Gentlemen, do you ever wish that you had more time in your day?
If so, have you asked yourself if you’re actually making the most out of your free time?
If you want to hit the next level in your life, it’s damn near a must to maximize your productivity and time efficiency. There are many steps needed to achieve these goals, and they all require a degree of focus and dedication.
In this article, I will teach you one of the cheapest and most effective ways to improve your productivity and time efficiency: listening to audiobooks in your downtime.
Additionally, I will teach you:
- How to get two audiobooks of any book for free.
- How to get your audiobooks as cheap as possible.
- Tricks of the Audible app — the best method of listening to audiobooks.
- A straight-forward learning method to maximize what you get out of each audiobook.
Read on and we’ll get started.
Why Audiobooks Are Awesome For Productivity, Learning, and Mindset
Audiobooks are incredible tools capable of teaching you new lessons and maximizing your time efficiency. As I have become practically obsessed with productivity over the past few years, I have become huge on listening to audiobooks with an Audible account that I started last year.
Audiobooks are awesome because they are:
- Cheap – For $14.95/month for Audible, you get an audiobook that will last you about a month on average. Without Audible, most audiobooks run between about $5 for short books to $30 for longer, more popular books.
- Cost-Efficient – Since audiobooks are dirt-cheap and give you access to invaluable information from any given expert, they are superior to almost anything you can spend your time and money on.
- Easy to Use – All you need is the free Audible app on your phone.
- Portable – You can take them anywhere and listen to an audiobook wherever and whenever you want.
- Downloadable – Once you download the audiobook, you don’t need to access the internet to listen to it.
- Time-Efficient – They are perfect to listen to while you are cooking, commuting, cleaning, or doing anything mundane that doesn’t require a lot of attention.
- Full of Valuable Information – You have access to top-tier information from experts in any subject imaginable.
- Beneficial to Your Mindset – Listening to an audiobook in your spare time sets your mind in the right direction. For instance, listening to a business book before your morning and evening commute helps you think in terms of business for the rest of your day.
In terms of both total cost and cost-per-benefit, listening to audiobooks reigns supreme over almost anything you can do.
You can listen to an expert on their respective subject spill out their wisdom during your daily commute. If you go through an audiobook each month, then you added twelve books each year to your repertoire of wisdom and knowledge.
The benefits that this will have on your life will be immense. For instance, if you wanted to start a business, you can listen to the top experts on business, economics, marketing, and advertising while you’re just commuting.
Imagine the amount of useful information you can accumulate that would dramatically help you one day build your business in the time that would have been wasted otherwise!
Audible Is The Cheapest and Easiest Way to Listen to a Lot of Audiobooks (And It Gives You Two Free Audiobooks)
If you listen to a lot of audiobooks, an Audible account is the best way to organize your audiobooks and save money.
Membership is $14.95 a month for an audiobook once a month, with 30% off of the next one if you get it the same month.
You also get two free audiobooks when you sign up here for a one-month free trial. Note that signing up requires you to put in your credit card information, but you won’t be charged if you cancel before the 30-day trial.
And here is a trick: even if you don’t pay for the Audible service after 30 days, you get two free audiobooks to keep just for signing up!
If you do not want to pay for the service, you only have to cancel after you download the audiobooks. Again, you can get two Audiobooks entirely for free this way, to keep forever.
If you like the Audible service, then you probably don’t want to cancel. Given the price of your standard Audiobook (the longer ones are typically between $18-$30), it’s a solid deal. Remember that if you want a second audiobook in a month, it’s 30% off.
And very importantly, remember that if you cancel your Audible subscription, you still own the books.
This means you aren’t forced to continue paying for it to use the books you own if you decide to cancel your membership. If you don’t want to pay for Audible every month, then download the books with your book credits before you cancel your membership. Then resume your account when you’re ready.
The final case for Audible is this: not only do you get two free audiobooks for signing up, but the price is virtually nothing compared to the value of the knowledge you will receive. The annual expense is just under $170 a year for expert-level knowledge on fourteen subjects. You probably pay more for a gym membership each year.
There are few better ways to invest yourself than this. This price is minuscule compared to the immense benefits you get listening to top-level information on any subject you desire.
Cool Tricks With The Audible App
When you sign up for Audible you will receive a link to download the app. You can also get it on Google Play or iTunes for free. Note that you don’t have to sign up for Audible to use the app; you can use it for any audiobook you purchase on Amazon.com.
The Audible app is simple and intuitive. Here is a video on how to use Audible for iPhone.
Since the app is pretty self-explanatory, I will only explain its more important features here.
You can rewind at intervals that you set in the app options. I recommend setting it to 15-second intervals. In the app, click the options button on the top-left, then click Settings then Playback settings. Then click on the interval for the jump back button. The default is 30 seconds.
The app also has a lot of free podcasts on various subjects as well, under the “Channels” option under the main options button at the top left of the app. Some of the podcasts are worth listening to, TED Talks, motivational stuff, diet and exercise, etc. Some of them are a waste of time. If you’re interested, I recommend finding whatever suits your interests.
There is also a car mode which makes the buttons easy to press while you are driving. Press the car button at the top of the app while the audiobook is playing. You can easily rewind, pause, or make a bookmark in the audiobook with this function.
One of the best features of Audible is the bookmarks. The bookmarks allow you to mark any important section so you can listen to it at any time in the future.
You can listen to the bookmark in 30-second intervals or just skip to the section of the book entirely. When you’re listening to the audiobook, just click the options/table of contents button at the top left, then click on “View Clips & Bookmarks.” You can send a 30-second clip of any bookmark to anyone you want with the share button under each bookmark.
If the audio recording is too fast or too slow, click the button at the top of the screen to change the speed. By default, it will say 1.00. This is a very useful feature if the speaker is not going at the pace that you would like.
The last notable option is the sleep timer. When you’re playing the audiobook itself, click the button on the top-right with the three dots, then click on “Sleep Timer.” If you want to listen to an audiobook while you fall asleep, this is the option for you.
How to Get The Most Use Out of Your Audible Audiobooks
Listening to an audiobook is good on its own, but you must be an active listener to get the most out of it.
It’s very common to eventually lose focus while listening to your audiobook. If this happens, you have to consciously focus back on the book or take a break. When you’re in an area or situation that stimulates your attention more than the book, it’s often best to turn the book off and listen to it later.
Most people find that their focus on any task dissipates after about 45-60 minutes. To maximize your productivity, a 15-minute break off is ideal when you feel that your attention is wearing thin. This interval of 45-60 minutes on/15 minutes off gives your brain a needed rest and it will help you consolidate the information you learned.
In addition to being an active listener, you must also be an active learner.
When you’re listening, you must identify the most important parts of the book. Bookmark the sections with the bookmark button for later review. Repeat any of the important lessons to yourself and put them in your own words.
Remember that you must verbalize in order to analyze. Elaboration of the concepts is critical to making the knowledge yours so that you can apply it to your own life.
If you can have a discussion about the content with another person, or even with yourself, then you will understand the content much better than if you only listen to the book and forget about it later.
Read this article to develop an efficient, easy-to-use system on how to thoroughly learn anything you’ve just heard and commit it to long-term memory.
If you want to write a lesson down, you can use a physical notepad or any notepad app. This is generally best done when you are reviewing your bookmarks.
I personally use Evernote to sync all my notes between my devices. It costs $40 a year if you want to use more than two devices. I also use Evernote to keep a personal journal, and I have individual notes for important lessons that I want to retain.
It’s important not to just listen to an audiobook once and forget about it. I recommend going back to the book again several times in the future, especially if it’s a particularly important or detailed book. Go through your highlights or bookmarks and/or review any notes you have written about the book as well and make sure everything important is committed to memory.
If you follow all of the tips above, I guarantee you will get the most out of your audiobook listening.
Let’s make one final note here. With many books, I have a hard copy or e-book version as well, so I can refer to it at any time. If the book has the “Matchmaker” feature on Amazon, they will let you purchase the e-book version for a much lower price than if you bought it standalone. This makes it easier to refer and highlight the sections of the book I want to go back to.
What Kinds of Books Are Best?
I recommend listening to an audiobook by an ambitious winner with a positive message, and/or an author who is an expert on the subject they are writing about.
Subjects such as nutrition, weight lifting, emotional intelligence, guns, self-defense, philosophy, history, are great as well, of course. Anything that is productive towards becoming a stronger and more intelligent man.
It’s hard to go wrong with any of these books.
While the word “hack” is heavily overused, listening to Audiobooks while you commute is an easy “life hack” that you can use to get much more out of your free time. They are extremely cheap given the incredible value they give back to you.
Here are some more resources you should find helpful:
Eight Fundamental Tips to Learn More Efficiently – This article will teach you how to learn. I link to this article all the time because it’s the most important articles you can read on Western Mastery.
Use This Straight-Forward Method to Learn Important Lessons More Efficiently – This article teaches you a straightforward method to remember what you’ve learned much better. This can be used for anything; audiobooks, regular books, a lesson you picked up in life, or anything else.
Lastly, here’s a free tutorial by Audible on how to use the app on the iPhone that was previously linked to in the article. It’s cheesy as hell, but it’s helpful.