We all know that books are a crucial factor in our development and essential to maintaining an exponential growth mindset. However, with ever growing demands and commitments we can find ourselves with very little time to read.
My personal solution to this is to focus on speed-listening on two platforms:
- Audio books
Audio books are usually narrated by professionals who pronounce the words clearly and with proper intonation. This allows one to speed up the playback speed while maintaining a high level of comprehension and retention.
Here’s a screenshot of the app I use – Smart AudioBook Player – I have circled the playback speed and highlighted some other stats. You can see that it will take a little over half the time to complete the 20 hour book. This happens to be a relatively complicated book so I’ve slowed things down to 1.8 but you can easily comprehend simpler books at 2.1 or more:
Pocket is a great app which allows you to save articles to read later. For example, when I’m going through my email trying to reach Inbox Zero I often come across links to articles people have sent me. I would really like to read these articles but not right then and there. By using Pocket’s Chrome extension you can simply right-click the link and save it to Pocket. When you have time to read, you can either read your saved articles or listen to them using Text To Speech (TTS). Here’s what Pocket looks like on an Android phone:
And here’s the TTS button:
At the end of every year, Pocket sends me my personal reading stats. According to them, I’ve read the equivalent of 56 books in 2016:
Pocket has recently added a new and exciting feature: Continuous listening. I.e., you can start playing an article and it will immediately move on to the next one when it’s done. This allows one to easily reach inbox zero while driving or exercising.
Bottom line, by listening to audio books and utilizing TTS technology, it is possible to digest a lot of high-value information while traveling, exercising house-cleaning and the like. If you get into the habit of utilizing this technology you will be surprised by the sheer quantity of material you are able to review without having to sit down in one place.