When most people start to learn to speed read, they have to focus on moving their eyes more efficiently. This takes the mind off track from responding to the print. All reading requires some level of comprehension, or understanding, otherwise it is not reading. Reading can be defined as the mind's response to the printed symbols. Effective comprehension requires full engagement of your mind with the material. Unfortunately, many people start their journey of learning to speed read, and they suffer from mind wandering regardless of whether they are going fast, or slow. As long as your mind is pre-occupied, you cannot be an effective reader, let alone a successful speed reader.

All learning requires concentration. Concentration is the ability to focus your attention to a single point. Neuro-scientists have shown that when we divide our attention to multiple points of focus, the mind's efficiency suffers drastically. Multi-taskers, are you taking note? An example of this would be to note how many states have outlawed texting and/or phoning while driving.

How about you? When you read, what happens inside your mind? Is your focus solely on the meaning of the print in front of you?

If you are learning to speed read, and you are learning to move your eyes more efficiently, where is your focus? Most likely, you worry about your eye movements and fixation patterns and not really focusing on the material. Again, without the focus on the meaning of the print, you will not comprehend well.

A key factor of a master speed reader is knowing when the mind is in and out of focus. The master speed reader knows how to bring the mind back to focusing on the meaning of the print and not just on a single word. This ability usually takes some practice to develop. Nevertheless, you can develop better concentration. The brain/mind is an incredibly powerful tool when focused. Think of it as brain training.

In today's electronic age, all sorts of distractions inevitably challenge our focus. When you read, know "who's in control?" Do you control your environment, or does it control you? Even if you are the type of person who suffers from high degrees of distractibility, you can train your brain and mind to focus better.

There are numerous studies emerging that suggest that with the electronic revolution our brains are slowly being rewired creating a mass culture of attention deficit traits. Today more adults and children suffer from the effects of attention disorder. No one who suffers from this dysfunction would say that it is of benefit to him or her. Without the ability to control your focus you will be doomed to ineffective reading, whether trying to read fast or slow.

One of the best ways to learn to control your ability to focus and concentrate is to do practice focus sessions over a practice period. Again, neuro-science has demonstrated that one of the greatest breakthroughs in understanding how the brain works is known as "neuro plasticity." Neuro-plasticity means that the brain has the ability to rewire itself and develop new pathways for learning and growth. The research has demonstrated that with consistent effort over time we can actually change how our brain is wired, and increase our intelligence. Pretty amazing stuff!

In closing, I encourage you to learn how to increase your ability to focus and concentrate if you want to master speed reading. In doing so I'd like to invite you learn more on how to increase your focus and concentration at http://www.productivelearn.com/Eshop4-1/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=PLA-003D.

Author's Bio: 

Ed Caldwell is the creator and publisher of the "Masters Online Program: Dynamic Reading, Memory, and Recall" and other live and web-based learning programs. As former National Director of Instruction and Certification for the world famous Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics program, Ed has 30 years experience teaching and testing new strategies to help people from all walks of life learn to read more efficiently. Trainer, speaker, and writer, he can be contacted at inquiry@productivelearn.com. Having trained tens of thousands of people, he has mastered the art of the coaching, especially when learning speed reading. Ed is the creator and president of Productive Learning Systems, Inc, and ProductivElearn.com, Inc. You can learn more tips and truths about speed reading and get a free ebook,"The 10 Top Mistakes When Learning Speed Reading."
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