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: http://www.spreeder.com/app.php
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.