How To Read Faster Using The “Deadline Technique”
Deadlines make us more productive. When we’re faced with a tight deadline, we find ways to focus and improve our efficiency. Knowing this, we can use deadlines as a way to improve our reading efficiency.
The “Deadline Technique” is very simple to follow. Here’s all you need to do:
1. Figure out how much time it takes you to read exactly one page of text. This is your deadline.
2. Try to match that time or beat it for all future pages that you read. Keep track of your progress.
For example, let’s say you’re reading a novel or a non-fiction book. You would time yourself to see how long it takes to read just one full page of text. Let’s say you finish that page in one minute and 10 seconds (1:10). For the next full page of text, your goal should be to finish it in less than 1:10. Or if you really want to push yourself, you can try to finish within a one minute (1:00) deadline. The idea here is that you’re constantly trying to beat your self-imposed deadline.
You can try this same exercise in a variety of ways. For example, you can try measuring how long it takes to read two pages rather than one, or even three pages.
“What gets measured, gets managed.”- Peter Drucker, Legendary Business Management Guru
By constantly measuring how long it takes to read one page of text, you’ll find yourself making gradual improvements in your reading speed and comprehension as you try to meet or beat your deadline.
This technique is easier to follow on material that has a consistent amount of words per page. It might not work as well on magazines, news articles, or blog posts. It’s important to use material that has about the same amount of words per page throughout the book.
As you practice this technique, you’ll find yourself becoming a more efficient reader. You’ll also find that your focus will improve because the deadline forces you to concentrate on just one thing: finishing a page of text in a specific amount of time.
Paul is the founder of Iris Reading, the largest provider of speed-reading and memory courses. His workshops have been taught to thousands of students and professionals worldwide at institutions that include: NASA, Google, HSBC and many Fortune 500 companies.