How Reading Every Day Improves Job Performance

Monday, April 2, 2018 | Posted by: Alpha Kappa Psi

If you’re already a reader you understand that there are many benefits to reading. You learn new things, you engage your brain, and in the case of exceptional literature, you can “lose” yourself in the story.

But reading is more than just a nice break from the pace of our everyday world; it can even help you live longer. In fact, a 2016 study by the Yale School of Public Health found that people who read at least 30 minutes a day are living, on average, two years longer than those who do not. In addition to this huge perk, there are plenty of benefits to reading that are applicable to your daily success. Here’s a list of four ways reading every day can improve your job performance.

  1. Increased Cognitive Function

When reading, your brain works to make connections. Whether you’re cognizant of it or not, your brain is absorbing and comparing details to flesh out the narrative. . In the same way that you’re connecting details in a book, your brain is sending signals from hemisphere to hemisphere and across all four lobes. When your brain can talk more effectively to itself, you’re at a lower risk for cognitive delay. Reading, simply put, helps you get sharp and stay sharp—like pumping iron for your brain.

  1. Increased Emotional Intelligence

A study by research journal Plos One found that reading—fiction especially—can increase your ability to recognize emotion from others and in yourself. The traditional reading action of “putting yourself in the character’s shoes” serves as a soundboard for emotional experience, increasing your adeptness and helping navigate conversations more naturally. The need for this skill is constant in the work world. Having strong emotional intelligence doesn’t just make you a better communicator, it gives you more access to empathy, making it easier for you to relate to coworkers and maybe even make friends.

  1. Increased Vocabulary

When you can communicate effectively, you’re more likely to succeed. Reading every day gives you a constant flow of words and syntax, helping keep your vocabulary fresh. Not to mention, in work situations, finding the right words can be a huge asset. Whether you’re negotiating with a client or speaking up during an internal meeting, stronger command of language is a skill worth having.

  1. Better Sleep After Reading

Researchers have long claimed that reading before bed can help you unwind and provide a better night’s sleep. Although it might seem counter-intuitive to spark up your brain right before sleeping, reading has actually been shown to reduce stress by 68% helping you get a solid night’s sleep for the work day ahead.

With the proliferation of online written content, it’s hard to not be a “reader” these days. Yet research by the Pew Center demonstrates that in 2014, over ¼ of adults hadn’t read a book the previous year. While you don’t have to read a book to get that 30 minutes a day into your schedule, digging into a novel, short story collection, or book of poetry might help make reading a more consistent part of your life. What do you like to read? Share suggestions in the comments, we’d love to hear your favorites and maybe pick up a few new reads ourselves!

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