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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.

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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?

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    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.

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    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.

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                        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 Finding Your Inside Time 10 Ways to Extend Laptop Battery Life Bob Parsons on His 16 Rules for Survival Free note taking templates and techniques

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                          Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                          Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                          You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                          Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                          1. Work on the small tasks.

                          When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                          Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                          2. Take a break from your work desk.

                          Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                          Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                          3. Upgrade yourself

                          Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                          The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                          4. Talk to a friend.

                          Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                          Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                          5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                          If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                          Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                          Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                          6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                          If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                          Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                          Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                          7. Read a book (or blog).

                          The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                          Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                          Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                          8. Have a quick nap.

                          If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                          9. Remember why you are doing this.

                          Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                          What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                          10. Find some competition.

                          Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                          Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                          11. Go exercise.

                          Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                          Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                          As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                          Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                          12. Take a good break.

                          Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                          Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                          Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                          Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                          More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                          Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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