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Speed Reading Tips That Make a Difference

In this post I will cover a number of speed reading tips related to ergonomics.

Speed Reading Tip #1 – Choose your environment

One thing that surprises my students when they first learn to speed read is the importance of where they read.  Most of them think, “Hey it’s time to read.  Let me settle in and get comfortable so I can start reading faster than I’ve ever read before.”

They head over to the couch, or bring their laptop or their books to their favorite coffee shop that’s buzzing with activity, or they plunk their chairs in the sand, books in their laps.  Then open their books or laptops and begin reading.

Before they know it, they find themselves literally baffled when they realize that instead of reading at 600 or 700 words per minute or faster, they’ve fallen back into their old habits.  They start regressing, or they start daydreaming, or they tune in to what’s going around them.  Sometimes, they’ve gotten so comfortable, they end up falling asleep!

Funny as it sounds, the situation is not all that funny.  Reverting to old reading habits is frustrating and worse, it can hinder all the progress you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

This kind of misunderstanding about speed reading happens all the time which is why I include a lesson about ergonomics in my speed reading workshops.

Speed Reading Tip #2 – Ergonomics is important

How many of you know what the word ergonomics means?

How many of you have ever heard of ergonomics?

I typically find that plenty of people have heard of the word.  But few really understand what ergonomics is all about and even fewer understand the role it plays in speed reading.

So let me explain.

Ergonomics is a science that deals with studying the proper “fit” between a workplace and the people who operate within that workplace.  The primary purpose of studying this fit is to design a working environment that maximizes the efficiency and productivity of the people working within that environment.

Besides increasing efficiency and productivity, proper ergonomic design helps reduce operator fatigue and discomfort.  It also plays an important role in reducing injury, especially the types of injuries that are caused by repetitive motion.

All sorts of things that people use can and should be ergonomically designed.  Chairs, desks, telephones, headsets, wrist rests, keyboards and mice, foot rests, tools, chair mats, and computer monitors are just a few examples of common ergonomically designed equipment.

In order for ergonomics to work, not only do you need the properly-designed equipment, it also needs to be set up so that your head, wrists, legs and other body parts don’t end up spending long hours in awkward positions.

I could go on for hours about ergonomics, the high costs of ignoring it and the countless benefits of proper ergonomic design.  But I’m not teaching about workplace safety; I’m teaching you about speed reading.

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