High Speed Listening

Do you have a university in your car? Do you listen to audio material when on the train or bus to work? How many books did you consume to last year? What field would you like to grow your expertise in?

If you are like me, you have a commute to work. Mine happens to be quite long as unaffordable house pricing in Vancouver means I live well over an hour outside the city. 

So, how do I hack this? 

Firstly, having an audible.com account allows me to select a fairly broad offering of business, leadership, strategy and fiction listening. Listening to audio books allows me to maximize my time, almost as a form of meditation on my commute (whether I take the train to our head office or drive out to our 20,000 sq. ft. prototype facility). I can generally get through one to two books a week this way. (More thoughts on books can be found HERE).

Secondly, the audible app on my phone allows me to listen to audiobooks at high speed (2X or 3X normal speed) without it sounding like chipmunks. This forces me to focus on the content with the added benefit that I can get through far more books in the same span. 

There are of course some limitations. Not all the books I want to consume are available as audio. I save the hardcopy books that are not in the format I want for my evening reading. Some books are technical and requires the listening speed to be slowed to 1.5X.

For me the toughest part of double speed (or higher) listening practice is that in comparison, I now find regular speed audio sounds like drunken slurring, and that not everyone appreciates my preference of watching movies at double speed on family movie night at home.

Article Written by Peter Holgate
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