How to Speed Read Email (Easy Checklist) | Iris Reading
How to Speed Read Email (Easy Checklist)

How to Speed Read Email (Easy Checklist)

How to Speed Read Email (Easy Checklist)

These days, we are drowning in a flood of emails. It has become part and parcel of our daily lives. While it is good that you no longer need to meet someone in person or make long calls to pass a message across, it is getting in the way of your productivity.

You are inundated with work and personal emails that need your urgent attention daily. As a result, you spend valuable hours reading emails instead of working.  

This can be quite frustrating, especially when you are about to start your work task of the day, only to realize that the email inbox you already cleared the previous day is already filled to the brim. 

So what do you do when you cannot just ignore them because they are essential for your work? 

The only way out of this issue is for you to learn how to speed-read. Speed reading is a technique that enables you to read a text quickly.

You can read your emails faster by reducing subvocalization, incorporating email speed reading tricks, utilizing speed reading techniques, and employing speed reading technology.  

This article will teach you some email speed-reading tips, techniques, and the best speed-reading program.

Tips and tricks to speed read your email

According to this study by Statista, in 2021, users in the United States spent about 172 minutes daily checking their work emails and 149 minutes checking their work emails.

That is more than 2 hours spent in the email inbox. But there are some tips and tricks you can use to reduce the time spent reading your emails. Below we talk about some of them.

1. Minimize subvocalization

Subvocalization is the inner monologue you make while reading by saying the words silently to yourself. Unfortunately, this reading habit slows down your reading speed.

With this habit, you go through the mental process of speech generation without uttering sounds. In the end, you tend to listen to this internal speech as if it was spoken out loud. 

You can read your email faster when you minimize subvocalization. While reading, saying every word silently in your head does not contribute to reading comprehension. 

By simply looking at the words in the email, you can easily understand the message the sender is trying to pass across without reading them silently to yourself. 

Eliminate subvocalization by doing the following

Occupy your inner voice

To reduce subvocalization, keep that inner voice in your head busy while reading. 

For instance, you can start counting some numbers repeatedly in your head. Count 1,2,3. That way, the inner voice will be distracted from focusing on the text you are reading. 

This might be difficult to master initially, but it improves with time. 

Use your finger or a pen to guide your eyes

Sometimes, while reading, our eyes can wander around, causing us to reread some texts silently in our head to evaluate whether we understood what we have read.

This can be avoided by placing a finger or a pen underneath each line of text to guide your eyes. That way, you read only one word at a time, and your eyes wouldn’t wander about. 

Listen to music

Reduce subvocalization by distracting your ears. You can achieve this by listening to low-volume soothing music. 

You can hum to the tune at intervals as the music plays in the background, distracting the inner monologue. 

Keep your mouth busy

Our reading organs, such as the larynx, mouth, tongue, and lips, all get involved in the process of subvocalization. You can keep your mouth busy by chewing gum or eating candy. 

2. Avoid regression

Regression is a common reading habit that involves unnecessary rereading of sentences. If you want to speed read your emails, you need to do away with the habit of jumping back to reread words. 

However, this is not to say that backtracking while reading is unimportant. Sometimes, it is essential to go back and forth to get the meat of the message the author is trying to convey, especially if the text is difficult to comprehend.

The one you should avoid is the unnecessary rereading of sentences. If this is a habit you have formed over the years, now is the right time to eliminate it.

But if you go back and forth while reading because you find it challenging to comprehend and retain information, you should take an online course that will help improve your memory

3. Eliminate every distraction

When you are distracted, you spend a lot of time reading a concise email. Sometimes you reread your sentences because you lack enough focus. Before you start reading emails, eliminate every distraction. 

Lack of focus will make you reread sentences just to comprehend the content, thus slowing down your reading pace. 

4. Scan the body of the email

Scanning is another trick you can utilize to read your emails faster by quickly looking through them to find specific information. 

An email comes with a subject line that highlights its purpose. This means some parts of the email will be relevant to that subject line. Therefore while reading, try to locate those sections. 

You can quickly scan the body of the email for important content by checking out the bolded lines, headlines, bulleted lists, and links to find out the purpose of the email and the main message the sender is trying to convey. 

Easy speed reading techniques to speed read your emails

If the number of unread emails in your inbox is driving you nuts, some specialized speed reading techniques might help you go through them faster. 


Chunking is a speed reading technique that involves breaking the text into smaller sections and then reading them in parts.

You can identify keywords, facts, and main ideas by breaking and grouping these emails into bite-sized parts. This will make it easier for you to organize information.

The pointer method

This simple speed reading method is done by placing your finger or a piece of card underneath the lines of text you are reading. 

It will enable you to follow the words you are reading as you go along and also stop you from regressing while reading. 

The tracker-and-pacer technique

This speed reading technique is closely related to the pointer method. You also have to run a pen underneath the text you are reading. The pen’s cap is left on so your eyes will be focused on the tip of the pen. 

This reading method will help increase your reading pace and boost your focus. 

Previewing method

This method involves moving your eyes quickly on the body of the email to identify specific sentences and phrases. This way, you do not read every word but focus on essential information. 


This speed reading technique involves selective reading whereby you only focus on the main ideas in the email and skip some other details such as elaboration, stories, or additional irrelevant information. 

What is the best program for speed reading?

The best program for speed reading your email is AccelaReader. This speed reading software will help you read your email faster by flashing the words at you one by one at a predetermined pace. 

We usually spend a lot of time moving our eyes around the page. The rapid eye movements we make are called saccades. 

AccelaReader utilizes Rapid Serial Visual Representation(RSVP) which eliminates all the occurrences of saccades by flashing each word in the same location at a different time. 

Since the words are presented in the exact location, it eliminates the issue of eye movement. It also reduces subvocalization and regression. 

Wrapping up

If you want to go through those emails you are bombarded with in your inbox quickly, you have to employ a reading strategy that will enable you to read faster. 

To read your emails faster, you must eliminate poor reading habits and utilize speed reading techniques and tools. 

Some speed reading techniques you can employ include the pointer method, the tracker-and-pacer method, chunking, previewing, and scanning.

And if you are struggling to stay productive due to several distractions, register for this Iris Reading online course that will equip you with valuable strategies to help boost your productivity.

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