Learning is one of the most important activities you can do in order to grow, and for creators that’s essencial. But sometimes you might feel like you don’t have enough time in the day to learn new things, right?
But what if you could learn on your transitional moments? What if you could learn while cooking, cleaning or going on your way to work?
This is how…
Learn by listening to audio content
This is the absolute key in order to leverage your transitional moments. The way to go is to listen to audio content while performing tasks that don’t require mental power, such as running and cleaning dishes.
I believe this concept is really powerful, and I can feel its impact on my own life quite loudly.
Let me tell you why.
Until some months ago, I had a job far away from my home, which made me spend quite some time on trips, back and forth. Besides that, I had to make sure to perform my domestic obligations, like cooking and cleaning.
At the end of the day, I only had like 2 or 3 hours to work on my projects or to learn new things, which was not enough.
That was the case until my brother got some bluetooth earbuds which allowed him to listen to podcasts while moving. I knew immediately that I had to get some for myself and ordered some crappy earbuds on Gearbest.
Now I was able to learn constantly, to get more ideas from other people and to absorb more information overall!
Now, what to listen to?
Listening to podcasts can be a great activity if you want to learn from other people’s experiences and points of view on a short period of time. The content tends to focus on few specific topics and is usually on point, due to its short duration nature.
Even though there are a lot of podcast formats out there, my preference lies on interviews.
If you are focusing on self-development and/or enterpreneurship, I strongly recommend Impact Theory.
This podcast explores the mindsets of the world’s highest achievers to learn their secrets of success. And their mission is quite interesting: to give us the tools and knowledge to bring out our true potential.
Now, that’s something I can get behind!
For me, this podcast is the core of my listening since it introduces more people to listen to. Tim Ferriss, Jay Shetty and Gary Vaynerchuk are good examples of interesting personalities that I got to know due to Impact Theory.
And you know what? These people also have amazing content out there for you to leverage, like books, videos, podcasts… And probably you will find more people to listen to from those.
Do you get the idea?
So my advice is for you to find podcasts that are in line with your interests and dive in on those!
Books were the main source of knowledge for mankind for a long time, so I believe that everyone understand the power of a good book. But if you are like me, chances are that you are not reading as often as you would like to, right?
Enter Audiobooks, the solution for people that don’t read enough conventional books because of… well, reading.
There are a lot of audiobooks out there that deserve your attention and can provide you a lot of perspectives, ideas and lessons.
For me, the interesting part about this kind of media is its long and structured format, which allows you to dive deep on the author’s mind.
Nowadays, I do all my audiobook listening on Audible, an Amazon app that offers the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks.
Audible has a crazy collection of professionally-narrated audiobooks in any genre for you to get your hands into. Believe me, the book you are thinking right now is probably on Audible!
Personally, I go for non-fictional books that can bring me more knowledge and ideas regarding subjects that interest me.
On that note, currently I’m quite interested on enterpreneurship and online marketing since, well, you have to put your work in front of people in order for it to get some eyeballs. For these topics, I recommend The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynurchuk and Start With Why by Simon Sinek.
If you are interested in this service, you can sign up for a 30 days free trial and get one audiobook for free FOREVER!
And if you are sceptic about the audiobook format (“I mean, listening to people reading? Lame…”) you have this great opportunity to try it out and then cancel if you don’t like it.
Everyone knows the usefulness of Youtube on this day and age. You can access an enormous amount of useful content on this platform for free.
Even though the benefits of using Youtube are insane, the official mobile app doesn’t feature background playback, which is a requirement for you to be on the move with your phone in your pocket.
There are some sketchy solutions out there to solve this problem, but the most relevant solution for me is Youtube Vanced.
This free app is an overall better version of Youtube, with a lot of cool features like the mentioned background playback, the possibility to watch a video (through a tiny window) while doing something else on your phone, and more.
If it wasn’t for this app, I wouldn’t use Youtube as much as I do on my phone, for sure.
Lets talk about headphones
Now that you have an idea of what to listen, let’s talk about the devices you will listen with. To be honest, you can do your listening with any kind of headphones or earbuds.
That’s not a question nor a problem.
But in case you need to buy new ones or replace yours, let me give you my take on this subject.
For me, the ideal device for leveraging transitional moments should:
- Be wireless via Bluetooth;
- Have a good battery life;
- Be resistent;
- NOT cancel noise;
- Have a built-in microphone;
Wireless device via Bluetooth
The simple fact of not having wires attached to my headphones or earbuds makes a lot of difference for me on my daily life.
Generally, when I’m at home I just leave my smartphone on the living room while roaming around the house listening to whatever I need to.
And hey! You can do this while your smartphone is charging, isn’t it cool?
Good battery life
It’s self-explanatory, really.
You don’t want to buy something that will create problems in the future, so it’s important to get a fairly decent quality product.
For that, I tend to go mainly for headphones but wireless earbuds (without a wire connecting the two sides) can do the trick.
Why not choosing noise canceling phones?
Even though noise canceling is great for productivity, it’s not a good option for leveraging transitional moments if you usually do your listening outside while walking or running.
You won’t be able to listen to your environment and that’s dangerous.
Having a built-in microphone on your headphones or earbuds is a great quality of life improvement.
Trust me, if you get your phones and a smartwatch or a wristband like the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 connected to your smartphone, you’ll be able to know who is calling, reject calls and answer calls without your phone.
Again, for this purpose it’s not needed, but it makes quite the difference on my daily life.
My headphones of choice
Last year I aquired a pair of Sony WH-500 headphones for 30€ at Black Friday (50% off – 60€ MSRP at the time). And I must say, they turned out to be my best purchase of 2018, hands down! There is not a day I won’t use them to do my listening and they proven to be quite reliable.
Here is why.
These bluetooth headphones from Sony feature a 20h batery (I fully charge them once a week in average), a good integrated microphone and NFC for faster pairing.
One thing that you notice when you pick them up is its lightweight feeling. Even though they are a bit flexible, they don’t feel weak at all. Besides, the left and right foams feel really solid and confortable for on-ear phones. So I consider the quality of construction quite good.
Now, the sound quality surprised me in a good way. On the mid to high ranges, I would say the quality is good, but on the low-ranges it’s an whole another story. You can notice the bass quite clearly, even those little nuances that are easy to miss.
As I’m writing this post, I noticed on Amazon that Sony released the WH-510 which seem to be the successor for these headphones.
At first glance, it seems that they improved the batery life from 20h to 35h, changed it’s design for a more round one, and introduced USB Type-C, which is always a good addition.
Maybe this option is worth checking out!
Leveraging your transitional moments by listening to podcasts, audiobooks, and so on, might be a good strategy for you to have more time to learn and to get more ideas.
This is the second year that I am using this strategy and I can feel the results quite clearly, mostly on my personal growth due to the nature of the content I listen to.
I hope this post was helpful to you and that you give this strategy a try. Maybe this is the thing you are looking for in order to keep learning and growing even if your time for youself is short.
If you have any question or feedback, please let me know! I’ll be happy to hear from you.
Until next time!