I used to have a major problem with reading books or studying something new. I used to have a luck of concentration and I was easily distracted. This was a real issue for me.
I start to be interested about reading techniques in order to find a solution on how to increase my concentration and improve my comprehension while reading.
I did a lot of research on this topic, I watched a lot of video, and I just started applying what I was learning. And you know what? It worked for me!
Today when I sit down and I start reading something, I am no longer distracter as before and my comprehension has been significantly improved.
This is why I want to share with you what I have learned, basically, the most common problems of reading and solution to each one of them.
Why is poor concentration often considered the major reading problem?
There are many causes for lack of concentration such as:
- vocabulary difficulties;
- conceptual difficulty of the material;
- inappropriate speed;
- incorrect mental approach;
- poor organization;
- lack of interest;
- and lack of motivation.
1. Vocabulary difficulties
Having a poor vocabulary can be real barrier towards having a good comprehension of the material. The importance of vocabulary extends far beyond the academic world: businessmen’s and entrepreneur’s who have at their hands a wider range of words than their peers have a clear advantage.
If you come to a word that you do not understand, just underline it and read on. Usually the meaning becomes apparent from the context of the sentence. Then, at the end of the chapter or day’s reading, you check at all of them in the dictionary.
2. Conceptual difficulty of the material
This is a slightly more difficult problem to overcome and usually arises in study books.
The best approach is to ‘multiple read’ advanced reading techniques discussed thoroughly in later posts.
3. Inappropriate speed
This is often a product of the school system. When children are giving important or difficult materials, they are usually told: “read this slowly and carefully”.
This approach establishes a vicious circle, because the more slowly we read the less we understand, which make the material seem even more indigestible. As a result, an ultimate point of complete frustration is reached and the material is often abandoned in despair.
If you have difficulty with concentration and comprehension this may well be your trouble, so vary your speeds on problem material, trying to go faster rather than more slowly, and you may find a great improvement.
4. Incorrect mental approach
This means that your mind has not really been directed in the best way toward the material you are trying to read. You may, for instance, still be concentrating on social media and upcoming events.
What you must try to do is to ‘shake out’ the unnecessary threads that are running through your mind, directing yourself to think actively about the subject you are reading.
One way to do this most efficiently is to do a rapid Mind Map on the topic you are studying in order to re-collect your thoughts and provide you a stronger ongoing mental set.
5. Poor organization
Having arrived and started to read, many people suddenly realize that they don’t have a pencil, note-paper, their glasses, etc., and this disrupt their concentration to get these materials.
The solution is easy: before you sit down to read, make sure that all the materials you will need are available.
6. Lack of interest
This is the problem of most of students or people taking special courses. Lack of interest is often related to other difficulties: obviously interest will be difficult to maintain if a vocabulary issue is continually interrupting your understanding, if the material is confusing, if other thoughts keep popping up, and if necessary materials are not available.
The first step is to make sure that the technique being used is appropriate. If all those techniques fail, you have to follow a severe approach. Rather than reading the material as you normally would and get annoyed at it. Try to take the material on the negative aspect. Imagine that you become interested in listening to the arguments of someone whom you don’t particularly like and wish to oppose vigorously.
7. Lack of motivation
This is a different problem, often originated from having no clearly defined purpose of reading the material.
The solution follows the same approach as in solving the problem of lack of interest. If it doesn’t work, you must analyze your reasons for reading the book or article in the first place.
Now, that we have discussed the major reading problems and addressed adequate solutions, It’s apt to you to apply what you have just learned while reading.