Productivity Hack: Listen to Audiobooks

Listen to Audiobooks

One day, I was in the gym and, as usual, all the popular weight machines were taken. In this situation, it is perfectly fine to ask a person using a machine we are interested in if we can jump in and use it while they rest between sets. So, that’s exactly what I did, striking up a conversation with the person using the machine I wanted to use.

This person had headphones, so out of social politeness, I asked them what they were listening to. Unsurprisingly, they were listening to music. I mentioned that I prefer listening to audiobooks, as I can listen to them while at the gym, commuting, shopping, or doing almost anything else where I am moving around, alone, and free to listen while my body is occupied with routine and mundane activities.

Upon hearing my comment, the gentleman told me that he had only read about 4 books in his entire life. While this is not uncommon, it was still shocking to me, as I go through about 52 books per year, which provide me with a significant amount of useful information. 52 books is not a random number either, as a study found that 52 books is the average number of books that an average CEO reads each year. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why they are CEOs in the first place. Of course, it is recommended to listen to non-fiction books, as that is where the most valuable information is stored.

Another tip from productivity experts is to listen to audiobooks (or watch videos) at 2x speed. This is possible because our brains are capable of processing information much faster than it is usually presented. For example, when people are speaking, we are able to hear and understand them at 2x their speaking speed. Of course, there may be times when we encounter fast or slow talkers, and in those cases, we can adjust the speed to, for example, 1.5x or 2.5x. This allows me to listen to twice as many books, audiobooks, videos, etc., which is great as lately, I want to do more with my time. 

Additionally, when something is bad or uninteresting, I also skip it altogether or fast forward to an interesting part. This way, I have already walked away from boring movies or presentations, while most other people stayed out of some made up sense of social obligation, which I simply don’t have or want to have. I have one life and I don’t want to waste it on things that aren’t important to me. Some people may call this rude, but I call it being alive.

As for the excuse of not having enough time, some of the most successful and busiest people, like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffett, make sure to dedicate 1-3 hours every day to reading and learning, regardless of their other responsibilities. It’s almost like not having time to go to the gym, meditate, or exercise – we need to make time for these things because they are important.

Furthermore, I often come across people who claim they don’t have time to read a book. In these cases, I always mention the magic of audiobooks. They can be listened to on the go, making use of the dead pockets of time in our day, such as during commutes or when performing routine tasks like cleaning or cooking. Instead of wasting time, we can actively listen to audiobooks and fill our minds with useful information that can truly change our lives.

Roman Russo

Roman Russo

Roman Russo is the visionary founder, senior happiness coach, and Chief Happiness Officer of Optimal Happiness. He has written the revolutionary Optimal Happiness: The Fastest and Surest Way to Reach Your Happiest Potential, a must-read book about achieving our happiest potential. After researching this field for over eight years, Roman is confident that anyone can become happy and invites us to undertake this transformation. Are you ready to start living the life you always meant to live?

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