Authors: Michal Stawicki
Tags: #Education & Teaching, #Studying & Workbooks, #Study Guides, #Self-Help, #Time Management, #90 Minutes (44-64 Pages), #Business & Money, #Business Life
By: Michal Stawicki
Published by Michal Stawicki
Copyright © 2013, 2014, Michal Stawicki
This is my second book in the "10 minute" series. There is some redundancy between this one and The Fitness Expert Next Door in the second chapter, so if you read that one - you were warned.
When I started my self-development program, I stumbled upon a workbook about speed reading. The author outlined a program there for a massive improvement in the speed of reading within three months, but you were supposed to practice one to two hours per day, every day.
Two hours per day! That's a lot of commitment. I didn't have time for it. But I was at a stage of developing my
and decided to give it a try, but only for 10 minutes a day. I took that program and modified it by extending each week into a full twelve weeks.
The last time I checked my reading speed, I read at about 240 words per minute. Since that time, my skills had no chance to improve, as I was reading less rather than more and neglected any training in that area.
I checked my results after a month from starting my 10-minute practices, and I was blown away! It was 360 words per minute, 50% progress! Later on, it appeared this result was a coincidence, but still, after six weeks of practice, I read about 340 words per minute, and the progress was impressive.
All you need to achieve similar results is this booklet and 10 minutes a day of your time.
I want to help you, not to rob you. If you can already read quickly, or if you read no more than 30 minutes a day, then the program described below won't improve your skills or give you profits. Remember that I speak of all the time you commit to reading as a whole. That includes Internet, magazines, mail, and work materials, not just reading for pleasure in your leisure time.
So, reader, how fast do you read? If you don't know, then check it out immediately:
If you are offline and cannot reach those online tests, then prepare a timer, and read below four paragraphs highlighted in different font. Start a timer, and read the paragraphs at a fast enough pace to comprehend the meaning. Then, use the formula I provided after those paragraphs to gauge your reading speed. Ready? Go:
If your honest result is below two hundred and fifty words per minute, then this book is the best value available for you. Grab it, practice ten minutes a day, and within several weeks, you will experience a significant improvement of your reading skills.
If you read below four hundreds words per minute, then I still encourage you to give my ten-minute program a try. You don't have much to lose, and you have a lot to gain: your precious time. You could read the same amount of text in 2/3 of time previously needed. Or you can read twenty, forty, or one hundred percent more text at the same time.
If you read faster than four hundred words per minute, then I cannot guarantee that the techniques I recommend will significantly improve your reading speed. But if you’ve never consciously worked on your reading skills, then chances are that you have a natural talent and you can develop it with a few simple, consistent exercises. Try it for thirty days. All you’ve got to lose is one dollar and five hours of your time within a month. The average American spends more time in front of the TV in two days
And the potential gains are huge.
Generally, the slower you read right now, the bigger gains of increasing your skill are. Using my example - I read two hundred and forty words per minute, and I would read about two hours every day. I have increased my reading speed by fifty percent by practicing only ten minutes a day. Thanks to my improved skill, I still can read two hours, and I can absorb monthly, twenty two and a half hours of additional materials. Or I can read the same amount of materials and use all those hours in any way I want. If I would use them for additional work with my present wages, I could earn monthly, an additional two hundred and ten dollars.
On your timer, you have the number of seconds it took you to read the above 344 words. Convert the minutes into seconds, if necessary, and count the words per minute. Use the formula:
344/ number of seconds * 60
Now, you know your reading speed and can make a rational decision about improving it by implementing my advice.
Use my Speed Reading Profits Calculator to check your potential gains. Just provide your reading tempo (words per minute) and how much time you spend reading every day in minutes. If you also add your hourly wage, you will see a monetary equivalent of the time saved. Go and see for yourself:
assumptions, here are some profitability boundaries regarding a 10-minute daily speed reading practice:
If you read less than 30 minutes a day, it is pointless to invest 10 minutes and increase your reading speed by 50%. You'll read faster, but you'll also reduce your reading time because of practice. However, you may make bigger progress than me: 60% or 160% and still get a positive net result. It's your call.
On the other hand, the more you read, the more profitable an increase of your reading skill will be. If I read four hours a day, I would save one working week per month.
Check out your reading speed. Estimate how much time you spend reading on average. Find out if a 10-minute practice is viable for you.
I KNOW that daily, sustained action brings results.
I know it because I do practice this rule in many areas of my life. I focus daily on specific actions, committing 10 minutes to them. I do track my results. And I do see them improving. I've gotten results in such different areas as weight loss, finances, learning skills, and relationships. I strongly believe that it is a universal law applicable to absolutely ALL areas of life.
If you do something daily and you are not getting the desired results, it simply means you are putting at least as much daily and sustained effort against those results.
The more action, the better results - take a look at a chart below.
The shape of the curve is called normal distribution in probability research. It is in statistics something like a number π in math. As π can be found in many equations describing the texture of the universe, normal distribution can be used to describe a multitude of quantities in physics and measurements in biology, including IQ, height, weight and many more. According to the central limit theorem, the mean of a large number of random variables tends to normal distribution. And, in our big and complicated world, a lot of effects are presented by a large number of random data. I did study the statistics (years ago) and still don't understand most of this stuff, and it's out of the scope of this book, anyway. If you are curious, it is explained in a forthright way here:
I believe the normal distribution can also be applied to describe a relation between a human effort represented by time and achieved results. We have to sleep, so we have about sixteen hours at our disposal, and we can get maximum result investing half of them in one activity. If we give less time, we don't achieve maximum result, and if we dedicate too much time, we are burning out. In the case of speed reading practice, it is quite possible that optimum time is much shorter than eight hours - eyes really hurt after a period of intense training.
But you are not going to devote eight hours a day of your precious life to get a maximum result, which in this case would be ... a world speed reading championship, I suppose. You just need to improve your reading skills. Check out the left part of the chart.
Even the smallest amount of invested time brings results. I use consciously about two minutes of my day on savings, and I do a few monthly activities - a budget summary, paying bills, dividing my resources between different assets, and so on - it takes me about two hours, so overall, it's six minutes a day, and it brings me the results. I've saved almost five times more than a year ago.
So, why is it the Ten-Minute Philosophy? I find that 10 minutes is a nice, easy number. It can even be two minutes, and you will still see results, if it is two minutes of sustained, daily action. With two minutes of course, the results will be smaller; the compounded effect will take about 50 times longer to materialize than with 10 minutes of daily work.
Every - even the tiniest - sustained action brings result.
This truth is the core of my philosophy – this approach will always triumph over the two major obstacles of any lasting change: fear of failure and giving up. Fear of failure stops you before you begin; giving up stops you some time later, but usually happens before the compounding results have become visible.
action brings results in the end. As long as you apply sustained energy to something, you can't fail. You have nothing to fear. You
start working toward your goals without the burden of hesitations and doubts.
If you believe, if you
that every sustained action brings results, giving up is out of the question and any incentives for resignation disappear.
"Alright," you say. "I get the theories, but how are they applicable to my life?" I concur, theorizing doesn’t drive results. What led me to embrace this philosophy wasn’t stories or the preaching of others. It was my own experience.
In order to feel at a gut level that it is indeed a universal law, applicable also to you, please give a thought to any successful area of your life. It can be anything - your marriage, a specific skill, a career, the fact that you have never had a car accident, good grades at school, patience, your great relationship with your parents. The best thing for this little exercise will be something you take for granted, but other people are praising you for. So, pick one and think: what makes you successful in this area? What's the difference between you and the people who praise you, who aren't successful? What do you do that they don't?
I bet you will find some sustained action underlying your success.
I took for granted the love in my family. I hadn't noticed that it was anything special until my newfound online friends drew my attention to it through their comments on my personal blog. I gave it some thought and saw the sustained action. I tell my wife and kids I love them every day.
And this is just one instance of this law. I have found many other examples behind my big and small successes - my high-school diploma, the scholarship I received for my 4th year of university studies, my personal fitness progress.
It is true. You will find such examples in your life, too.
Look at the time/results chart once again. You probably noticed how the results grow exponentially after some point. As I said earlier - the more time you invest, the better results you get. I'm assuming that speed reading is not your first priority, so you don't want to invest much time. I understand you have your family to take care of, bills to pay, work to do, people to help, projects to attend to, relationships to keep or improve. A speed reading practice comes after all of those activities in your life, so it's natural you read at average speed. You have more pressing matters to take care of. You have only twenty four hours, and it's hard to find time for anything else. Thus, 10 minutes.