Reading is a mental activity. It doesn’t need to be interrupted by noise or distractions. The ability to read well is correlated with overall intelligence. If you find yourself getting bogged down by long book or newspaper articles, consider turning off your mobile device and using a traditional book for time-consuming tasks. You may be surprised by how much you improve!
Reading is one of the most relaxing activities we can do. Once you get into a groove, the characters in your story seem to come to life. You’re left with a better, more vivid picture of the world around you. What’s more, quiet time isn’t just for reading — it can also be used for meditation, studying or planning your next action.
How to avoid distractions while reading?
The best distraction is nothing. Hiding away from the world isn’t making you a better person, it’s making you a less interesting person. When you’re most productive time is spent setting priorities for yourself and making decisions based on those priorities. For example, I set aside 50 minutes for writing and researching articles for this post. When I’m not burned out on research or writing I’ve got other things to occupy my time. A good distraction can take away the bad feelings that come with focusing on a task and turning off your brain for a few minutes.
Try these five methods to help you read better.
1 – Remove all distractions from your study room
The easiest way to eliminate distractions is to change the room in which you work. If you work in an office, put the personal items in a place where they belong: in a place you can easily retrieve them (e.g., a safe).
If you work in a house, create an area set aside for work. This is different from creating separate areas for eating and sleeping. It seems counter-intuitive at first, but taking away the things you use for distraction actually makes it harder to be distracted by what’s going on around you.
Remove all distractions. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Turn off your phone, tablet, e-reader. Go for a walk or engage yourself in other productive activities until your timer goes off. Now try to recall as much information from your recent past as possible.
2 – Increase engagement by reading content aloud
The first thing that happens when someone reads aloud is that their brain gets engaged. This may seem like a no-brainer, but think about what would happen if they were just reciting words silently. The reader’s mind would wander off into other thoughts or daydreams instead of being fully focused on the text as they read it.
Reading out loud is one of the few ways we can really expand our brains and improve our cognitive functions. The benefits of reading aloud far outweigh any small downsides. The most skilled readers have a keen ear for language, and their ability to concentrate improves. Plus, the sounds we produce when we read are actually connected to different parts of our brains than when we speak. The result? A deeper understanding of what’s being said around us. So next time you feel like your mind is full, make sure you turn your attention elsewhere — onto the storybook or your favorite audiobook.
3 – Read Audiobooks
Most people hate the task of reading. Even before you’ve cracked the book, you feel like you’re struggling with the words. It’s hard to read for pleasure and become engrossed. But audiobooks are different. They warp your brain into loving the reading, forgetting all the problems with the writing that bothered you before.
So if you’re feeling stuck with a book that doesn’t inspire or get you excited about writing, try listening to some audiobook first. Then revisit the text and consider whether your passion has been mooted.
4 – Stop multitasking, start focusing.
Multi-tasking is a common distraction. It can take your focus away from important tasks and make it harder to complete them successfully. Think about how many tasks you can accomplish in a day, and how many invaluable minutes you’re willing to sacrifice in order to save hours in the progress.
You can multi-task with good intentions, but this practice can easily turn into an ineffective method of completing tasks. Try to minimize the number of tasks you must focus on at any given time. If one task seems more pressing than another, give it a priority.
Research has shown that multitasking is not a good way to get things done. In fact, it’s been found that those who are able to successfully multitask have an IQ of 130 or higher. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not one of the lucky few. A study by Stanford University found that people who tend towards multitasking were less productive than those who do one task at a time. For some reason, they also felt more stressed and less in control during their tasks when compared with non-multitaskers.
The next time you find yourself tempted to check your email while reading or answer texts – think again! You might be doing something else well but your productivity will suffer.
5 – Print your notes on paper
Reading is a great hour-long activity that can help your mind clear itself of distractions. It can also improve your memory. In a study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, researchers found that runners who printed out notes during a training session experienced better performance on a subsequent visuospatial memory test. Moreover, it it hard for you to find time to write down all of the important things when they come up because your calendar is already bursting at the seams.
In addition to above tips, your should take breaks every 30 minutes to stretch, or do something else that you enjoy. If you cannot avoid your phones or tablets, you can use an app like Self Control to block distracting websites for set periods of time when you’re working. But you should try reading from a physical book instead of an e-reader or tablet.
To avoid distractions, you can try the tips we have already discussed. Remember that every minute spent not reading means less opportunity for growth through learning new information and improving existing knowledge.
Reading is important if we want our brains to be healthy! So how do you keep yourself focused? Share in the comments below!
- 4 Types of Reading Skills and Strategies to Enhance Reading Speed
- What is special about reading?
- Interview Skills
- What are Writing Skills?
- Activities for listening skills
- Speaking Skills in Communication (Definition, 5 Barriers & 7 Tips for Improvement)
- 5 Common Writing Mistakes to Avoid
- 12 Writing Tips for Beginners | Tips to help keep readers interested in your writing
- How to Improve Your Writing Vocabulary in 5 Effective Ways