to convey here is this: Whenever you catch yourself daydreaming while reading, quickly stop and think why you’re doing it. You might find that you simply need more rest, or you need to read someplace where you can concentrate more, or you need to read something more interesting. If so, make the change and then see what happens.
If you find that daydreaming is interfering with your reading progress, you need to stop. One way to do that is by implementing speed reading strategies, like using your hand or a card to guide you. That strategy help you focus better, which in turn increases your reading speed and decreases daydreaming!
I gave you a lot of information about reading habits and how they slow your reading speed. What I haven’t told you though, is how to break free of these bad habits. I’m going to do that, but not quite yet.
Next up, I’m going to talk about your current reading and comprehension abilities and the role both play in speed reading. I’ll also talk about some other good stuff, so let’s keep moving!
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