3 Ways To Stay Focused While Reading


3 Ways To Stay Focused While Reading

Written by Randi Bateman

Now that summer has truly set in, it’s the best time to pick a great book and dive right in. If you’re like me, reading is life. It’s something about flipping through pages, folding corners to mark your last page, or feeling satisfied after finishing a 300+ page book. Or maybe you aren’t like me and reading isn’t your favorite pastime – you truly hate reading (this is completely okay!), but you want to try and get into it more. Or maybe you love reading, but you can’t find a good book to enjoy. Well don’t fret – I’m going to help, just continue to read on!

First off, let’s recap with a quick list of benefits that come from reading:

  1. Mental Stimulation

  2. Reduce Stress

  3. Helps with Learning

  4. Expands Vocabulary

  5. Improved Focus /Concentration

There are a bunch of benefits that come from reading, but I just wanted to list a couple to help you understand that reading is good for you. One thing that I struggled with was concentration while reading. I would find myself losing focus and hopping on my phone. Here are some tips for staying focused while reading: 

  1. Forest App: This app helps with putting your phone down and focus on what you are doing. How it works is you plant a seed in Forest and as time goes by, your seed will continue to grow and eventually turn into a tree. Nevertheless, if you pick up your phone, the tree will wither. Once you grow your tree, you will get a sense of achievement and it will encourage you to stay focused!

  2. Set timers: This simple tip will help you remain focused. Set the amount of time you want to read and read! Once the timer goes off, celebrate that you stayed on task. Remember: try not to make your timer go for a long time. Keep it around 20-30 minutes (increase/decrease according to your comfortability), this way you won’t feel overwhelmed

  3. Take breaks: Similar to tip #2, takes breaks! Your brain can only take so much and cognitive overload is something you want to avoid. Taking breaks can also help with collecting your thoughts and understanding what you just read.

Something that I think is super important about reading is finding books that fit you. I always hated when I was told to read a book that dealt with science-fiction. I was so bored and could never digest what the book was saying. You have to find what genre works best for you! I’ve learned that my favorite genres are typically African-American fiction and Mystery. Once you find the right genre for you, start reading! 

Something that I always hear from people that want to read but don’t is this: books cost too much. I understand that books can be a bit costly and that is why I tell them with this: do you have a library card? A lot of times they do! You don’t have to purchase books, just visit you’re a library near you. When you’re there, sit down and start reading. I do think it’s nice to buy books, but don’t let that stop you from reading. Just visit a library!

Keep up with Randi on Instagram: @randibateman

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