Reading books is one of the best things you can do for your personal development. But how can we find the time?
Here’s how to “read” an extra 1.5 to 2 hours every day, without taking any additional time out of your schedule:
- Get a smartphone or small tablet like an iPad mini, if you don’t already have one. Get some bluetooth headphones or earbuds too while you’re at it.
- Sign up for Audible.com: start with 1 credit a month until you get the listening habit going. (Protip: search for a coupon in Google to get a deal).
- Download the Audible app for your device.
- Buy an audiobook with your credit each month. Here are three recommendations: The Willpower Instinct will give you practical tools for changing your habits, The Shallows will motivate you to read and spend less time online, and Spark will motivate you to exercise.
- Exercise 30+ minutes a day, 5-7 days a week. You should be doing this anyway. If you aren’t doing any exercise, you can start with walking.
- Listen to an audiobook at between 1.5x and 2x speed while exercising for 30 minutes = 45-60 minutes of “reading.” Personally I find 1.5x speed is best for most books, 2x speed is a little too fast.
- Find another 30 minutes a day to listen at 1.5 – 2x speed: while commuting, while making breakfast, cleaning up around the house, etc.
Done! You now “read” for 90 minutes to 2 hours every day. Many audible books range from 6-12 hours in length, so at 1.5 – 2 hours a day, you’ll get through about a book a week. Don’t be afraid to re-listen to a particularly good book.
Why would you want to do this? Because reading is an excellent way to become smarter, and intellectual growth is a key aspect of your personal growth. Books are high-quality sources of information, much higher than television or social media.
People who read even just one book a month will have read 120 books in 10 years. That’s 120 books more than people who don’t read books at all. If you listen to a book a week, that’s 52 books a year, or 520 books in 10 years! 10 years are going to go by either way.
I’ve recently started doing this again and it works beautifully and keeps me intellectually developing. If I try to do more than an hour of listening time (1.5 – 2 hours “reading” time), it makes me feel too busy though, so find the amount of time that works well for you.
Try it, you might like it.