I spent a better part of 17 years in and out of higher education. Eleven years were invested in taking courses and studying. In the process of having to read a lot of books and articles that I did not really have time to read, I asked myself, "Is not there a more effective way to do this?" Like many of you, I had life outside of the academic field. I had a family, job, responsibility and desire to enjoy a part of each week. Reading was necessary, but it was not something I've always enjoyed.
It's like it's with academic reading … most things we have to read are not things we would usually choose. We find ourselves sleeping to believe that the words from the book or article will swallow into our brains while our eyes are closed. There is a better way to stay awake and really remember what we read! Try the following ideas:
1. Have a train station. Create a place designated to read. Do not choose a spot too comfortable or you'll sleep. Do not choose a spot that is too uncomfortable or you will spend more time thinking about your inconvenience than the reading.
2. Select your time. If you are a morning person, the best time to read is early morning; night people do better mid morning to early afternoon. You have a pocket of time when you are awake, so use the time to read. If you find yourself at work at those times, spend breaks or weekends to maximize your performance.
3. Focus on new information. We learn best when we can link new information to something that we already know. Rather than concentrating on information, write down questions like, "How is this term related to what I read in other publications?" For many, the phrase is different because they spend more time trying to make sure the lines are straightforward, but they are paying attention to what the text actually says.
4. Speed up. Many people read the speed they speak, but research tells us that our brain processes information much faster than we realize. Get used to getting your eyes faster and see if you catch the things you have not really met in your mind. You'll be amazed at how much you actually understand when you're accelerating your reading.
5. Take good comments. In commercial and university, some texts are fixed interiors. If you make good comments for the first time you read text, you will be better prepared to find and use this information later. It's bad to use the time to read books and articles you've read before. Enter your comments so that you can find them later. You may even keep in mind the inside of the book where you tell your location.
Reading is an inconvenient part of our academic endeavors, so do all you can to maximize your efficiency. Time is too precious to waste! Think about it!