As young children, we are all encouraged to expand our minds and read lots of different books. However, as we grow up finding the time to sit in a corner with a cup of tea and a book is often just not achievable. The addition of social media channels and streaming services means that we have more distractions than ever. Books are no longer needed for entertainment purposes.
On average, we should try and read at least 30 minutes a day. Which, when you think about it, is the same length of time it would take you to binge an episode on Netflix. Why not swap your bedtime routine around so that you finish the day swapping a screen for a book? They say it takes 30 days to form a habit, so why not give it a go for a month and see how you get on!
Benefits of Reading
As well as helping to engage your brain, reading brings with it a whole host of benefits, including:
Research has actually shown that adults who read for 30 minutes a week are 20% more likely to have greater satisfaction in their lives. So if you are lacking a bit of happiness, why not pick up a book – you have nothing to lose!
Reading books exposes you to new words and vocabulary that you may not necessarily be exposed to in everyday life. Not only will it open your mind up to new words, but it will also show you how to use these in different contexts. Having a better vocabulary is always advantageous as an Assessor, particularly when it comes to writing up assessments.
Burying your head in a book means that you have the chance to escape the real world for a while. You will find that both your mind and your body begin to relax, and muscle tension soon stops when you begin reading. Saves paying for a spa day that’s for sure!
As we get older the brain naturally slows down. This is why you will find lots of older people tend to keep their brains active with crosswords and puzzles. When reading you have to remember the characters in the book; how they all interlink with each other; minor plot points, and so much more. This means the brain has to retain information, so reading is a great exercise for this.
Better communication skills
Reading can actually help to improve both written and verbal communication skills. So if as an Assessor you struggle to communicate, reading may be the thing that helps you. It can also open up your mind to see things from a different perspective, which is really important when assessing learners. Reading can help you to have more structured, well-rounded conversations too.
How To Read More
Of course finding the time to read is always difficult, so we have put together some simple tips to help you along the way:
Don’t see reading as punishment
Reading should be something that you enjoy, so you need to switch your mentality towards reading from the start. If you go into it thinking that reading is something you really don’t want to do, it will be hard to convince yourself otherwise. You could even combine reading with something nice like having a bath, so you see it as something nice to do.
Set targets that are realistic
A bit like going to the gym, it never works if you throw yourself completely into it. Rather than forcing yourself to read for a solid hour every day, start small. Whether you decide to read for 20 minutes a couple of times a week, or just read a short chapter every day. Make your target achievable from the offset otherwise you will become demotivated quickly.
Keep a book with you at all times
Not having enough time is always the best excuse for not reading. If you carry a book with you at all times, that excuse simply won’t work anymore! Rather than scrolling through your phone on your lunch break you could read a quick chapter and fill your head with useful information instead.
Some people get on better with audiobooks, particularly if they are in the car a lot; like driving from one learner’s workplace to another. You could even read and listen to the same book to add a bit of variety and keep you interested.
The benefits of reading really are greater than you may realise, so why not pick up a book again and see if you can improve your brainpower! We would love to hear how you get on, so please drop us an email at email@example.com.