I remember the moment a friend of me handed me my first audio training program.
“Listen to this”, he said. “I think you’ll really like it!”
He was right. This one audio program changed my entire approach to learning, reading and the way I consume content.
The audio program my friend gave me was Personal Power II, by Tony Robbins. This audio training has been on sale for over 30 years now and has certainly impacted more lives than just my own. However, for me, it opened my eyes, and ears, to the idea of learning through another medium other than reading.
At this point, getting audio learning content was not easy. Books had yet to begin the transformation into the audiobook, and it would be years until podcasting really got started.
This led me to listen to some programs over and over, almost to the point that I would be ready to step into any of the speaker’s shoes if they ever fell ill. The depth of many of these programs allowed you to pick out something different each time you listened, and the repetition helped the content and ideas really sink in.
My travel time changed from listening to the radio to an opportunity to learn something new. My car became a “university on wheels” as Brian Tracy suggested, and as I tended to drive quite a lot, I got the chance to learn a lot too.
Over the years, the opportunity for audio learning has developed significantly.
My Audible subscription is my commitment to continuing my audio learning journey, ensuring that I “read” at least one book per month.
I also go through podcasts at an alarming rate, finding these bite-size audio sessions require a little less attention and are perfect for a short flight or commute.
Get Started With Audio Learning
If you are interested in taking advantage of audio learning, here are a few tips I would recommend.
Get an Audible Subscription
Every month, I get an email from Audible saying I have a new credit available. This is my cue to go browsing in the limitless depth that is the Audible catalogue.
Fortunately for me, the audiobooks are nicely arranged into categories, so it is easy to find books on psychology, or business building or occasionally a biography. Each title features ratings and reviews, helping you make your choice if you aren’t too sure which to go for.
One tip I have is to use your credits to buy larger books. A subscription is £7.99 per month, and books can cost anywhere from a couple of pounds to around £30. If you are buying with a credit, Audible doesn’t care if the book costs £1 or £100, so be sure to spend your credit wisely. If you like something at the cheaper end of the scale, just pay the extra for it and use your credit for something else. Think of it as bonus content for the month.
Install the Audible app and you can then download anything purchased in Audible to listen to later. The app automatically updates to show purchases, so just download them when you are on wifi.
If I look back through my purchases, I can highly recommend the below titles:
If you haven’t yet got an Audible account, click here to get your first month for free. You can thank me later by recommending your favourite books below!
Download a Podcast Player
Personally, I use an app called Podcast Player (click here to find the app on Google Play). I like this one as I can subscribe to my favourite podcasts and download episodes to listen to offline (such as underground on the tube or on a flight). I’m sure there are other podcast players that do this as well, but I find this one easy to use and it has a good number of positive reviews.
If you want to know where to start, check out the great personal development podcasts below:
– Tim Ferriss Show
– Lewis Howes – School of Greatness
– Brendon Burchard – High-Performance Habits
(If you use Podcast Player, just use the search function and type the name into the search bar. This will allow you to subscribe to all future episodes.)
Change to 1.5x Speed
If you are short on time, or happy listening to people speaking a little faster than normal, change the playback speed. At 1.5x speed, you can clearly hear all the content and you get through content 33% faster. (1 hour of audio will take 40 minutes at 1.5x speed!). I have experimented at higher speeds, but whilst you can still comprehend the content, I find I don’t retain ideas as well as at 1.5x speed. Plus, I do occasionally listen to fiction, and you don’t always want to rush through those books as fast as possible.
I hope you take advantage of the incredible amount of benefits that arise from audio learning. Seriously, this will allow you to dramatically increase the amount of content you are able to download. There are far more opportunities to listen to content than there are to read, and often the cognitive load of reading limits the amount of time we are able to spend in a book anyway. Find a way to include more audio learning, audiobooks and podcasts into your everyday life and you will soon start to see the benefits.
If you want more productivity tips, check out my productivity hacks blog post here.