In Part 1, I shared with you my feelings on trading speed reading in for focused comprehension. Today I will shift to another daily practice that, in many cases, results in wasted opportunity.
I begin each day by filling out USA Today’s Online Crossword Puzzle. It dawned on me the other day that I was wasting an opportunity to enhance my general knowledge base in an effort to “complete” the puzzle. Let me explain.
There are many clues that result with instant recall. You understand the clue, and you immediately know the word. There are other clues that have you flummoxed right from the giddy-up. You have absolutely no idea what the answer could be. But with the help of the first letter, or perhaps a letter or two within the answer, your mind shifts into gear and “voila,” you solve the line item.
You continue finding that many answers are filled in by simply addressing other clues. This is where the missed opportunity presents itself. You find yourself striving to complete the puzzle of the day by hook or by crook. You don’t bother to digest the fact that the name of the author in five-down was a new piece of information. (In many cases you really couldn’t care less who wrote XYZ back in 1845.) But my point is valid. There is a bunch of new information presented to each morning and without pausing long enough to internalize this input, your knowledge base will remain the same.
Here is what I suggest: After completing the puzzle in your normal fashion, erase the entries and play it again. This time, focus on each and every clue and think about each and every answer. Pause. Think. Internalize. When I do this, the second pass through usually takes just minutes to complete.
I realize I may be preaching to the puzzle choir today, but as in most of my messages, I find myself writing to me. And, heaven forbid, if you happen to be wired like I am, today’s message just might give you something to think about.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.