Advertising
Advertising

Save Time and Add Value with Audio Books – Part 1

Save Time and Add Value with Audio Books – Part 1

Few months ago, I sat down and worked out estimation on time needed per day for my usual projects. The outcome is pretty shocking to me:

I sleep for 6-7 hours, spend around 1 hour for lunch, dinner and bath, 8-10 hours for my work and 1 hour for commuting. Adding them up, I already spent 16-19 hours on those projects. By spending 2 hours per day for blogging and its preparation (reading, planning etc), time for attending my post-grad courses in human resources management, and time for my girl friend and family – That leaves me less than 3 hours per day to do the rest of things – including self-development.

It is a rough calculation but it indicates I have little time for developing myself for the future. This worries me.

Advertising

Man Reading Book

    I still read books but my progress on reading is getting slow paced.

    Beginning of this year, I found a way to leverage some of the used time for self-development – by listening to audio books. With some tasks like commuting and bathroom break, I can utilize these times to listen and learn from the audio content.

    So I purchased an iPod Mini at Amazon, subscribed to Audible, download a book to iPod, plug my ipod into my car audio system and off I go to commute everyday. Isn’t that easy?

    Advertising

    If I ever had enough for audio books on a day, I can switch to my music collection in ipod. Very handy.

    When I was searching for audio books solutions, I set out some requirements:

    • I need a large selections of self-development books.
    • I need a quick system of selecting what I need.
    • I need a good software integration for transferring books to my ipod.
    • I need a subscription based so I don’t need to take care of payment every time I purchase a book.

    I have found Audible suits me well. It is pretty easy to manage on audio books, integrates with ipod pretty well and it has large range of selections. I have Audible subscription since Feb and I love every bit of it. Subscription is cost effective as well because if you purchase one book at a time books’ price may vary from $10 to over $20. However subscription fee is fixed and you can use any book credit to it.

    Advertising

    CD Listening Audio Book

      My current collection of self-development audio books are:
      Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In


        How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships

          10 Days to More Confident Public Speaking

              How to Win Friends & Influence People

                The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

                  Develop a Powerful Memory

                    For paper book, I do not usually read through again once completed. For audio books, as I can go through them really fast (like 10 Days to More Confident Public Speaking

                        is around 3 hours so I can finish it off in 3 days on commuting), I don’t have excuse of not listening the audio book again.

                        Advertising

                        Have you got similar stories on audio books? Please share your experience. If not, I encourage you to try it out when you are exercising, commuting, or cooking etc. You can listen to two FREE audiobooks RISK-FREE from Audible

                          now to try out this time-saving self-development method.

                          Next, I am going to write more about my audible setup. Stay tuned.

                          More by this author

                          Leon Ho

                          Founder of Lifehack

                          Book summary: A Technique for Producing Ideas 10 Ways to Extend Laptop Battery Life Bob Parsons on His 16 Rules for Survival Free note taking templates and techniques Fifty Essential Topics on Economics

                          Trending in Lifehack

                          1 What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero 2 13 Common Life Problems And How To Fix Them 3 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 4 How to Be Your Best Self And Get What You Want 5 How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence

                          Read Next

                          Advertising
                          Advertising
                          Advertising

                          Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                          What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero

                          What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero

                          Ah, Inbox Zero. An achievement that so many of us long for. It’s elusive. It’s a productivity benchmark. It’s an ongoing battle.

                          It’s also unnecessary.

                          Don’t get me wrong, the way Inbox Zero was initially termed is incredibly valuable. Merlin Mann coined the phrase years ago and what he has defined it as goes well beyond the term itself.[1]

                          Yet people have created their own definition of Inbox Zero. They’re not using it with the intent that Mann suggested. Instead, it’s become about having nothing left in immediate view. It’s become about getting your email inbox to zero messages or having an empty inbox on your desk that was once filled with papers. It’s become about removing visual clutter.

                          But it’s not about that. Not at all.

                          Advertising

                          Here’s what inbox zero actually is, as defined by Mann:

                          “It’s about how to reclaim your email, your atten­tion, and your life. That “zero?” It’s not how many mes­sages are in your inbox–it’s how much of your own brain is in that inbox. Especially when you don’t want it to be. That’s it.” – Merlin Mann

                          The Fake Inbox Zero

                          The sense of fulfillment one gets from clearing out everything in your inbox is temporary at best, disappointing at worst. Often we find that we’re shooting for Inbox Zero just so that we can say that we’ve got “everything done that needed to be done”. That’s simply not the case.

                          Certainly, by removing all of your things that sit in your inbox means that they are either taken care of or are well on their way to being taken care of. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is often applied to clearing out your inbox. But unless you’ve actually done something with the stuff, it’s either not worth having in your inbox in the first place or is still sitting in your “mental inbox”.

                          You have to do something with the stuff, and for many people, that is a hard thing to do. That’s why Inbox Zero – as defined by Mann – is not achieved as often as many people would like to believe. It’s this “watered down” concept of Inbox Zero that is completed instead. You’ve got no email in your inbox and you’ve got no paper on your desk’s inbox. So that must mean you’re at Inbox Zero.

                          Advertising

                          Until the next email arrives or the next document comes your way. Then you work to get rid of those as quickly as possible so that you can get back to Inbox Zero: The Lesser again. If it’s something that can be dealt with quickly, then you get there. But if they require more time, then soon you’ve got more stuff in your inboxes. So you switch up tasks to get to the things that don’t require as much time or attention so that you can get closer to this stripped down variation of Inbox Zero.

                          However, until you deal with the bigger items, you don’t quite get there. Some people feel as if they’ve let themselves (or others) down if they don’t get there. And that, quite frankly, is silly. That’s why this particular version of Inbox Zero doesn’t work.

                          The Ultimate Way to Get to Inbox Zero

                          So what’s the ultimate way to get to Inbox Zero?

                          Have zero inboxes.

                          The inbox is meant to be a stop along the way to your final destination. It’s the place where stuff sits until you’re ready to put it in the place where it sits until you’re ready to deal with it.

                          Advertising

                          So why not skip the inbox altogether? Why not put it in the place where it sits until you’re ready to deal with it? Because that requires immediate action. It means you need to give the item some thought and attention.

                          You need to step back and look at it rather than file it. That’s why we have a catch-all inbox, both for email and for analog items. It allows us to only look at these things when we’re ready to do so.

                          The funny thing is that we can decide when we’re ready to without actually looking at the inbox beforehand. We can look at things on our own watch rather than when we are alerted to or feel the need to.

                          There is no reason why you need an inbox at all to store things for longer than it sits there before you see it. None. It’s a choice. And the choice you should be making is how to deal with things when you first see them, rather than when to deal with things you haven’t looked at yet.

                          Stop Faking It

                          Seeing things in your inboxes is simply using your sight. Looking at things in your inbox when you first see them is using insight.

                          Advertising

                          Stop checking email more than twice per day. Turn off your alerts. Put your desk’s inbox somewhere that it can be accessed by others and only accessed by you when you’re ready to deal with what’s in it. Don’t put it on your desk – that’s productivity poison.

                          If you want to get to Inbox Zero — the real Inbox Zero — then get rid of those stops along the way. You’ll find that by doing that, you’ll be getting more of the stuff you really want done finished much faster, rather than see them moving along at the speed of not much more than zero.

                          More Productivity Tips to Get Organized

                          Featured photo credit: Web Hosting via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Merlin Mann: Inbox Zero

                          Read Next