The Internet is trying to suffocate you…
Every day/week/month/year hundreds of thousands of writers publish millions of stories, articles and blog posts into it’s blackness.
And it all lands on your screen.
A single news portal site like Yahoo.com has 50–100 news stories on their homepage. Most of them were written and posted within the last hour.
There is no way you can read them all. And if you’re an OCD lunatic like me, that can be disappointing because reading an article is like checking a box and checking a box makes me high and I like to get high.
But I can’t check all the boxes, and I can’t read all the articles.
And neither can you.
But there ARE a few things you can do to help you read more of the stuff that you need to know about and that matters to you the most.
Here are 3 speed reading tips for reading online that are working for me and I hope they can work for you too.
> Speed Reading: 3 Ways To Read Online Content Faster in 2016 <
#1 Only read things that can affect you
The number one way to read faster is to NOT read most of the crap you read every day that doesn’t really matter to you.
The internet puts out millions of news articles, opinion pieces and blog posts every week. Most of them have nothing to do with you.
Yahoo.com: You don’t really need to read any of these stories, do you?
Instead of wasting your time reading the latest gossip article or arguing about a political story, stick to reading only the things that are directly related to you or will affect your personal life in some way.
Doing this eliminates 99.9% of the news stories you see every day. That clears up more time to read the things you actually need to read.
#2 Only read the headline and opening paragraph
If you find something you need to read but don’t have much time, just read the headline and the first opening paragraph.
Some headlines explain the entire story. If you read a headline that says “Texas Man Hit By Semi After Walking Onto Busy Highway.” You really don’t need to the story where they will just repeat the same message in more detail. So skip it completely.
Image: Everything you need to know about this story is in the headline.
If the headline doesn’t explain the whole story, just read the opening paragraph.
A lot of articles start with a 3–4 sentence summary of the story. Most of the time that’s all you need to read.
Image: Headline and blurb and you’re done. The rest is opinion and filler.
In a lot of cases the content that comes after the summary is only there to fill word count quotas and provide space for advertisements. It’s just filler… So skip it.
Using this technique I can quickly scan and understand 100 articles by the time the average person fully reads one.
#3 Read the first sentence of each paragraph
You don’t need to read every paragraph. If you find an article that you need to read all the way through you can do it faster by only reading the first sentence of each paragraph.
The important details can be found up front. Most writers say something important in the first sentence and then spend the rest of the paragraph repeating or further explaining the first sentence. By reading only the first sentence – you’ll understand the paragraph without having to spend time reading it.
If the first paragraph doesn’t make sense, read the second sentence as well. That will cover your bases 99% of the time. By only reading the first sentence of each paragraph I can read an entire blog post, news article or book chapter in 10% of the time it would normally take.
(By the way, just read the first sentence in the previous three paragraphs. That’s all you need to know to get the point.)
The internet is a never ending ocean of information and there’s no way you can keep up with all of it.
If you want to go through as much of it as possible in a smart way I suggest you try these three things.
- Only read things that are relevant to you
- Only read the headline and first paragraph
- Only read the first sentence of each paragraph
I’ve found this to be the fastest, most efficient way to read online and recommend you give it a test it out for yourself.
And if all else fails, I have one more trick you can try…
Pick up your computer… ever so gently…
and throw it out the window.