How I Beat the Speed-Reading Challenge & Finished a Book in 4 Hours

In the first part of this series, I shared the 3 speed-reading techniques that have propelled my reading rate from 250 words/minute to up to 750 in the span of a few months.

Today, it’s time for a little action.

See, when I first set off on this speed-reading adventure, I gave myself a unique challenge to increase my motivation (as I often do).  I decided to get my reading speed & ability to focus up to a point where I could sit down and finish a book a in few hours.

2 weeks ago, it was time to step up to the Challenge to see if I had it in me.

***

On a cold winter afternoon, I invited my buddy Marc Coppola from Why Simply Because over to teach him the 3 techniques,while we documented my attempt at reading a full book in one sitting.

To put his newly acquired knowledge to good use (and offer moral support), Marc attempted to read a full book of his own.

The book I chose, Superconnect, is not an extremely complex read, but it’s not a walk in the park either. It’s 269 pages long, with an average of 400 words/page.

***

At 2:47pm, we got settled, and the fun began.

My strategy was to read in chunks of 50 pages, take a 5 minutes break after each, and do a 15 minute meditation at the halfway mark to recharge my brain.

The first 100 pages came & went in a flash- it took me about 75 minutes.  I was cruising along at about 600 words/minute and everything was going well. I was loving it!

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Marc employing textbook technique as he used his finger as a pointer, and starting 3 words from the left margin and stopping 3 from the right.

Around 4:30pm, it hit me that speed-reading is one thing, but doing it over a long time is a whole other ballgame. That’s when it got pretty challenging.

But that’s why it’s called a challenge right?

I powered through the next 35 pages and was very happy to relax and enjoy my 15 minute meditation break.

***

When I resumed, my powers were back in full force… but not for long. When I finally hit page 200, I was pretty exhausted.

But as Billy Ocean used to sing, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going!”.

I put my head down, really focused on keeping my reading technique optimal, before I knew it… I was starting the last chapter!

It kinda felt like the victory lap, so I tried to enjoy it as much as I could even though my brain felt like mush.

At 7:07pm, 4 hours and 20 minutes after starting, I closed the book and shouted out a victorious “BOOOOOOM!!!”.

As a proof that speed-reading is something that can be learned quite rapidly, Marc also succeeded in finishing his whole book, even though he only learned the technique that day. How crazy is that!!

Great success all around. :)

***

As I said, Marc and I documented the experiment and recorded a video where explain the techniques + show a time-lapse of the 4 hours it to complete the Challenge. Check it out!!

(For the first 2 minutes I explain the techniques, and the time-lapse starts at 2:17)

***

As you know by now if you’ve been following this website, I LOVE challenges and I really believe they’re the best way to motivate ourselves to take our life to the next level.

Is there a challenge you’ve been thinking of doing? Maybe the Cold Shower Challenge? Training for an epic race? Meditating every day for 30 days?

Or maybe you want to give the Speed Reading challenge a try now?

Don’t wait- challenges are awesome: they spice up our life, give us a great story to tell, and inspire us to become the best version of ourself.

When you do, make sure to send me the story so I can publish it in the Feel Good Stories section of the site.

***

In the 3rd and final part of this series, I will unveil my own newest challenge (and biggest to date):  The “Next-Level” Speed Reading Challenge.

Tune in tomorrow to find out more… and to help me out: I’m going to need you guys’ input for this one!

Have an awesome day,

Phil

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"PS. Ever feel overwhelmed when trying to reach your goals? Watch my TEDx talk to learn how to stop slowly killing yourself while accomplishing more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M9i3-QhWzg&t=565s"
Posted on : 9, Feb 2012

14 Comments

  • […] the 2nd part, I told the tale of my attempt to beat the speed-reading challenge & finish a full book in one […]

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