In his children’s book Matilda, Roald Dahl portrayed an avid young reader who acquires a special power to move things with her mind. This ability was a result of the knowledge she got from her books. Reading was her escape and the one thing that made her happy.

The celebrated author believed that reading is directly proportional to happiness. Reading helps you find purpose and meaning in not just the text, but in everyday life. Reading goes beyond just skimming the words on a page.

As a professional, you have to read different types of texts at work. This could be a memo, email, sales report or presentation. But imagine having to read over 400 pages every day and not retaining even a single word.

Improving your reading skills will boost your performance at work because it helps you retain more information and think critically and analytically. The Reading Deeply course by Harappa Education will teach you ways to improve reading skills so you can maximize your time at work instead of spending hours on one report. You’ll be able to break down the reading process, engage with the text and summarize or synthesize the information like an expert. Let’s explore how you can improve reading comprehension to create more efficiency.

How To Improve Your Reading Skills

Reading isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Many people find it challenging to comprehend a text, especially if it’s packed with complex words and sentences.

Some challenges you can face while reading are external distractions like noise or internal distractions like difficulty comprehending and retaining information. Here are some strategies for improving reading skills and navigating challenges:

1. Find A Conducive Place To Read

Many of us need a quiet place for reading; one that has no external noise. If you have to read large volumes of text and information at work, you can find a quiet meeting area or a conference room to read. Going to your local library or a quiet cafe is another excellent way to find a peaceful corner where you can immerse yourself in the text.

But if you don’t have access to a quiet space, you may want to plug in your earphones to cancel out the noise. Find a place that works best for you. Some people manage to read an entire report while sitting in a noisy café!

2. Preview The Text

A good way to approach a complicated text is by giving it a quick read. Just skim through the document, highlight the main headings in the table of contents to understand what the text is about. This will help get an idea of what you’ll be reading and you can pinpoint some key ideas that stand out to you.

3. Make Notes While Reading

You can improve reading comprehension by making notes wherever possible. Keep track of your thoughts and ideas about the text by making notes. You can either jot down your ideas in the margins, use MS Word or write them down in a separate notebook. Revisit your notes, prepare questions and use this information to support your reading process.

4. Summarize What You’ve Learnt

In school, you were probably asked to write a book summary in English class. This is a great way to remember the text’s key takeaways and underlying messages. If you have to read a long report at work, write a summary for your records once you’ve reached the end. This will help synthesize the information into bullet points or short passages for a deeper understanding of the text.

5. Make It A Habit

Set aside some time to read every day to get into the habit. Improving reading skills has a lot more to do with consistency. If you keep reading a little bit every day, you’ll soon be able to read longer texts without feeling overwhelmed. Cultivating a reading habit will help you absorb more information.

You can get a lot of information by reading a piece of text. It may get difficult when you’re bombarded with information at work. But with patience and practice, you’ll learn to identify which email or report needs your full attention and which you just need to glance over. When you improve reading speeds you will also save time and work more efficiently. 

Active reading is more about comprehension than simply glancing at the words. It’s an acquired skill that you can improve with insight and experience. Our Reading Deeply course will teach you the right way to make sure you’re effectively absorbing the text and able to decode the writer’s intent. You’ll learn about additional strategies for improving reading skills to interpret and analyze information for the best possible outcomes in whatever you do.

Explore the skills & topics such as Reading SkillsLevels of Reading, What is Pre-Reading & Taking Notes while reading from our Harappa Diaries blog section and  improve your reading quotient.

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