A lot of people find it difficult to stay focused on their reading, especially while reading long books or works that are not too interesting. Learning how to focus on reading is very important because it can help you boost your grades or your skill level dramatically. When you can focus on what you are reading, it also becomes much easier to get whisked away into the many different worlds that can only be accessed through good books.
In this guide, we are going to share some great tips to help you sharpen your reading skills, boost your ability to stay focused on your reading, and ultimately, help you enjoy reading.
How to Focus On Reading
Concentrating on reading can be very difficult, but there are quite a few things you can do to enhance your ability to focus on what you are reading. Most of these concepts don’t take long to master. Here is a quick look at some of the best methods for quickly improving your reading focus.
Start Enjoying Meditation Sessions
Distractions, stress, and anxiety are some of the biggest factors that impact your ability to stay focused on a specific project. Learning how to clear your mind before you start your reading is a good way to improve your ability to concentrate so you can understand what you are reading.
The best way to clear your mind is through meditation. To meditate, try to sit somewhere peaceful and quiet. Close your eyes and try to empty your mind. Any thoughts that enter your mind should be allowed to pass through. It might take some time to perfect your meditation skills, but a simple 5-minute meditation session is all you need for keeping distracting thoughts from interrupting your reading.
If you have a tough time learning how to meditate, try listening to meditation sessions on YouTube. There are many different meditation videos that can boost your ability to clear your mind through soothing soundtracks or voice guidance.
Do Physical Exercises Before Reading
Exercising is a great way to lower your stress levels. This is because exercise increases the amount of oxygen in your blood and your brain. This boost of oxygen enhances your cognitive abilities which enhance memory and concentration. Not only will you be able to focus better on reading, but you will also have a better understanding of your reading and can remember the work for longer.
Working out before reading or studying can offer immediate results, but if you adopt this method regularly, you can start enjoying long-term cognitive benefits.
Focus on a Healthier Diet
The type of foods you consume can have a huge impact on your mind. For example, sugary foods or beverages can help you avoid fatigue – momentarily – but will also make your mind feel stressed or over-stimulated. This can make it very difficult to pay attention.
It is much better to enjoy a caffeinated drink before reading because caffeine boosts alertness, memory, and focus.
You can also include other nutritious foods like nuts, eggs, fish, and lentils in your diet since these will boost your energy levels without over-stimulating the brain.
Improve Your Reading Environment
Environmental distractions are the leading culprit for those who struggle to focus. The best way to enhance your ability to focus on a reading session is by improving your reading environment.
Don’t attempt to read in a busy home or work environment where elements like a TV, music, children, pets or other noises or activities can distract you.
To form a proper reading habit, you should read in a controlled area. Many also believe that it is better to read in the same area every time because your brain will start associating this area with productivity and you will enter that focused state of mind much easier.
Ideally, you should create an area that is dedicated entirely to reading.
It is very easy to create your own little reading nook. To create a reading space, choose a quiet empty room or an empty corner in a quiet room. Now remove distractions like smartphones, bright-colored objects, and clutter from the room.
Next, you will want to add some comfort features like a comfortable reading chair with a reading lamp and an ottoman so you can put up your feet.
Finally, and most importantly, you should keep away other humans or distracting elements like pets while you are busy reading.
Take Regular Breaks
It is impossible for the human brain to keep focusing on a deep level for extended periods of time. Here is a quick look at the attention span of average humans at different ages:
- 2 Years – 4 – 6 minutes
- 4 Years – 8 – 12 Minutes
- 6 Years – 12 – 18 Minutes
- 8 Years – 16 – 24 Minutes
- 10 Years 20 – 30 Minutes
- 12 Years – 24 – 36 Minutes
- 14 Years – 28 – 42 Minutes
- 16 Years – 32 – 48 Minutes
- Adults – A maximum of 90 minutes
Once your attention span has been depleted, it is just about impossible for the human mind to maintain a deep level of focus. If you have a lot of reading to do then it is much better to take regular breaks between reading time. With frequent breaks, you can return with a fresh mind and enjoy another deep focus session.
Read Something Interesting
We all pay more attention when the text we read is interesting. If you crave reading but dread boring books then you should do some research on the best books to read before taking up a project or before buying a book.
How to Focus While Reading Boring Content
Most of us can focus on interesting content to a certain degree, even when we are not exactly in the mood for reading. Focusing while reading boring content, however, is extremely difficult, even on days when you might feel productive and in the mood for reading.
Sadly, we often have to work through boring reading while studying, working, doing home administrative tasks, or helping others with school projects.
The ability to read boring content without feeling pained is a true gift. Here is a quick look at the best ways to stay focused while reading dull and boring work.
Find Your Motivation
There is usually a good reason you might have to work your way through boring content. It might be something work or study-related or it might be something important like learning how to operate a new piece of equipment you just bought.
Before you start reading, you should identify why it is important to complete this reading project. What is the motivation for reading this content? Do you want to get better grades? Do you want to take better care of an expensive item you just bought?
Keeping your main goal in mind is a great way to boost your drive for getting through the boring task.
Identify What You Need to Get From the Reading Experience
Now that you have gained your motivation to start reading, you need to identify what information you need to gain from this reading experience. Find out what information you would like to gain from the content. Do you simply want to get a general understanding of a certain subject? Are you reading to develop a specific skill set? Are you simply looking up a specific detail?
It is very important not to spend hours reading every detail of boring content because this can affect your general reading interest. Once you identified the main goal for your reading expedition, you should only keep reading until you have fulfilled your main goal.
A good way to accomplish this is by first compiling a couple of questions about what you need to know. Our brains are naturally trained to seek solutions and identifying the issues you want to address is a great way to help you concentrate.
Use a highlighter to highlight sections that are relevant or contain information you actually need. You can also take notes.
By the time you are done with the content, you should have all the answers you need, and you won’t have wasted any energy on the information you won’t use.
Break Reading Projects up Into Smaller Projects
The more time you spend on dull content, the more your attention will start to slip away. If you have a large textbook to work through then it is much better to break the text up into smaller pieces.
Develop a reading plan and divide your content. Set yourself reading targets that you are likely to reach. For example, you can set goals for chapters or page numbers.
Once you have your content divided and your reading targets in place, you should also develop a reward system. Reward yourself with a little bit of online time, a snack, or an activity you enjoy doing. This can be a good motivation to get back to reading.
We hope that this guide on how to focus on reading was helpful. Hopefully you are now able to concentrate better while reading your favorite literature works or even when taking on boring reading projects. If you want other great reading tips or if you are looking for interesting reads then you should take a look at some of the other guides we have on Book Summary Club. With our guides, you can find all the latest and best reading tips or books.