Reading is a more difficult skill than most people realize, especially in today’s world of constant interruptions and micro-text communications. While reading serves many purposes, its primary goal in the workplace is to acquire information. This information, and its comprehension, is essential to business operations.
STOP! Without scrolling up or looking, what was the title of this blog post?
Depending on your focus and your reading comprehension skills, answering this simple question may be challenging! Yet, the question asks about text you read only a few seconds ago.
Hopefully, this quick test revealed how easy it is to “read” without actually acquiring information. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure the material you generate for others to read is always clear, well organized, and concise.
It’s equally important to make sure when you read to acquire information you actually retain it! Use this simple strategy:
- After each section or page, stop reading. Close your eyes and repeat back in your mind the key points of information you just read.
- After the end of each article or document, again close your eyes and repeat back in your mind the five main points of the document you just read.
- If the information you are reading is very important, try to write down the five to ten most important things you read several hours after you finish reading the document(s).
All of these strategies are aimed at helping your brain better encode the information. By building your reading comprehension, memory, and focus skills using this strategy, you won’t waste valuable time reading documents only to later realize you’re unable to recall a single piece of information. Don’t waste your time reading but not really reading!