5 Tips To Maintaining A Strong Focus While Reading
5 Tips To Maintaining A Strong Focus While Reading

5 Tips for Maintaining A Strong Focus While Reading

5 tips to maintaining excellent focus while you are readingIn today’s world, handheld devices, instant messengers and other similar types of distractions, make it very hard to maintain a strong focus while reading.

Now, I know what you are going to say:
“But my device is the best thing that’s ever happened to me asides from discovering your super awesome blog posts Joe!!!”
Regardless, I urge you to put aside your bias towards my awesomeness, and take the time to take into consideration the following tips. You’ll thank me later.

  1. Turn off the instant messengers, cell phone and email notifiers.

This is a big one for most of us because we have come to rely so heavily on these services, but they are some of the biggest distractions that exist today. If you are like me, then you probably feel a little mental nudge each time your email notifier or text messaging indicator goes off. The problem with these nudges is that they can cause us to lose the momentum we have built when we are performing the task of reading. It takes our brain a little bit of time to ramp up and zone in on the material we are reading. Every time we receive an interruption, our brain immediately ramps down and needs to ramp back up again. This can cause a number of reading related inefficiencies. Most importantly, it can lower our ability to focus on the information we are trying to retain.

  1. Practice proper posture.

Did you know that it takes more energy to slouch then it does to sit with proper form? When you sit, push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair. Make an adjustment to your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are equal or a little lower than your hips. Adjust the back of your chair to about a 100° reclined angle. Make sure that you are also getting proper support for your entire back. Taking these steps will not only improve your ability to focus while you are reading, they will also prevent long term issues related to poor posture.

  1. Clear your mind for 1 minute.

You’ve probably heard about all the benefits you can get from practicing meditation regularly. Ideally we would want to read after a good meditation session because that is when our mind is most likely to be free from mental clutter. Since we don’t always get the luxury of good mediation before reading, we should take about 1 to 2 minutes to relax and release thoughts from our mind before we begin to read. By doing this, you will not only free up unnecessary resources in your brain, you will also be able to comprehend the information you read much better. You will be able to enjoy a higher level of focus when you read.

  1. Read in 50 minute intervals.

Peter Drucker who is my opinion the father of business management, talks about in his book “The Effective Executive”, how 50 minute chunks of time is ideal for focusing on a single task. This is because 50 minutes is the ideal amount of time to focus on one item before we start to require a break. Something happens after we go beyond the 50 minute mark. Our brain starts to become more inefficient. It’s then time for a 10 minute break. After the break, you can focus on reading for another 50 minutes. By using this cycle, not only will you get the most out of reading, you will also be able to train your focus and develop the habit of working at a specific pace.

  1. Read with a Specific Goal in Mind

Don’t mindlessly read things. You should have a specific goal in mind. This will not only improve your focus, but will also help you get through the material more quickly. The more specific your goal is, the easier it will be to concentrate.

As simple as these tips might sound, they can make the world of difference for positively impacting your ability to focus while reading. Practicing these tips will not only improve your reading, they will also help you build better focus involving other areas of your life. Implement these tips regularly to begin forming the habit of improved focus, and you will then be able to comprehend and retain the information you are reading a lot better.

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Joseph Rodrigues

Joseph is an Iris instructor based out of Toronto. He loves to share his personal knowledge as an entrepreneur, and credits a lot of his success to speed reading techniques and productivity strategies.

5 Side Effects Of Practicing “Focus” While You Read
5 Reasons Why Speed Reading Is Good For Your Brain


  • Liz

    Awesome tips. Thanks for your time.

  • Nicole

    Great Tips! Thanks

  • Chioma

    You know, it was kinda hard to suppress an eye roll in this part
    “But my device is the best thing that’s ever happened to me asides from discovering your super awesome blog posts Joe!!!”
    But I guess it’s true ;). I really enjoyed reading your post and it helped when all I think about was hitting my forehead against a wall when my reading was going great. So thank you, hope you post more and if u don’t that’s OK too!

  • Monishkumar

    thank….u soo much for your tips…. it’s really beneficial .As am a student preparing for Neet exam.. my biggest problem is concentration. and I loose my concentration when am reading… this #5 tips helped me to improve my self… hope it help many as me

  • Edith

    Hi , I have been trying to clear my mind any time I read but I don’t know why I don’t seem to concentrate on what I read. What do I do?

  • bella

    Thank you for this powerful knowledge now I will be able to study properly and acquire wide knowledge better than before

  • Ei Moe khine

    that ‘s one of most insightful article that i ever read

  • Shreyaa

    I have to read for exams i hope that this will work…though i am suffering from head pain but still i think that these tips will work.

  • Ikem

    Thanks Joseph I’m only 14 trying to get a good scholarship to college(MIT) and I’m goin to start practicing ur tips thank you once again

    • Gabriel

      Never give up!! really, and always try again :) you can do it :D

  • fin ron

    That was cool,
    And it helped me alot in reading my book that were first boring

  • reddy VIJAY

    i am suffering with reading
    whe am readng i din’t concentrate on book …the abovre mentioned i folled i idn’t any improve

  • vince

    the problem I have when I’m reading is i
    I worry about pronunciation too much, could u help how would I stop focusing on how I should pronounce the words instead of focusing on reading

  • Nehemiah Clark

    THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!! I have a very hard time reading sometimes because i cant get into the book, i fall asleep, and i cant focus on it this realy helps!

  • Cal

    Yeah, number 5 for me. I never take breaks. I know I really should. I can really feel it in my eyes by the end of the day.

    Thanks for the tips!

    • Joseph


      You have probably heard of Eben Pagan right? I did his Wake Up Productive course and found it to be very helpful. In his course he talks about Peter Drucker’s material and used it to build his program. Eben is a role model in the business world for me. You should check out that program if you have not already done so yourself. It helped me double my productivity. In fact, I am going to do it again with my girlfriend to get even more out of it. A big part of this program is the 50 minute work chuck.

      Thanks for your feedback!

  • Rizhaf

    Nice sharing Joseph, keep nice posts coming. I enjoyed reading your writings. I like your #5 tips. So true that we need rest to feel fresh to read again.

    • Joseph

      Hey Rizhaf, thank you very much for your comment, I am glad you enjoyed it. Are you not giving yourself enough rest? I find that at times I go on hard work binges were I don’t get much rest. I try to not do it that much these days and get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. I checked out your site, nice clean theme. It’s the same theme I used to build a site for my client here in Toronto (I do WordPress sites also) The site is Tri Con Constructors I have not done the SEO yes for them thou.

      • Rizhaf

        Not a problem at all my friend. Well, to be honest, I rarely rest myself as I do works and read for my research (reading my competitors strategy). I’ve always get my 3 hours sleep each day to make sure everything in my business are running good. Yea, We got similiar theme and I like it very much in rizhaf.com.my. Very smooth and clean theme. I’m a enthusiast for its kind :)

        • Joseph

          Thats some hard work! Are you doing this full-time?

          • Rizhaf

            I was once an engineer and doing this part-time, I decided to do this full-time just early June :)