Time is the most important (and fleeting) asset that we have. Here are some tips I use to take in more information at one time.
If you were to look at my library today, you would not believe the kind of person that I was just even five or six short years ago. I used to hate reading. I was always the kid and the guy who was like, let’s just watch the movie. Do we really have to read the book? Admittedly, fiction writing is still not my favorite to read. I mostly read non-fiction, but before I read almost nothing.
Now I have this burgeoning library filled with books about Christianity, philosophy, biblical studies, science, business, entrepreneurship, personal development, and all these different things. I span all these different categories of reading and now reading is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I read, it’s hard to put a number on it, but it’s probably somewhere on average of about an hour’s worth a day of time. Some days it’s more, some days it’s less, so we can probably average it out to around an hour a day. The trick is though that I am able to read with speed. So I’m able to actually read more information at one sitting than other people are, and still retain that information. That’s not some super power. It’s something that I have been working on and I have been developing through a couple of different ways. I’m going to give you some tips, if you want to get into this.
Some people think I’m absolutely nuts, but for me now I’m so used to listening to audio, and even video at double speed. Especially just informational content. I’m not talking about entertainment. But for informational content, I’m so used to listening at 1½x or 2x speed that to listen slower than that, it’s actually painful for me. It’s really hard to do. It feels like a waste of time. I eased into this by listening to audio books and podcasts and things of that nature at 1.25x speed and then 1½x speed and then eventually to 2x speed. I have even listened to an audio book at 3x speed before because I had listened to the book before, actually a couple of times, and I just wanted a quick reminder of the content so I went through the book at 3x speed. I wouldn’t recommend that, but 2x speed is really good. Eventually you can work your way up to that. I would recommend that, if you listen to audio books.
If you like to use paperback books or if you use e-books, you can learn how to speed read by actually using your finger as a little bit of a tracker on the page. It’s really hard to show you this on an audio podcast so I recommend that you go to You Tube and type in “Tim Ferriss Speed Reading Tutorial” and he’ll show you exactly what to do.
Basically there are some techniques you can use and you can use them with Kindle or even if you’re reading on an iPhone or iPad you can actually use the same techniques he teaches for a physical book on digital books. It’s a little harder to get used to but you definitely can do it. I like to use the butt on my Apple pencil actually on my iPad to use as the tracker because it doesn’t activate the screen and it’s really helpful. So that’s a second way to read with speed and take in more information at one time.
Then the final way that I like to do it is a combination of the two. So you can actually download the Alexa app onto your iPhone. I’m using an iPhone but I’m sure the same is for Android. I use the Alexa app by Amazon and what it allow you to do, it’s actually an Alexa accessibility feature where Alexa will read your Kindle books to you and guess what? She can do it at faster speeds. I have mine set to read at 2x speed so she will read to me any book in my Kindle library at 2x speed which is just fantastic. It’s super helpful. Is it perfect, no, because this is a computer-generated voice. But Amazon did a great job with Alexa. Honestly, it’s really natural. It sounds really good. It’s easy to get used to for me. It doesn’t sound robotic or anything like that. While it’s not perfect, it is pretty great in my opinion.
I hope you find these tips useful. Again, I think it’s really helpful to be a learner, to be the kind of person who digs in and loves to learn from different perspectives and eat the meat and spit out the bone. That’s what you have to do when you’re reading. I think it’s a great perspective to have and these are just some tools to help you get more of it done in less time because time is important and we can’t get time back.
God bless you. We’ll see you in the next episode.