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 How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone 2 Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes & How To Tackle Them 3 How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever 4 The Lifehack Show: Overcoming Anxiety Through Personal Agency with Dr. Paul Napper 5 The Lifehack Show: On Friendship and Belonging with Dr. Kyler Shumway

                          Read Next

                          Advertising
                          Advertising
                          Advertising

                          Last Updated on January 2, 2020

                          How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

                          How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

                          Over time, we all gather a set of constricting habits around us—ones that trap us in a zone of supposed comfort, well below what our potential would allow us to attain. Pretty soon, such habits slip below the level of our consciousness, but they still determine what we think that we can and cannot do—and what we cannot even bring ourselves to try. As long as you let these habits rule you, you’ll be stuck in a rut.

                          Like the tiny, soft bodied creatures that build coral reefs, habits start off small and flexible, and end up by building massive barriers of rock all around your mind. Inside the reefs, the water feels quiet and friendly. Outside, you think it’s going to be rough and stormy. There may be sharks. But if you’re to develop in any direction from where you are today, you must go outside that reef of habits that marks the boundaries of your comfort zone. There’s no other way. There’s even nothing specially wrong with those habits as such. They probably worked for you in the past.

                          But now, it’s time to step over them and go into the wider world of your unused potential. Your fears don’t know what’s going to be out there, so they invent monsters and scary beasts to keep you inside.

                          Nobody’s born with an instruction manual for life. Despite all the helpful advice from parents, teachers and elders, each of us must make our own way in the world, doing the best we can and quite often getting things wrong.

                          Messing up a few times isn’t that big a deal. But if you get scared and try to avoid all mistakes by sticking with just a few “tried and true” behaviors, you’ll miss out on most opportunities as well.

                          Advertising

                          Lots of people who suffer from boredom at work are doing it to themselves. They’re bored and frustrated because that’s what their choices have caused them to be. They’re stuck in ruts they’ve dug for themselves while trying to avoid making mistakes and taking risks. People who never make mistakes never make anything else either.

                          It’s time to pin down the habits that have become unconscious and are running your life for you, and get rid of them. Here’s how to do it:

                          1. Understand the Truth about Your Habits

                          They always represent past successes. You have formed habitual, automatic behaviors because you once dealt with something successfully, tried the same response next time, and found it worked again. That’s how habits grow and why they feel so useful.

                          To get away from what’s causing your unhappiness and workplace blues, you must give up on many of your most fondly held (and formerly successful) habits. and try new ways of thinking and acting. There truly isn’t any alternative. Those habits are going to block you from finding new and creative ideas. No new ideas, no learning. No learning, no access to successful change.

                          2. Do Something—Almost Anything—Differently and See What Happens

                          Even the most successful habits eventually lose their usefulness as events change the world and fresh responses are called for. Yet we cling on to them long after their benefit has gone.

                          Advertising

                          Past strategies are bound to fail sometime. Letting them become automatic habits that take the controls is a sure road to self-inflicted harm.

                          3. Take Some Time out and Have a Detailed Look at Yourself—With No Holds Barred

                          Discovering your unconscious habits can be tough. For a start, they’re unconscious, right? Then they fight back.

                          Ask anyone who has ever given up smoking if habits are tough to break. You’ve got used to them—and they’re at least as addictive as nicotine or crack cocaine.

                          4. Be Who You Are

                          It’s easy to assume that you always have to fit in to get on in the world; that you must conform to be liked and respected by others or face exclusion. Because most people want to please, they try to become what they believe others expect, even if it means forcing themselves to be the kind of person they aren’t, deep down.

                          You need to start by putting yourself first. You’re unique. We’re all unique, so saying this doesn’t suggest that you’re better than others or deserve more than they do.

                          Advertising

                          You need to put yourself first because no one else has as much interest in your life as you do; and because if you don’t, no one else will. Putting others second means giving them their due respect, not ignoring them totally.

                          Keeping up a self-image can be a burden. Hanging on to an inflated, unrealistic one is a curse. Give yourself a break.

                          5. Slow Down and Let Go

                          Most of us want to think of ourselves as good, kind, intelligent and caring people. Sometimes that’s true. Sometimes it isn’t.

                          Reality is complex. We can’t function at all without constant input and support from other people.

                          Everything we have, everything we’ve learned, came to us through someone else’s hands. At our best, we pass on this borrowed existence to others, enhanced by our contribution. At our worst, we waste and squander it.

                          Advertising

                          So recognize that you’re a rich mixture of thoughts and feelings that come and go, some useful, some not. There’s no need to keep up a façade; no need to pretend; no need to fear of what you know to be true.

                          When you face your own truth, you’ll find it’s an enormous relief. If you’re maybe not as wonderful as you’d like to be, you aren’t nearly as bad as you fear either.

                          The truth really does set you free; free to work on being better and to forgive yourself for being human; free to express your gratitude to others and recognize what you owe them; free to acknowledge your feelings without letting them dominate your life. Above all, you’ll be free to understand the truth of living: that much of what happens to you is no more than chance. It can’t be avoided and is not your fault. There’s no point in beating yourself up about it.

                          Final Thoughts

                          What is holding you in situations and actions that no longer work for you often isn’t inertia or procrastination. It’s the power of habitual ways of seeing the world and thinking about events. Until you can let go of those old, worn-out habits, they’ll continue to hold you prisoner.

                          To stay in your comfort zone through mere habit, or—worse still—to stay there because of irrational fears of what may lie outside, will condemn you to a life of frustration and regret.

                          If you can accept the truth about the world and yourself, change whatever is holding you back, and get on with a fresh view on life, you’ll find that single action lets you open the door of your self-imposed prison and walk free. There’s a marvelous world out there. You’ll see, if you try it!

                          More About Stepping Out of Comfort Zone

                          Featured photo credit: teigan rodger via unsplash.com

                          Read Next