Reading & Time Management

The whole point to studying is to increase your knowledge and understand of a subject. To gain a better idea of what arguments there are within a document, where they have come from and what conclusions they lead to. To do this you must actually read the documents not just skim over them. This means you will have to allocate time to it and there always seems to be far too much to read in the time you have available. There are several techniques that are available that can help to get the best out of what time we have and how we use it to study.

When you have a point to an exercise you can seeming carry it out “better” as there can be more drive towards achieving goals than not. Setting out achievable goals, with a time scale for your reading, is setting yourself a plan towards these targets. Setting goals of a good number of pages of text for subjects well known to you, should still mean you can make good use of and integrate this new knowledge with similar ideas you have about the subject.

Reading speeds and time management can go hand in hand. If you can prepare with skimming a document, to get an idea of it contents, you may be able to allocate your time to studying it and other things better. Skimming is not reading and does not replace reading. To understand it you will have to read it. If you have looked at the subject matter before, it is something that you should be able to comprehend with less need for re reading and less need to restructure the knowledge you already have in your memory. This theoretically means you can read familiar material far faster and still have a good understanding of what it is saying.

If you do not have a great understanding of what you are about to read setting out more time to do it will allow you to make those stops to think about it. In these stop you may have to read over something that is new to you as an idea. You may have to do this several times until you reach that “ah ha” moment. This is when you realise what the text is actually saying and you have structured your thoughts to allow you to hopefully hold that information for later use. The more time you set available for a new subject the more you should be able to comprehend of it.

Looking at this more holistically, the allocation of time while you study is in fact a good training for the management of your time in other activities in life. Once you have understood something, moving on is much easier and as you know more, you may find you can learn more quickly. There is a possibility that the actual reason you are studying is not just to improve your knowledge but also to improve yourself as a person.

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