How to stay focused while reading? That is the question. Whether it’s because you think you might enjoy the hobby or because your college is forcing you to read the endless droning of whatever-their-names-are, you might find that it’s hard to get past a single section or chapter before your mind starts wandering, and it feels like you’re reading the same words over the same words over the same words over and over and over again. Again...
So what can you do about it? How does one stay focused while reading?
Five Tips from eSmartr:
Fun science-y fact: According to a 2017 study,2 selective attention is the aspect of executive function (brain power) that is the most constantly engaged while reading. Selective attention is your ability to focus on one thing while ignoring everything else.3 If you can sneak a university textbook into a heavy metal concert and read it during the show, you have outstandingly good selective attention!
If you’re still not sure you know how to stay focused while reading, I’d like to point out that you are currently five hundred and fourteen words into this webpage (unless you cheated), which is no small feat! Give a few new things a try; take some notes, try reading someplace new, and try to make it a natural process. You might be pleasantly surprised and how pleasant reading can be.
1. Kuzmičová, A. (2016), Does it Matter Where You Read? Situating Narrative in Physical Environment. Commun Theor, 26: 290-308. https://doi-org.library.sheridanc.on.ca/10.1111/comt.12084
2. Elena, C. (2017). Novice readers: The role of focused, selective, distributed and alternating attention at the first year of the academic curriculum. I-Perception, 8(4) doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.sheridanc.on.ca/10.1177/2041669517718557