Read. Lots. Often.

Want to succeed in your career or business?

Three tips: read, lots, often.

While skimming headlines on our smartphones is the new norm that constitutes reading for many of us, it’s taking a toll on our communication skills: listening, speaking and writing.

Yet solid communication skills are crucial for success in many fields of work.

According to Psychology Today, reading on screens can stress the brain and interfere with deep learning. By setting aside our smartphones and other screens for just a few minutes each day and reading a variety of materials, however, we can build the skills we need for success. At the same time we will reap additional benefits that enhance our lives overall.

Here are six important reasons why we should read. Lots. Often.

  1. Builds language competence because we learn new words and how to use vocabulary and to structure thoughts and sentences.
  2. Improves our writing by exposing us to other styles and forms of writing, and better writing than our own.
  3. Enhances listening capabilities by strengthening our ability to focus, comprehend information and acquire meaning.
  4. Generates new ideas by exposing us to new concepts, people, places and events outside of our own experience.
  5. Exercises the brain and strengthens function, including mental flexibility, memory and thinking skills.
  6. Reduces stress by enabling us to immerse ourselves in stories or other content. Reading can actually reduce heart rate and muscle tension, calming our minds and relaxing our bodies.

So next time our smartphones make us feel stressed, anxious or depressed, let’s turn ’em off and start reading something else, something different from our usual preferences. Newspapers, journals, books, articles, short stories, plays, essays, poems, lyrics, comics – there are unlimited options for new learning opportunities.

Destress, exercise our brains, improve communication skills, succeed.

It’s a no-brainer. Let’s get into the habit of reading, lots, often.

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