Managing your environment

In this topic we are going to examine some practical suggestions for improving your reading by managing your environment.

Some key organisational requirements:

  • Organise your space
  • Organise your files – paper and electronic
  • Organise your mind

Some guidance for increasing and maintaining concentration:

  • Create a constructive environment
  • Planning a good time
  • Maximising concentration

Reading materials

Of course, there are many different types of reading material. At work and during our studies. Spend a few moments outlining some in your mind.

Perhaps you have identified:

  • Reports and research data
  • Textbooks
  • Contracts, policy documents, product literature
  • Journals and publications
  • Letters, memos and emails

All of these are usually available in either paper or electronic version.

If you want to improve your reading skills – whether for speed or other reasons – you can start by identifying what materials work best for you. 

Once you have identified your strength, capitalise on it, so for example, if you know you must read a document quickly and you have a natural preference for reading from a PC, then access the materials in an electronic format.

Do not forget to identify areas for improvement and the steps you can take (perhaps through some of the techniques identified in the course) to maximise your reading performance all round. 


Finally, we will make some brief recommendations about lighting. It is most constructive to read in a well-lit environment. Many benefit from having a strong light shining onto the page whilst others prefer to read by natural daylight, where possible.

Reading in good light will help you avoid becoming drowsy and will minimise the chance of eyestrain, headaches and so on.


What reading materials work best for you?

What practical steps can you take to convert reading materials into the format that works best for you and improves your reading speed and effectiveness?