Reading More Without Living Less

Finding Time You Already Have:: Audiobooks: Part 2

October 15, 2012

The great thing about reading via audiobooks is that it helps you discover time to read that you didn’t have before.

Here are some ways to do that:

1. Gain dead time.

Start small: determine to listen to audiobooks while you’re in the car, rather than listen to the radio for example. What are moments you find yourself wishing you had something to distract you mentally? Or feel like you are just “wasting time?”

2. Collect and aggregate miscellaneous time.

Collect tasks that are non-auditory/verbal, and do them all together while you listen to audiobooks. Although most jobs don’t allow hours upon hours of audiobook listening time, you can probably find some tasks that allow you to listen to audiobooks and work at the same time. What are those tasks? Line them up, and perform several of them consecutively them while listening to audiobooks.

Perhaps you’re going to 1) put mail in people’s credenzas, 2) clean up your desk, 3) water the office plants, and 4) get a drink at the water fountain. Presto. You’ve just found seven minutes in the day to listen to audiobooks. Sweet. It sounds a bit obsessive to find this kind of time in your day just to listen to audiobooks, but it becomes second-nature after a while. You’ve got your MP3 player and headphones. You’ve got a few seconds. Why not listen to your audiobook?

Or perhaps it’s time to 1)do a final pick-up before bed, 2)brush your teeth, and 3)go around and lock up the house before going to bed. It may be only 15 minutes, but it adds up over time. Do this for 2 weeks (14 days x 15 minutes=210 minutes), and you’ve listened to over 3 hours of audiobooks. That’s enough time to listen to at least on short audio book. If you’re following the math, that’s two more books per month, just utilizing that extra time!

3. Create habit times.

Make the conscious decision to listen to audiobooks at certain times. We’re creatures of habit. Many people are in the habit of flipping on the radio when they hop in the car to go to work. After all, it’s a great way to catch up on the news or listen to some great music. Why not use this time to listen to audiobooks (this could included Scripture in audio format, too)?

Rather than inducing panic attacks by listening to a political talk show, turn on your audiobook and engage your mind in a different way. Perhaps you prefer to listen to music while you wash dishes or fold laundry. Instead, make a conscious decision to use some of that time to listen to audiobooks.

Here’s the audiobook lifestyle challenge. Choose at least one time when you can adopt the habit of listening to audiobooks. A change in llifestyle requires that you change habits and details. Most people find that the daily commute to and from work provides the best and most convenient time to listen to audiobooks. Try it.

4. Find more time.

Troubleshoot to create your own times to listen to audiobooks. Listening to audiobooks can be such an amazing experience that you’ll find yourself wanting to do more of it. Perfect! But, now you’re faced with a reverse problem. What can you do while you listen to audiobooks. Clean the closet? Organize the garage? Dust the baseboards? Rake the leaves? After a while, you’re going to start listening to a lot more books, and probably get healthier or get a cleaner house in the process.

The concept behind gaining more time by listening to audiobooks is simple. You can listen to audiobooks when you’re not doing something that requires literary thought processes. You’ll probably find a lot of new time to listen to a lot more books.

Of course, with any of these areas, you can go overboard. Everyday life should still hold quiet moments, and should not be lived from one book-listening moment to another. But taken in the context of helping you find more time to listen to audiobooks than you already do, hopefully these suggestions will be empowering, rather than burdening.

(This is an overflow from some of the ideas presented in Finding Time You Already Have:: Audiobooks: Part 1, and some of the ideas do overlap; but here they’re reframed in a different light.)

What times do you see in your schedule that might work for more listening? If you’re already an audiobook aficionado, what tips have helped you create more listening time? Have you found it a helpful stimulus to do more work and listen to more books?

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  • Chelo October 15, 2012 at 8:23 am

    The panic inducing political talk show comment made me laugh 🙂

    Knowing that I get to listen to an audio book while scrubbing the bathroom floors(and the rest of the bathroom things) make me look forward to an otherwise daunting tadk.


    • Keren October 18, 2012 at 9:42 pm


      I guess you have super clean floors now!! 😉