Comstock's magazine 1118 - November 2018 - Page 67

er else I would have done on my phone during that time. Several years ago, I gave speed-read- ing a try. All my life I’ve felt like a slow reader. Whereas my friends seem to drink up books in a few large gulps, it takes me days or weeks of plodding. So I bought Breakthrough Rapid Read- ing, and for months, I dutifully did my speed-reading homework. This is es- sentially how the reading drills work: 1. Set a timer for five minutes. 2. Read a book at your normal pace and count the words (you can estimate). 3. Take that word count and double it. 4. Set the timer again for five minutes, but now force yourself to read twice as many words as you did before. You won’t possibly be able to read and retain each word, but theoret- ically this routine will train your eyes and brain to scan faster and process more efficiently. 5. Speed-reading hack: Use your fin- ger as a pacemaker, which curbs distractions and forces you to maintain a brisk clip. Scan several lines in one daring jump and try to ignore the words on the far left and right — keeping the eyes trained on the middle 80 percent of the page. I learned all of these tricks. Every morning I drilled for an hour, and I did this for weeks. And after all of this training — envision the most boring Rocky montage in history — I even- tually forgot everything. My retention seemed to suffer, and I grew tired of tracing the page with my finger. Worst of all, the whole thing felt like a chore — reading was no longer fun. Here’s what I found does work: consistency. I couldn’t be the hare, but I would become the tortoise. I priori- tized allotting one hour a day to read. In that hour, I could read an average of 50 pages, so that’s 350 pages a week — more than enough for your average book. I set a new goal: to read 52 books a year. For the last four years, I’ve hit that target. (Your move, Bill Gates.) Something funny happened once I knew that I would read a book a week. I became less precious about what to read. I took more chances, and I in- creased my exposure to new ideas. Remember Alexander Hamilton and introducing K raft l aw REPRESENTATION IN COMMERCIAL & REAL ESTATE LITIGATION AND TRANSACTIONS DOUGLAS H. KRAFT attorney at law 916.880.3040 www .D ouglas K raft . com Doug Kraft offers a rare combination of 18 years’ experience in banking as a commercial lender, followed by over 20 years’ experience as an attorney in private practice. This translates into experience clients can trust to meet their business needs and goals. November 2018 | 67