How to Feel More In Control of Your Time

How to Feel More In Control of Your Time

We live inside this knowledge world right? That means knowledge is power and learning is your superpower. It’s now being said that the average person must read 4 hours per day just to keep up with the changes going on in the world today.

What if you could speed your reading and learning up, you could do that in 2 hours or less per day.

My suggestion with this post is to help you learn to read faster, which will automatically allow you to feel more in control of your time, give you more productive time, and automatically benefit you with better comprehension, if you learn the right system.

Since I got lots of accolades from an earlier post entitled 6 Secrets to Learning Faster Backed by Neuroscience, I decided to use this one to answer a question lots of my followers have about time management and that is about how to read faster.

What Keeps People From Reading Faster?

Bill Gates was asked by Jim Kwik if he could have one superpower what would it be? Gates said that he would increase his ability to read faster.

With that in mind here, are some bad habits you can work on changing in order to increase your reading speed. You’ll find that along with increasing your reading speed you will gain the ability to have better reading comprehension too! It’s truly a win win for you.

These 5 things are what’s holding us back from reading faster:

  • Lack of education. Noone is born with the ability to read. We can educate ourselves to read and comprehend better and faster. Practicing the right concepts makes permanent habits. Recall how old you were when you took a training called reading? For most of us is was in grammar school.
  • Lack of focus. Social media is an example of attention deficit. Look at all the different and changing subject matter on your timeline. How many people get to the end of a page and forgot what you read?
  • Subvocalization. Trying to read word for word while saying each word on your head. What this does is starves the brains stimulus and attention it needs, so it finds it elswhere in the form of distraction to other thoughts separate from what’s on the page.
  • Regression which is rereading and backskipping. That’s tied into Focus.
  • Belief, lack of belief that you can learn to read faster and have better comprehension.

We need to develop action steps (action items) toward eliminating these problems in order to break through into faster and more comprehensive reading.

I’ve said in other posts about productivity and time management that we need to use the setting of goals as a preliminary step, we need to elevate our thinking in order to make forward progress into a list of action items for each goal. To do this we have to understand how to convert your overarching goals into lists of smaller “action items”. Once we’ve got our written actions along with a timeframe for their accomplishment, we need to put each step into a mini system.

Fall In Love With Systems

None of this is to say that the term goals is useless. I would just rather ensure we pair a goal with it’s own action list which we call a system. However, I’ve found that goals or action systems in my reference are good for planning your progress, while systems are good for actually taking steps and making progress. I wrote a post entitled Systems vs. Goals which dives deeper into how utilizing the mind shift into focusing on systems will accelerate your future progress big time.

The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.

An excerpt from Chapter 1 of James Clear’s New York Times bestselling book Atomic Habits.

If you get interrupted in the middle of your system then you can easily reference where you were in the process and pick back up exactly where you left off. If we only have a goal that we are working towards it’s more of a vague outlook and picking up where we left off is much harder. It can sometimes cause us to get frustrated and strand the goal altogether.

We can put it off and as the days move by we can forget about it altogether. With systems it’s much easier to visualize the process and realize each tiny step is progress and a reason to feel inspired about ourselves.

When we feel like we’ve been useful it automatically makes us feel happy, and that’s what Emerson referred to when he said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

The list of action items of the goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference. You can have mini systems within the larger system. Just like the 5 boroughs make up New York City, we can have smaller systems within the end project.


The things that hold most of us back from gaining better control of our time varies from each individual but I’m pretty sure most of us can benefit from learning to read faster while comprehending better at the same time. Begin today to work on these 5 things that are blocking you from reading faster. Learning happens from the inside out. Just remember that it’s an inside job. I’ll leave you with this to ponder.

If an egg is broken from the outside, life ends. If broken from the inside, life begins. Great things begin from inside. Transform yourself from the inside out.

“Your input determines your outlook. Your outlook determines your output, and your output determines your future.”

Zig Ziglar
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Created by Martin Hamilton