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Get Smarter and Happier with Zero Time Investment: The Power of Audio

One of the key differences between an average performer and a top performer is that top performers are always improving their knowledge. Continuous education often is associated with attending a course or reading a physical book but one of the most powerful methods of learning in my opinion is audio. Audiobooks, podcasts and audio based lectures are some of my favourite ways to engage in topics I am interested in for both for entertainment and learning. The beautiful part of audio is that it does not require you to stop doing something else to consume it. As opposed to a book, video or class and many other methods of information consumption you don't have to schedule it into your day.

Audio can be consumed while exercising, cooking, cleaning, commuting and even while working if you are doing a low level task. This is a great way to leverage time spent doing things you would have done anyways while you are learning and being entertained.

Podcasts

The best way to consume podcasts on iOS is an app called Overcast. The reason for this choice is the simple and effective interface and a feature called "Smart Speed" which intelligently removes empty space during audio which over time saves you a substantial amount of time allowing you to listen to more content in less time.

overcast_smart_speed

Smart Speed has saved me over 7 hours.

Audiobooks

For buying and listening to Audiobooks there is no question that Audible is the best place to go. If you haven't heard of or used Audible yet than I highly suggest you check out out right now. They have audiobooks on every topic imaginable from fiction or non-fiction, fantasy novels to academic lectures.

Audible app on IOS.

Audible app on iOS.

Text to Speech

Another option for taking advantage of the power of audio is text to speech.When I see a an article I want to read but don't have the time to properly digest it I use services such as Pocket or Instapaper. Many of these apps have TTS (Text To Speech) options and sometimes your phone or desktop operating system also have the feature built-in. This feature brings the convenience of audio to your standard article and also have the ability to adjust speaking speeds to get through the articles more quickly.

pocket_TTS

Pocket's Text to Speech Feature.

 

Do you know any other ways to take advantage of time we are already using> Let me know in the comments.

Neil Bryan
IT Consultant & Technical Trainer
Neil Bryan is an IT consultant and technical trainer specializing in VMware, Citrix and Microsoft virtualization and infrastructure.

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