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NOTABLE! Audiobooks - Reclaiming your time

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dknise

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Shit... We will gonna go down the rabbit hole with this one :D Probably not the topic of the thread.
Yeaaah I read too much into it. :rofl:
 

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richRich

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Have you played Rocket League on Casual or Steep? Pick any spot in Steep and the playing is on autopilot. Plenty of mental space to focus on something else.
is it how you calm down after a busy day? :)
 

richRich

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More and more I find the importance of being present in the moment and it is easier to be present when you put your whole effort in what you do at that moment. If I exercise I exercise if I eat I eat and when I learn I learn.
And like author mentioned usually people use audiobooks when they eat, exercise or do some other stuff. It is probably because of "be super effective, do 100 things at once, do more" bullshit. In my experience when you do stuff 100% you do it better and faster and you actually get more time, so by doing less, you do more, kinda :D
I personally have not experienced yet a full day of mindfulness in everything I do, but I totally believe that it can be extremely productive.

However, you may be able to train your mind to eat calmly and with enjoyment as well as at the same time to get deeply involved into a book that you listen.
Same with walking and listening.
By the way, have you heard of thoughtful meditation? Cal Newport speaks about meditating on a certain problem and solving it with a certain technique while walking.
Think Fast and Slow also describes how walking in your favourite rhythm can boost your brain power.
And while you could use that time to meditate and being mindful, you might miss out on some genius thoughts, learnings etc. that are hidden in audiobooks and in your own mind.

You will be mindful everyday anyway: while you are sleeping, so no fear of missing out the mindful part of your day ;)
 

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I personally have not experienced yet a full day of mindfulness in everything I do, but I totally believe that it can be extremely productive.

However, you may be able to train your mind to eat calmly and with enjoyment as well as at the same time to get deeply involved into a book that you listen.
Same with walking and listening.
By the way, have you heard of thoughtful meditation? Cal Newport speaks about meditating on a certain problem and solving it with a certain technique while walking.
Think Fast and Slow also describes how walking in your favourite rhythm can boost your brain power.
And while you could use that time to meditate and being mindful, you might miss out on some genius thoughts, learnings etc. that are hidden in audiobooks and in your own mind.

You will be mindful everyday anyway: while you are sleeping, so no fear of missing out the mindful part of your day ;)
I think it goes deeper than that. And yes, it is possible to be mindful with everything you do, although if you need to train and training is better one step at a time :) Mindfulness is not the final goal, the final goal is to "meet yourself", which mindfulness is only a door to :) But then again... Aren't we going the wrong route in this topic? :D
 

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A zen monk in Japan told me: If you try to be mindful all the time, you will be exhausted because it is hard work. I was also trying to be mindful all day long (kind of) and what he said rings true. However that being said I do feel is good to apply single tasking to some activities such as eating a meal or buying groceries.

Back to the topic, do you normally take notes while you listen? or you do it after you finished the audiobook?
 

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One of the things I love about The Millionaire Fastlane is that it's the book MJ said he would have wanted to be handed that day at the ice cream shop.

One of the many things I wish I had stumbled upon earlier in life is audiobooks.

I've been trying to read a book a week for the last ten years. I've done pretty well at that, but it's hard. You have to find the time to read. I would try and read with my head hunched over into my phone while reading a book on kindle walking to lunch. I would try and read while going to bed and fall asleep doing so (which has to be great for retention rates). I would try and read while doing cardio at the gym. I even tried it on a tablet. I did a lot of trying over those years.
You do know audio books have existed since I was a teenager. lol They were just on CD, Casette Tape, and VHS.

Since I got on the audiobook train, I've been reading two books a week without even trying.

Driving to work? I listen to an audiobook.
Go to lunch? I listen to an audiobook.
Drive home from work? I listen to an audiobook.
Cook dinner? I listen to an audiobook.
Taking out the trash? I listen to an audiobook.
Cleaning up my cat's shit? I listen to an audiobook.
Taking a break from life and playing a video game (Rocket League or Steep!)? I listen to an audiobook.

According to my app's stats, I somehow find an extra 15 hours each week to read. That's 15 hours I used to spend on stupid mundane aspects of life that I've turned into a learning opportunity.

I use Audible with a Platinum membership and re-up at about $9.50 a book. I have the wireless Galaxy Icon X headphpones and got the new Galaxy Buds with my S10+, so I'm fully untethered. At the pace I read at, I typically get through about two books a week, or 80-120 books a year. This makes it possible to read nearly everything that people are talking about. Principles by Ray Dalio? Got it. Measure What Matters to learn about OKRs? No problem. Simon Sinek? Sure there was his TED talk, but do you know about Leaders Eat Last? Market Wizards who? Bullshit stories that all success is luck by Malcolm Gladwell? Mmhmm.

Ultimately, it ends up being a $1000 investment a year to turn your 780 mundane hours of life into a learning opportunity. Would you invest $1.28 an hour to improve your life?

I do.
 
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Back to the topic, do you normally take notes while you listen? or you do it after you finished the audiobook?
I hit pause on my headphones and use the Audible app to take a note at that spot. If the book is dense enough to warrant a kindle copy, I often review the notes and find them in text to reread the passages. Mindset, Principles, and TMF as several books I have audio and text with notes in both.
 

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I love audiobooks, but I find is that if I’m listening to an audiobook, I tend to get distracted or daze off and realized I haven’t been paying attention for the past few minutes!
Ha Ha, I'm like that as well. Love audiobooks in concept, but when I multitask with them (driving, treadmill, etc.) I tend to lose focus. Guess it really is a case-by-case basis and doing what works for you.
 

richRich

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Back to the topic, do you normally take notes while you listen? or you do it after you finished the audiobook?
In my early audiobook days I tried to take notes inside the audible app, but I literally never came back to them again. It's kind of unhandy to revise audio notes..

Now I just pause the app and take a note, either just a quick sole one or as a part of a list when a book bursts with relevant information

At the end of the week I sort all my notes wherever they belong, so the audiobook notes are a part of my overall system.

I also have a list of books I read with their start and end date. Usually when I add the end date, I'll mentally go through the book from beginning to end and write down my key takeaways that I remember at this point into that very list.
 

Jaden Jones

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Audiobooks changed my life, just listening on my drive has allowed me to learn so much more. My second audiobook was actually unscripted. (my first was How to win friends)


That being said, which are your favorite audiobooks?
Grant Cardone does his own audiobooks and they are awesome, hes super engaging to listen to. Another good one is "crushing it", he add libs a lot in it, which I think adds a lot.
 

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I used to commute to my job on bus and that allowed about an hour. Sometimes I just go joy riding on the highway and listen for hours and then drive back. I listen in the shower daily, but the only crappy part is I can't bookmark a section I like, so I usually go back and re-listen.

I have a few personal rules when I use audible:
- I ALWAYS read a book at least twice if it's remotely good. (Isaacson's book on DaVinci for example sucks. Didn't even get halfway. His Steve Jobs bio was great though.)
- I never speed it up. I want full comprehension.
- I never read fiction. It's a waste of time. Battles in imaginary kingdoms? No thanks. I'll watch a movie if I wanted to consume that type of content.
 

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MakeItHappen

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Audiobooks can be helpful as you can use them in situations in which you
couldn't read a normal book.

However, I have found that usually the books that can be read easily via
audibook are usually "shallow" books that have one main idea and books
that keep repeating themselves.

I am not sure if many of these books are worth reading in the first place.
A quick summary of such books should do.

Just imagine listening to @MJ DeMarco 's Unscripted just via audiobook...
I couldn't do that. So much knowledge would be lost.

Here is what I have found to be helpful to make audiobooks work:
1.
When I use audiobooks I will take bookmarks for sections that are interesting.
-> I will relisten or these sections when I am not busy doing the dishes etc.
and I take notes.
2. Some books are so much gold that you want to reread them from time to time.
-> Audiobooks are helpful for that!
3. Listen to audiobook first than read the book. This helps me to read the book a lot faster.
-> As you kinda know the book you know which parts you can skip and which party you
should read thoroughly.
-> As you read the book 2 times you also remember more of the content. And as you listen
to the audiobook at "deadtimes" when you to repetitive stuff I find this to be useful.

Hope this helps someone.
 

Olimac21

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Audiobooks can be helpful as you can use them in situations in which you
couldn't read a normal book.

However, I have found that usually the books that can be read easily via
audibook are usually "shallow" books that have one main idea and books
that keep repeating themselves.

I am not sure if many of these books are worth reading in the first place.
A quick summary of such books should do.

Just imagine listening to @MJ DeMarco 's Unscripted just via audiobook...
I couldn't do that. So much knowledge would be lost.

Here is what I have found to be helpful to make audiobooks work:
1.
When I use audiobooks I will take bookmarks for sections that are interesting.
-> I will relisten or these sections when I am not busy doing the dishes etc.
and I take notes.
2. Some books are so much gold that you want to reread them from time to time.
-> Audiobooks are helpful for that!
3. Listen to audiobook first than read the book. This helps me to read the book a lot faster.
-> As you kinda know the book you know which parts you can skip and which party you
should read thoroughly.
-> As you read the book 2 times you also remember more of the content. And as you listen
to the audiobook at "deadtimes" when you to repetitive stuff I find this to be useful.

Hope this helps someone.
I actually listened to Unscripted and never got the physical copy lol I agree with your points sometimes it is difficult to get all the ideas with the audiobook, however I am listening these days when I am doing shallow work at my workplace and it is amazing because I save a lot of time.
 

Gamefan

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Just imagine listening to @MJ DeMarco 's Unscripted just via audiobook...
I couldn't do that. So much knowledge would be lost.
Hmmm... Can't say I agree with that. That's pretty fixed mindset and assumes everyone is like you. I'm currently 5 hours in and remember mostly everything he says, even down to his story about "dickhead Ed". My favorite section so far is the chapter regarding No Shortcuts.
 
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Mattie

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Ha Ha, I'm like that as well. Love audiobooks in concept, but when I multitask with them (driving, treadmill, etc.) I tend to lose focus. Guess it really is a case-by-case basis and doing what works for you.
I used to listen to them before I went to bed. You remember things better before you fall asleep.
 

rjrobbins2

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I avoided audiobooks for a long time just liked I did ebooks. Then, I listened to World War Z which has a full cast and was completely sold. It kind of spoiled me though and the narrator breaks or makes the book. I often start listening to some and quit because the narrater just doesn't have the ability I seek. For fiction, this is more important. I want someone who does voices for characters and acts out the story. I listen to a lot more fiction audiobooks because if I get distracted I can still figure out what I missed.

For non-fiction, I need a narrator who is a good storyteller or has a great voice. Seth Godin reads his own books and does a great job at it. The guy who does Brandon Webb's books is another who sticks out. For non-fiction to stick with me, it needs to be a book that uses stories as a teaching method. For example, behavioral economics books like Freakonomics or Malcolm Gladwell's books.
 

enkay

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I love audiobooks.

The main downside is that it's harder to go back and reference specific parts of the book in the future. With a physical book it's easier to bookmark a page or find the passage you want to review. Audible chapters used to not even have names, but that's been improving with some of the more recent and popular books. Still nowhere as good as physical books in that aspect however.

The other downside is that some books are great, but the narrator is awful which makes it pretty hard to enjoy the book. Some authors should not read their own books, and some narrators should not be narrators!

Audiobooks work best for me when driving long distance, cooking, or doing any type of household task (laundry, dishes, cleaning, taking out the trash etc).
 

Dmoneyzzz

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Truly a motivating post here! I too remember when I discovered Audible & realized I had to pay a monthly subscription to have the convenience of listening to books wherever. On top of that, I would pretty much have to buy the books (after the free credit) & pay the subscription.

For almost a year, I justified not being a sub because I absolutely despised recurring bills however one day I did the trial and I've been a member ever since.

You just cannot beat having good wisdom at your "ear-tips" with a great audiobook. One of my best discoveries yet in life is the power of our libraries! Audiobooks are awesome!
 
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Truly a motivating post here! I too remember when I discovered Audible & realized I had to pay a monthly subscription to have the convenience of listening to books wherever. On top of that, I would pretty much have to buy the books (after the free credit) & pay the subscription.

For almost a year, I justified not being a sub because I absolutely despised recurring bills however one day I did the trial and I've been a member ever since.

You just cannot beat having good wisdom at your "ear-tips" with a great audiobook. One of my best discoveries yet in life is the power of our libraries! Audiobooks are awesome!
I never blinked at the price, but I've found that I can never convince anyone to pay for books. I have a couple friends who always pull the "lucky" card on me and ask me how to improve their lives, I always tell them to read through audiobooks. They always say they have no time and I am always busier than they are. So their go to at that point is "40 bucks a month for four books isn't worth it." *as they pay their $60 bar tab.*
 

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I love audiobooks, but I find is that if I’m listening to an audiobook, I tend to get distracted or daze off and realized I haven’t been paying attention for the past few minutes!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
This - I listen to audiobooks in the car, but nothing deep - multitasking is a myth. If it’s something good, it’s worth giving your undivided attention to.
 

Andy Bell

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Agreed! Some books would be terrible in audio format. For example, any book that is highly dependent on diagrams, samples, or math, isn't cut out for the audio format. Others, such as Principles, are methodically laid out as a resource you should look back on. For those, I also pick up the Kindle edition.
Reading Grant Cardone Obsession right now and funny enough he mentions, dont read hundreds of books and get lost in all that information read a few books and turn those books into your bible and reread them again and again until that information is second nature...funny enough obsession wasent my favorite book it was more of a motivational rant (hiring section was gold though lots of notes)
 

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persistencyiskey

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I read roughly 2-3 self-help books per month depending on the size of the book (30 min to an hour daily reading). Originally started with paperbacks, then finally made the move to the kindle/e-books and absolutely love it and the ability to highlight, quickly define words, etc. It's made my vocabulary expand and I can also export all of the highlighted notes via email.

I also write notes as I read, or at the end of each chapter, as it's absolutely essential to take notes while reading self-help books (take notes on that for those who don't take notes!)

Anyway, I've never tried out audiobooks because I've always felt like I'll get too easily distracted (seems like some others in this thread have the same concern) and totally forget what the person speaking was just saying.

How do you combat this?

Even if I'm just sitting down and listening with no distractions in sight, I'll probably go on my own thought path more likely than not every so often...

I'm definitely open to trying, as I want to consume more information and knowledge (aka read way more books), and have been trying to look into ways to speed up my reading (but then I just don't process the information as well and begin to rush).

I'm mostly concerned with retaining the info, as what's the point of reading it if you're not going to actually absorb it and then apply what you like into your life!?

For those avid audiobook listeners, what's the most optimal route to take here?

Thanks.
 

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Ha Ha, I'm like that as well. Love audiobooks in concept, but when I multitask with them (driving, treadmill, etc.) I tend to lose focus. Guess it really is a case-by-case basis and doing what works for you.
I actually find this a powerful aspect of Audiobooks - I can tune out and tune in as the material quality waxes and wanes. With paper, when it gets dull - I stop reading it and never return.

Whereas because I am doing something else I can ride out the less interesting bits. I have finished various books, with value received in later chapters that I know I would have not made it through in print.

As a very early Audible subscriber (and CD and even tape - some of us remember them - listener) I've consumed a good couple of thousand books this way. Almost all in the car, or on a ride-mower - neither of which would have allowed any print consumption.

Like someone else noted I try 2-2.25 and work back down to whatever is necessary for the narrator and material.
 

Nigel B

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I read roughly 2-3 self-help books per month depending on the size of the book (30 min to an hour daily reading). Originally started with paperbacks, then finally made the move to the kindle/e-books ...
As noted above, I find my brain can keep track of the quality of what is being narrated and tunes back in when the material is useful. Very occasionally I will relisten to a book and find I missed a really important concept - but I'd say that was less than 10 books of, literally, a couple of thousand of a 20 year period.

Also Audiobooks are much better before bed (as are print) than eReaders, tablets, etc. due to the lack of blue-light emissions which will negatively impact sleep quality.
 

persistencyiskey

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As noted above, I find my brain can keep track of the quality of what is being narrated and tunes back in when the material is useful. Very occasionally I will relisten to a book and find I missed a really important concept - but I'd say that was less than 10 books of, literally, a couple of thousand of a 20 year period.

Also Audiobooks are much better before bed (as are print) than eReaders, tablets, etc. due to the lack of blue-light emissions which will negatively impact sleep quality.

When do you take notes (if at all)?
 

Aleks-i

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I absolutely agree that audiobooks are the shit!

With that being said, it's fine to just focus on whatever the F*ck it is you're doing instead of constantly try to get that million dollar idea or whatever it is you think you're doing by listening to an audiobook, you know. Calm the F*ck down - you don't need to consume all the info in the world in order to be successful.

A dating coach guru even pretended that it's so important to learn and listen to an audiobook even when waiting to get off the plane or whatever. No it's not. MOST successful people don't even consume that much information from everyone anyway, after a while it becomes pretty trivial and the same success principles are just rephrased in the next book.
 
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Most of the fortune 500 CEOs read about 60 books a year. A little more than one a week. The only work related book I've read that is dense is Principles by Ray Dalio. I've read a lot of books on leadership and most of them could have been summed up by a blog post. I am also a software engineer, so I'm used to picking up 1000 page, physical books, completely packed full of information, and digesting it over the course of a two week period.

I also look at it this way. Your brain is a pattern recognition machine, specifically the neo-cortex. As you feed your brain information, it strengthens neural pathways through myelin generation, which improves synaptic performance. It typically takes five repetitions to commit something to memory. So, your brain is going to change with or without your conscious input throughout the day. If you can make those moments count, do.
 
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I'm definitely open to trying, as I want to consume more information and knowledge (aka read way more books), and have been trying to look into ways to speed up my reading (but then I just don't process the information as well and begin to rush).

I'm mostly concerned with retaining the info, as what's the point of reading it if you're not going to actually absorb it and then apply what you like into your life!?

For those avid audiobook listeners, what's the most optimal route to take here?

Thanks.
I feel like focus and focal points are things that we train our brain to do.

Watching Game of Thrones with groups of friends, I'm surprised at just how many people when watching the show in a dedicated environment, wander off into their own thoughts. In this last episode, we had to rewind because multiple people missed the climax... while they were staring at the screen... similar things happen if we go to see a movie. It's like people now have collective ADD.

If I am having trouble focusing, one tactic I use is inner voice reflection. As you hear the words of the book, immediately repeat them using your inner voice. For a similar duality, notice the different between reading some text and reading some text out loud. For me, I notice both my inner and outer voices when I read out loud. This is the same idea used to initiate meditation by practicing mindfulness on breathing.

Final tip on multitasking is that multitasking reduces the effectiveness of each task. That's why it's important to only multitask with two things, where one is active and the other is passive (instinctual). I also find it necessary for these tasks to use two different senses. For instance, walking requires very low levels of physical and visual focus. Most of us do this instinctually. Reading a book while walking also uses physical and visual focus, so it makes for a poor combo, but listening to a book while walking uses a different set of senses and is easier to coordinate.

Going deeper, I really do not advocate for listening to audiobooks for passive tasks. If you are driving to work on the same route you always take, your brain will be in a very passive mode. If you are driving into an unfamiliar part of town with Google Maps narrating where to go, you are not in a passive state, you are in a very mentally active state and should not multitask with an audiobook. If you're cooking a meal you've always known where your body does the motions, an audiobook is great. Trying out a new recipe while reading ingredients or preparing a large meal with multiple dishes for a group of people likely will take your full attention span.

For me, I've found about 15 hours a week where my mind and body are on autopilot doing tasks that require low to no level of active involvement. Those are the moments I try to capture as learning opportunities. If I have a busy week full of new things, that number drops, sometimes to as low as a few hours. If I find myself dreading the moment as wasted time or am completely bored, it's probably an opportunity. I no longer mind spending time cleaning up my cats shit or doing some dishes.

Finally, mindset plays a huge role. Some people are reading as a means to ends to try and make a million dollars. I read because I am genuinely interested in the topics. I want to learn about leadership. I want to grow as a person for personal fulfillment. I am interested in listening to a book on futurism where I imagine a post-scarcity world, that's exciting. If you're only listening as a means to an ends when you would rather be listening to a morning talk show or music, your interests aren't aligning with what you want to focus on.
 
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ivan i

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I’ve only ever used audiobooks to read, since I’ve never had the attention span to sit down and read for an hour or so a day. I really like listening to audiobooks since it feels less like you’re reading a book, and more like listening to somebody teach you insightful things about life. Plus I have the ability to multitask while I listen, which is pretty nice
 

rjrobbins2

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I also want to mention that libraries usually have large amounts of audiobooks on disc and many have large digital libraries too. Plus, there are both Libby and Overdrive which give you access to thousands of audiobooks with a library card.

I also suggest The Great Courses and A Very Short Introduction series are more like lectures by some world's top minds.
 

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