Major Roadblocks to Speed Reading

It never ceases to amaze me as to why people don’t read as often as they should. Perhaps one of the major reasons is the absolute lack of time. Juggling work and family account for almost ninety percent of available time, with precious little time left for reading.

Second, and I hear this often, most people consider reading as work and at the end of a long tiring day, concentrating on any subject regardless of how interesting it is, seems like the last thing someone would want to do. Statements like, “I just don’t see the Point” or “There are no interesting topics” are fairly common.

That being said, let’s dive into some of the major roadblocks that we would do well to avoid if we intend to master speed reading.

🔊Eliminate Sub-vocalization– People who practice sub-vocalization can feel their larynx muscles moving inadvertently. This reduces the reading speed significantly. Although reading out loud increases comprehension, it drastically reduces the number of books you could have read otherwise.

🔗Reduce Distractions– Your environment plays a Huge role in determining your overall productivity, concentration and sometimes is directly proportional to effective decision making. An environment that is noisy and full of clutter is, suffice to say, not a great reading space.

📑Multitasking– Juggling multiple tasks while at the same time intending to read a book is a futile exercise. Sometimes, this pattern of reading leads to misguided comprehension and is equivalent to not having read at all.

📚Focusing on the Number– There are individuals who might have set a target of reading fifty books a year. Sometimes this exercise is undertaken to check a box on the list of things to be accomplished within a given time frame. This leads to a mad dash to complete the activity without retaining the information. A hasty read that has in essence, served no purpose.

😵Regression Do you go over the words you have just read? Sometimes, readers do this in order to understand the meaning of the text or they might need to consult the dictionary. In order to be a successful speed reader, you must intentionally work on improving your comprehension.

Eliminate Fixations per Line– Contrary to popular belief, you do not read in a Straight line, but in a sequence of saccadic movements. Each of these movements ends with a fixation. As you gradually become a master speed reader, you will notice a gradual decrease in the number of fixations.

😃Your Intent– If you are a passionate reader, chances are that you devour all literary material with gusto. Its your desire that fuels you to grasp all the information as fast as you possibly can. On the other hand, if you read because you intend to kill time on a lazy Sunday afternoon or perhaps the novel was highly recommended and you are temporarily excited to skim through it, intent plays a huge role in speed.

🧠Working Memory Deficit An Individual might have to reread a paragraph multiple times inorder to understand and retain the information, all of which thwarts the desire to proceed in this venture. Over time the desire to engage in reading is lowered.

🔠Linguistic Incompetence– Failure to decipher expressions and words in context is highly demotivating. The reader may stop reading altogether if he/she fails to understand the text grammatically.

Speed reading is a skill that is learnt, not an ability you are born with, and like every craft it requires time and discipline. No Quick Fixes here.

If you seek to rise above the Ordinary then Speed reading must occupy pride of place in your target list of Skills to be Conquered. The future belongs to those who have mastered the ability to grasp huge amounts of information fast.

Master this and you have the World at your Fingertips. Literally!


Sajid Ahamed is a “Certified Trainer of NLP” and organizes John Grinder approved New Code NLP and NLP Master Practitioner Certifications  Courses in India and the Middle East. He has more than 1000 hours of coaching experience and is an ICF accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC). Apart from the Trainings, he covers a  wide niche of coaching including Relationship Coaching, Parenting Coaching, Leadership Coaching.

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