In 2020, I had a peculiar context where I had to guzzle tons of information everyday for almost 180 days in a row. Speed was key. Necessity pushed me to do things differently.
I accidentally stumbled upon speed listening and ended up embracing it fully.
I started with 1.25X and pushed it all the way to 2.5X. It felt weird to even try but looking back that was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I achieved 2x more than what I normally would. I was surprised how my brain handled the speed and comprehension at ease. Podcasts, Audible and YouTube became my go to learning sources. I strongly suggest you to give it a try with an open mind. Do not conclude even before trying.
Here are some tips for beginners:
- Start slow. From 1x bump it to 1.25X and slowy ramp it up. You will not even notice a difference because we speak slower than we read.
- Don't speed up in the beginning. Let speeding up be a gradual process.
- Use headphones and your focus gets better.
- Read and listen at the same time. It feels even better. I loved audible + physical book combination.
- Ensure you have minimal distractions during active listening. It gets difficult to concentrate otherwise.
- There is no hard and fast rule that you must listen everything at 2x. Depending upon the material adjust speed accordingly. Remember 1.25x > 1x.
- Comprehension >> Speed. The minute your comprehension suffers reduce the speed. Adjust on the go.
- Do it in chunks. Listen 10 mins at a time. Reflect and jot down key insights. Retention gets deeper.
- Our brains handle speed very well. When there is a challenge it works better. Push it and you will be surprised how well it works.
- Our human system is highly adaptable. In less than 10 days you will get used to speed listening.
When you embrace speed listening, you will feel a sense of acheivement because your consumption gets higher and time cost gets lower. The compounding is unreal.
I must warn you that you might not like slow speakers anymore 🙈 These days i ask for meeting recordings and save my actual time.
Your time is precious. Spend it wisely. We might not have more time but we can at-least try to utilise time better, isn't it?
🥂 to speed!