Have you noticed that the people you consider intelligent, the ones who always add value to conversations or come up with the best ideas have one thing in common? They read regularly! Studies even show that babies who are read to every day during their early years turn out smarter and perform better in school later on. So, regardless of age, reading is crucial.
When we read, we learn about new ideas and cultures from different viewpoints which can enhance our critical thinking skills leading to better decision-making. Reading fuels your creativity and inspires you constantly. It also improves communication skills and writing abilities, expands vocabulary, increases knowledge, and boosts your confidence level. It can even be a form of entertainment or relaxation tool.
Why then is reading becoming less popular, even with its many benefits? Well, our daily lives are filled with distractions and tasks, making it hard to find time for reading. And especially because of the overwhelming amount of content available today, attention spans are declining. New platforms and videos appear every minute, tempting us to consume small bites rather than one long piece.
But as with all things that are important, we must make room for reading.
Here are 10 tips to help improve your reading habits and sharpen your mind:
Tip 1: Read what you enjoy! Whether it’s a romance novel or success stories of startups and founders — if it holds your interest, go for it. If a book doesn’t grab you in the first 10 minutes, don’t feel forced to continue; move on to something else.
Tip 2: Try different formats. I prefer physical books over e-books as they’re more personal and easier on my eyes. But choose what works best for you: newsletters, magazines, lengthy tweets or threads – all count as reading material.
Tip 3: Challenge yourself to read more. Begin with short texts like captions and emails, then gradually move onto longer ones such as books or journals. It helps you enjoy reading and broadens your knowledge.
Tip 4: Read books related to your career field. To excel in your career, you need to learn new things. And how do you learn new things? By reading. So pick up books in your niche. That way you’re not just reading, but you’re learning about things that can help your career grow.
Tip 5: Start with small goals, like reading for ten minutes a day. Gradually increase the time as per your comfort level – from twenty minutes to an hour or even two hours if possible.
Tip 6: Make reading a daily routine by choosing a specific time slot for it each day and stick strictly to this schedule no matter what happens during the rest of the day.
However, Tip 7 says not everyone likes routines; so don’t force one on yourself if it feels burdensome. Rather than setting fixed times, grab any opportunity when waiting somewhere or commuting to work; open an eBook on your phone and read some chapters.
Tip 8: Read at your own speed. You don’t need to rush through a book or read several in a month. If it takes you a whole month to finish one, that’s fine! Try reading just one chapter or even three pages per day, and then increase as you feel comfortable. This way, you won’t feel stressed and can truly enjoy the experience.
Tip 9: Make notes while reading. Highlight important parts or jot down thoughts in the margins of your book, or keep another notebook for this purpose. Note-taking aids memory recall and helps apply what you’ve learned later on. Consider using tools like an audio pen which records, transcribes and summarizes key points for easy reference later.
Finally, Tip 10: Join a book club or find someone who’ll keep you accountable for reading regularly. As James Clare said, “One of the most effective things… is to join a culture where your desired behavior is normal.” Being part of such a community makes it easier since everyone else is doing the same thing – so start today with any type of literature that interests you!
Feel free to share some book recommendations with us!