3 Experienced Tips on How to Focus while Reading

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How to focus while reading

When it comes to reading, people usually respond that they could not read well because they lack focus.

As someone who reads almost every day resulting from majoring in a language university, working in the reading industry, and maintaining daily bible reading habits, I’m going to share 3 tips on how to focus while reading based on my own experience.

You’ll find similar structures in each part ranging from the root causes, its effects, and its solutions from personal experience.

Read when your brain is in its best state

Don’t complain that you can’t focus on reading after going through a long day at school or long hours at work. Tiredness and drowsiness are the root causes of failed concentration.

Consider your brain as an energy tank. In the morning after a well-rested night, your brain has full energy. As you go through the day, the energy tank is drained little by little, task after task. Therefore, your brain can’t function well when you read in its worst state when the tank is almost empty. Reading is a focus-intensive task, so it deserves full brain energy.

I study the English language at university on the morning shift. After attempting to find the right time to read my textbooks, I’ve found that if I read in the morning, just before class, and after a full eight hours of sleep — it’s very important to get enough sleep — I read faster with fewer distractions by thoughts, tiredness or drowsiness. If you want to read with full concentration, devote yourself to morning reading.

Remove potential distractions — social media

Another enemy spotted! Technology is a lifelong enemy of concentration. Have you ever tried to self-study alone in your room? You have your books ready on the table with a cup of coffee beside them. Then, you end up holding your phone and before you notice, you already waste a full hour scrolling your Facebook feed.

According to the book ‘Stolen Focus’ by Johann Hari, social media is designed to steal our focus. The like, comment, and share buttons along with the endless scrolling feature are stealing our concentration on particular tasks every day, including when we try to read. Researchers found that people have an average attention span of 27 seconds before unconsciously switching their focus to something else.

The secret to gaining your focus back is to be different from normality in this technological era. Whenever I read the Bible, I make sure that social media doesn’t stand in the way. It is a number-one distraction in my reading experience so far. So, when you read, keep the thief of focus which is social media away before it steals more of your time and attention.

Use Pomodoro technique

Have you ever carried a book to read only to put it back after a few lines into the reading? You think to yourself, ‘I’ll read this book later.’ Here comes another culprit that steals our concentration, which is procrastination.

We procrastinate because reading is not easy and time-consuming. On average, a book consists of 200–400 pages. For some people, just seeing books scares them away. However, a big task can be divided into chunks and completed with less stress.

If you don’t know what Pomodoro Technique is, it is a work-and-pause technique. It helps create urgency and flow. My career requires me to read on screen a lot, and I usually do the 50/10 rule on repeat, which means 50 minutes for work and 10 minutes for a break. The effect does the same with reading, especially when you want to finish a book in a day or two. It helps to focus better with less intensity.

Focused reading is not a problem anymore. All you need to know are some good tips on how to concentrate. This blog has three tips for you, which I’ve been implementing myself in my day-to-day reading. First, read when your brain has full energy. Second, read without potential means to social media. Third, read in chunks using Pomodoro Technique. I hope you succeed in reading more this year.

Happy Reading!

Happy Reading!

You may also want to read our previous blog posts:

  1. How to Form a Reading Habit
  2. Three Benefits of Reading Books

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