Double Your Reading Speed Right.

July 27, 2007

By Paul R. Scheele

Your ability to stay ahead in your industry is critical to your success – but how can you stay ahead when you’re swamped with material that you know you should be reading? Every day, more bombards you. Stacks of reports, journals, and trade publications crowd your office, e-mails flood your inbox, all serving as a nagging reminder that you are one step behind.

Staying ahead will only get harder – for everyone but you, that is. Because in the next 10 minutes, you will double your reading speed while maintaining comprehension. You will be able to breeze through everything from magazine articles to business newsletters to that novel you haven’t yet gotten to. You’ll finally be ahead of the stack.

All you need to get started is a timepiece (a kitchen timer that counts down to a beep works best) and a willingness to explore a new way to use your brain.

Let’s begin…

Pick an article from a magazine you have on hand and read for 20 seconds.

At the end of 20 seconds, count the number of lines you read, and write down that number. This will give you an idea of your present reading speed.

Read Faster in 3 Steps

There are three things that determine how fast you read: your physical posture, your mental posture, and your reading technique.

Your magnificently powerful human brain instantly recognizes words at unimaginable speeds. Yet, in school, you were programmed like a sports car that only shifts into first gear to “Go slowly, be careful, back up, sound it out, and comprehend every single word.” This snail-in-the-mud programming undermines your potential and wastes precious time.

Get ready to shift into fifth gear and enjoy a lifetime of fast, effortless reading.

Step 1: Get Physical

Studies show that there’s a specific physical posture that helps you read faster and comprehend more: You place your feet comfortably on the floor, sit up straight, and fully relax your shoulders.

Do that now. Then relax your face and gently smile. Can you feel a difference?

Adjust your computer screen to a 45- to 60-degree upward angle, and slightly tilt your head downward.

You’re in the ideal posture for reading this issue of ETR (or anything else) onscreen. If you were reading a book or some other printed material, you’d do the same thing – holding or propping it up at a 45- to 60-degree angle.

Step 2: Expectancy and the Tangerine

Expect success. Tell yourself what you want to get from your reading. Always have a purpose.

Put yourself in the ideal state of mind by using “The Tangerine Technique.” It may seem a bit odd, but it gets your brain working in such a way that you can read swiftly through anything. Play along to see how it works for you.

Reach your hand out in front of you and pick up an imaginary tangerine. Do it right now, while you are reading this. Imagine the tangerine’s color, skin texture, and maybe even the sweet, tangy smell. Then, lob it from hand to hand to sense its weight.
Position the imaginary tangerine on the upper-rear portion of your head. Touch that area gently with your hand and imagine the tangerine floating a couple of inches above it. Bring your hand down and relax your shoulders completely. Pretend that this magical tangerine always stays there, no matter how your head moves.
Close your eyes and let the tangerine float a few inches above and behind your head. Notice how much more relaxed and alert you feel. Imagine your field of vision opening up.
Maintaining this feeling, gently open your eyes. Go back to the magazine article you read from to gauge your initial reading speed, and read for another 20 seconds.
Again, write down the number of lines you read.

How was that? Is it now easier to read? Did the words flow more effortlessly?

In most classes that I teach, students notice a 50 percent increase in reading speed simply by taking these first two steps.

Step 3: Upper-Half Reading

Glide your vision across the upper-half of the words you read. In other words, don’t focus on the full word. Just the upper portion. Play with it right now on this paragraph. Do you notice the difference? Most people find it is easier to get the meaning of a sentence by gliding across the top portion of the words. It’s a novel idea – based on scientific research – that actually works!

Another tip: When you finish one line, quickly zip your eyes back to the beginning of the next line.

You should now find it easier to comprehend whole words and phrases at much higher speeds, while eliminating bad habits such as re-reading and focusing on individual words to sound them out.

Now, get ready to read for another 20 seconds…

Set your posture, relax, gently smile, tilt your head, and hold your magazine at a 45- to 60-degree angle.

Close your eyes and expect success. Put your tangerine in place, touching the back of your head to get the feeling while imagining your visual field opening up.

Now gently open your eyes and read for 20 seconds, gliding your eyes across the top of the words and zipping to the next line.

Count the lines again. What difference did you notice? How many more lines did you get through? Isn’t it amazing that you improved that much in less than 10 minutes!

Try it again for another 20 seconds. Use everything you just learned. This time, push yourself a little. Challenge yourself to read faster still.

You Are Brighter Than You Think

You are brighter than you think. You have great mental resources that you accessed today with these three steps to double your reading speed.

Commit to using these techniques with everything you read. You may find it helpful to put a note in your calendar every day for the next couple of weeks to remind yourself to do it. Review this article at least two more times. Maybe print out a copy to keep on your desk or in your briefcase.

Enjoy the benefits of increased speed and comprehension. You’ll see the ease of reading continuing to grow as you strengthen your new skills as an efficient, effective reader.



IE7Pro: An essential IE add-on.

July 27, 2007

IE7Pro is a must have add-on for Internet Explorer, which includes a lot of features and tweaks to make your IE friendlier, more useful, secure and customizable. IE7Pro includes Tabbed Browsing Management, Spell Check, Inline Search, Super Drag Drop, Crash Recovery, Proxy Switcher, Mouse Gesture, Tab History Browser, Web Accelerator, User Agent Switcher, Webpage Capturer, AD Blocker, Flash Block, Greasemonkey like User Scripts platform, User Plug-ins and many more power packed features. You can customize not just Internet Explorer, but even your favorite website according to your need and taste using IE7Pro.


Internet Connectivity Tool.

July 27, 2007

Visit this page using Internet Explorer on Windows XP or Windows Vista, accept a license agreement, download a little code, and click the Start Test button.

It’s not a speed test (other sites do that better). Instead, the results tell you about your router and how it works with Windows. It doesn’t make any permanent changes, and it doesn’t disclose any personally identifiable information.


Dealing With Overwhelm.

July 23, 2007

By: Brian Tracy

Too Much to Do, Too Little Time
The most common form of stress that managers experience is the feeling of being overwhelmed with far too much to do and having too little time to do it in. We simply do not have enough time to fulfill all our responsibilities. Because of budget limitations, staff cutbacks, downsizing, and competitive pressures, individual managers are forced to take on more and more work, all of which appears to be indispensable to the smooth functioning of our company or department.

Become An Expert
The solution to this problem of work overload is for you to become an expert on time management. There is probably no other skill that you can learn that will give you a “bigger bang for the buck” than to become extremely knowledgeable and experienced in using time management practices.

Be Open to New Ideas
The most foolish manager of all is either the manager who feels that he has no time to learn about time management or, even worse, the manager who, while being overwhelmed with work, feels that he already knows all that he needs to know about the subject.

Never Stop Learning
The fact is that you can study time management and take time management courses for your entire business life and you will still never learn everything you need to know to get the most out of yourself while doing your job in the most efficient way.

The Keys to Time Management
The two indispensable keys to time management are: 1) the ability to set priorities; and 2) the ability to concentrate single-mindedly on one thing at a time.

Since there is never enough time to do everything that needs to be done, you must be continually setting priorities on your activities. Perhaps the very best question that you can memorize and repeat, over and over, is, “what is the most valuable use of my time right now?”

The Best Question of All
This question, “what is the most valuable use of my time right now?” will do more to keep you on track, hour by hour, than any other single question in the list of time management strategies.

Start With Your Top Tasks
The natural tendency for all of us is to major in minors and to give in to the temptation to clear up small things first. After all, small things are easier and they are often more fun than the big, important things that represent the most valuable use of your time.

However, the self-discipline of organizing your work and focusing on your highest value tasks is the starting point of getting your time under control and lowering your stress levels.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to get your time under control.

First, make a decision today to become an expert on time management. Read the books, listen to the audio programs, and take a time management course. Then, practice, practice, practice every day until you master time management skills.

Second, set clear priorities on your work each day, before you begin. Then, discipline yourself to start on your most important task and stay at that until it is complete. This will relieve much of your stress immediately.

Using Your Inner Guidance System

July 22, 2007

By: Brian Tracy

You have incredible powers of mind and emotions that give you timely and accurate feedback in every area of your life.

In this newsletter, you learn how to “tune in” to yourself so you can make the right decision in every situation.

Using Your Inner Guidance System
We know that the body has a natural bias toward health and energy. It’s designed to last for 100 years with proper care and maintenance. When something goes wrong with any part of our body, we experience it in the form of pain or discomfort of some kind.

We know that when our body is not functioning smoothly and painlessly, something is wrong, and we take action to correct it. We go to a doctor; we take pills; we undergo physical therapy, massage or chiropractic. We know that if we ignore pain or discomfort for any period of time, it could lead to something more serious.

How to Tell Right From Wrong
In the same sense, nature also gives us a way to tell emotionally what’s right for us and what’s wrong for us in life. Just as nature gives us physical pain to guide us to doing or not doing things in the physical realm, nature gives us emotional pain to guide us toward doing or not doing things in the emotional or mental realm. The wonderful thing is that you’re constructed so that if you simply listen carefully to yourself-to your mind, your body and your emotions-and follow the guidance you’re given, you can dramatically enhance the quality of your life.

Just as the natural physical state of your body is health and vitality, your natural emotional state is peace and happiness. Whenever you experience a deviation from peace and happiness, it’s an indication that something is amiss. Something is wrong with what you’re thinking, doing or saying. Your feeling of inner happiness is the best indicator you could ever have to tell you what you should be doing more of and what you should be doing less of.

The Messenger
Unhappiness is to your life as pain is to your body. It is sent as a messenger to tell you that what you’re doing is wrong for you.

Very often, you’ll suffer from what has been called “divine discontent.” You’ll feel fidgety and uneasy for a reason or reasons that are unclear to you. You’ll be dissatisfied with the status quo. Sometimes, you’ll be unable to sleep. Sometimes, you’ll be angry or irritable. Very often, you’ll get upset with things that have nothing to do with the real issue. You’ll have a deep inner sense that something isn’t as it should be, and you’ll often feel like a fish on a hook, wriggling and squirming emotionally to get free.

Divine Discontent
And that is a good thing. Divine discontent always comes before a positive life change. If you were perfectly satisfied, you would never take any action to improve or change your circumstances. Only when you’re dissatisfied for some reason do you have the inner motivation to engage in the outer behaviors that lead you onward and upward.

Listen to yourself. Trust your inner voice. Go with the flow of your own personality. Do the things that make you feel happy inside and you’ll probably never make another mistake.

Action Exercises
Here are three steps you can take immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, listen to yourself and trust your own feelings. If there is a part of your life that causes you stress and unhappiness, resolve to deal with it.

Second, identify those areas of your life where you are dissatisfied or frustrated for any reason. What changes should you, could you make?

Third, remember that nature wants you to be happy, healthy, popular and prosperous. Any deviation from those conditions is a signal to you that action is necessary.

Little Known Ways To Diffuse That Argument

July 19, 2007

First, listen to what your partner is not saying. It may sound odd, but listen for the “I don’t feel well today,” or the “We lost a really big contract at work, and I’m a little anxious about the status of my job right now.” If you can look past the “You do everything wrong,” statements for your partner’s underlying feelings, you’ll not only be able to diffuse the situation, you’ll also help your partner to get past the anger front.

Second, even if you can’t figure out what’s gone wrong, try to be understanding about your partner’s feelings. Understand what your partner needs when he or she is angry. If it’s space, grant them that. If it’s a loving shoulder to cry on when the anger is gone, offer that as well.

Finally, think about every word you say. Unlike your keyboard, your tongue doesn’t have a backspace. You can never get rid of those words once they’re hanging in the air of your home, and while you can apologize, you can’t get rid of the feelings you create in your partner once you say those hurtful things.

Staying Positive in a Negative Environment

July 19, 2007

By Julie Fuimano

Probably one of the hardest things we must do as leaders is to stay positive when everyone else around us is negative. It’s not easy to maintain a positive attitude and not be drained or consumed by the negativity that surrounds you. But as a leader, that’s exactly what you must do. You have the opportunity to be the beacon of light for others around you. You can demonstrate and teach by your actions and responses how to behave in an appropriate, positive, and professional manner.

It’s easy to be positive in a positive environment. It’s when things are emotionally draining and negative that you are challenged to step up to the plate and behave differently. By doing so, you make a difference — a positive impact that sends ripples throughout the community in which you work. The fact is that positive energy catches on just as quickly as negative energy. Sometimes, people are simply stuck in a habit or pattern of behavior. They are accustomed to acting a certain way. If the environment is really caustic, then it’s been that way for a long time. This is what people are used to; it’s familiar to them, and it may be all they know. In addition, by the very fact that it’s been happening this way for this long and no one has done enough to change it, it’s considered “acceptable” even though it’s not.

It takes some time and effort on your part, as well as a commitment, to do something different in order to create sustainable change. You must be willing to identify and stop tolerating what’s not working, do the right thing even if it’s unpopular at first, and then teach others to do the same.

Here are five things you can do to be the positive force in your workplace.

1) Observe yourself in action. In what ways are you contributing to the negativity around you? Are you listening to gossip or participating in conversations where the only focus is to denigrate, diminish, or criticize people or things? If the conversation feels bad, it’s probably negative. Stop being negative! Stop saying or doing anything that is negative. It all starts with you. Language matters. Everything you say has an impact, and when you say something negative, not only does it dishonor the person you’re speaking about and the person you’re speaking with, it makes you feel bad even if you don’t realize it. Putting someone else down is disrespectful of them, and it disrespects you. Learn to respect people’s humanity and their right to be themselves. Complaining without end does not focus on creating solutions; rather its impact is only to perpetuate and magnify the problem, wasting everyone’s precious time and energy.

2) Recognize negativity when it occurs around you. Sometimes you can even feel your energy being drained by the words being spoken. Again, if it feels bad or uncomfortable, then it’s negative. These feelings are your inner messengers. They are a form of intelligence similar to a tap on the shoulder letting you know something is not right. How do you feel? What is happening? What behavior is being displayed? If you can identify what is happening, then you can make good choices about handling it. The first step is awareness.

3) Speak up! Tell the other person how you feel. Use the words, “This doesn’t work for me.” It’s non-judgmental and it’s about you, not them. People often don’t realize they are being negative. Point out to the person that they are being negative in a gentle and caring way. “Do you realize you are complaining?” Sometimes just bringing it to their attention is enough to shift the conversation. Over time, people will learn what they can and cannot talk about with you, and it won’t be an issue. If you say nothing, then your silence gives them permission to continue.

4) Make your conversations constructive, meaning that the conversation should be positive, meaningful, and beneficial. What’s the point or purpose of the conversation? Is it to hurt or help? And at the end of the conversation, what would you like to have happen? Is there an action step to take? Constructive conversations feel good. They are empowering and have the effect of leaving people a little better off from having participated in them. Become the kind of person who takes your time seriously and who takes your words seriously!

5) Offer praise! It’s amazing what a few words of praise and acknowledgement can do to make people feel good. You want people to feel good after being in your presence. You want to be the kind of person people gravitate to because they know they will be uplifted by you, not put down or drained of their life-sustaining energy.

Learning how to be positive as you navigate through life is part of life’s lessons. And no matter what is going on around you, you control your inner environment and how you choose to respond to external events and situations. It’s your responsibility to become the kind of person you enjoy being and with whom others enjoy being around. It takes a true leader to walk a path different from the crowd. So when others are negative, stretch your boldness muscles and be positive in spite of what others do or think. It’s the only way to create a ripple of change. And we know that from small beginnings come great things. If each of us does our part, then slowly but surely, we will make a difference in our work environment and the community at large.