Consume Information Quicker (Efficiency Hack #3)

Efficiency Hack #2: Consume Information Quicker

Last week I introduced the first efficiency hack: reclaim your downtime. As I said, this has been huge for me. To take that even further, combine it with this.

This hack is about consuming information faster (whether you’re reclaiming your downtime or for any other time too).

I have heard several times in the past about speed reading, watching movies faster and listening to audio at x2 or x3 speed, but never really tried any thinking it wouldn’t read, sound or look right.

But guess what? It really works well.

I haven’t really explored the speed reading or watching videos faster in great depth, but something that has worked really really well for me is listening to podcasts at x2 speed. It takes no getting used to at all and is a great way of getting more information in less time.

One day a week I work on renovating a house, during which time I can consume about 16 hours of podcasts whilst doing 8 hours of manual work.

Plus: It’s really easy to listen to anything on your iPod or iPhone at x2 speed (I don’t think this works on the iPod shuffle though). Just tap the screen on the right hand side near the top in the ‘Now Playing’ screen and you’ll get a little blue button which allows you to switch between listening at .5, x1 and x2 speed.

Try listening to a few podcasts at x2 speed and you’ll see – it’s great.

Now when I listen to podcasts at x1 speed it sounds too slow and I wish they’d just get on with it 😉

As I said, for me at the moment this is mainly about consuming more podcast info in less time, but if you want to train yourself to read faster, here is a free online app that a friend pointed me to:

I’m sure a quick google search will reveal many more you could choose from though and I bet the iPad and IPhone have lots of apps for this kind of thing.

Caveat: There’s a time and place for efficiency and also for taking it easy so use these hacks when you need them, otherwise remember, sometimes downtime should just be downtime.

Next Efficiency Hack: Resources Master
Previous Efficiency Hack: Reclaim Your Downtime


Consume Information Quicker (Efficiency Hack #3) — 4 Comments

    • Awesome, I haven’t graduated up to video yet, I just do audio.

      I could see educational videos – particularly video scribes (even faster!) and presentations being good this way.

  1. I haven’t had much experience listening to podcasts at a faster speed. Well, that’s mostly because I don’t listen to many podcasts. But I can see how it would work. From some of the ones I’ve listened to there are silent moments in between when people are speaking. That’s just empty space when you’re not getting information. I can see this working as long as you can keep up with the pace.

    • Hey Steve,

      it’s actually really amazing how easy it is to listen to anyone’s voice on double speed. Not only the fact that there are gaps like you say, but 2x speed is not crazy fast as you might expect but still very easy to listen to.

      I listen to all podcasts at 2x speed now. I don’t think I could ever do it for video or music though 😉

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