Yes, How to read around 150 posts in under 3 hours? Is it doable? YES! I did it, so can you. Yesterday I was searching for some blogs catering to writing and I ended up subscribing to about 15 new blogs. And that means I had about 146 new posts to be read it my feed reader. I could have given everything a miss and could have decided to read only the new posts from now. But today evening I found some free time and I felt enthusiastic to try the impossible; read all of them. And I succeeded. Here is how I did it. [Hint: Don't think I read the whole 150000 words of it. It is a hack and if you are interested go read on.]
1) Read the headlines
The headlines clearly gives the notion whether the post is interesting to you or not. Unless and until it is gripping your enthusiasm, leave it for safe. You are not going to miss anything. I am sure you can easily get rid of at least 20% by this method. Most of the posts also have sub headings that is in bold, so you can even use this technique through the content of the posts which you find worthy of your time.
2) Some posts are from lists.
This is the problem with continuations and sequels. You won’t get to know the full story until you read the earlier posts. I never see a sequel of a movie until I make sure I see the earlier parts. I assume you are also similar. Then why should you read the 5th part of a list before you read the other four? K.M. Weiland’s The Secrets of Story Structure was a similar kind of series that came into my feed reader. I was so interested to read, that I skipped it for the time. I have bookmarked part 1 and decided to read the whole parts together at a later time. This caused me atleast skip three posts from the list.
3) Some posts are advertisements
Some posts are advertisements of the blog author’s new book or workshop. Sometime there will be a series of them. You can safely skip them for the time being. Since you are subscribed you will get later referenced to this info and you can decide at that time whether you want to buy that service.
4) Some posts are repetition
If you read 10 blogs from same niche, there is a large probability that topics get repeated. Can you imagine how many posts in the 146 I was reading had emphasis on social media, advantages of guest blogging and importance of giveaways? I will say, at least 20. You can easily get the idea from one and skip the remaining.
5) Speed reading
Okay, this is one of my speciality, which I have acquired through years of practice. But I believe even if you don’t have my speed you also can do it nevertheless. It has been established that we can read words given that the beginning and end are correct. I suggest that it is same with sentences. You read the first few words and skip to the last, you will get the idea. My theory is that you can scale this skill to even paragraphs. You get the first sentence and the last of a paragraph you get the idea vaguely. And had you skimmed through the paragraph, you can easily understand the full idea. My technique is to read diagonally. I will take two paragraphs at a time and start from the top left of the first to the bottom right of it and from top right of the second to the bottom left of it. My eyeballs will be going zig zag.
Of course you cannot apply this to all literature. Technical books like engineering texts and thesis reports needs to be read thoroughly word by word (Offcourse depends on whether you want to pass in that exam or need to apply that algorithm perfectly in your application). Similarly sometimes you come to a blog where you find the matter to be too apealing that you cannot resort to this kind of speed reading. I found most of Larry Brooks‘ post to be of that kind. Either I had to read the full blog post or dedicate this blog a separate time of it own. I decided to read the best three that caught my eye and left the rest for another dedicated time.
6) And finally weed out
Sometime when you go through the first two or three posts itself you will get an idea whether you like the material and the author’s style of narration. She may not sound as appealing as you might have thought at first. So it is not a crime to unsubscribe or push the ‘Mark all as read’ button. But I will suggest not to unsubscribe and do the latter. Have some patience. Sometimes the posts were good and you were exhausted or may be the author was in a bad patch of time and will come up with better posts.
Extra: I am not sure of this one because I didn’t use this method during my experiment. May be you can super quickly scan the whole 150 posts in under half an hour and make a note of what is important and interesting and dedicate more time for it. This is atechnology we use while writing exams. We scan for easy question or the once which take more time and partition our time accordingly. I haven’t found it easy in my approch here while reading blog posts. But if you find it helpful you can try that too.
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