I’ll admit it: I haven’t read a book in years. Ever since the Internet became an essential part of my life, I haven’t touched a real book. I don’t even have a bookshelf. The few books that I own from my childhood are stored in my closet.
How did it happen? Being the productivity freak that I am resulted in all the fiction “fluff” being cut off from my life. I didn’t have time to spend hours reading something that wouldn’t improve my professional skills in any way. So I focused on “useful” reading that would improve my knowledge within my field of expertise. That field was web development – and, naturally, the majority of information was available online.
But there was something else. I noticed that I couldn’t remain focused on any piece of content for more than a length of an average blog post. No matter how interesting the article was – if it was too long, I would abandon the reading and move on to another article.
This was even more alarming: I could spend an hour reading 12 shorter articles but couldn’t spend the same 60 minutes reading one long article or book. Attention deficit in its glory.
Online Reading Gives You Brain Fog
If you are like most of the modern information junkies, you probably spend hours jumping from one URL to another. And you probably don’t retain any of the information that you acquired during your web surfing session.
Moreover, when you get up from your computer, your head feels heavy and all your thoughts are chaotic. In other words, you experience brain fog.
This doesn’t look good to me. Why would we spend hours surfing the web if this gives us nothing but a headache?
Online Reading Makes You Sick
Yes, it is true. When you sit still for hours staring at a screen, you damage your health on several levels.
You strain your eyes, which in the long run will lead to eyesight problems. The radiation from the monitor isn’t making you healthier either. Also, sitting in itself is very harmful for you, leading to a variety of problems, including neck, shoulder and back pain.
Give Your Eyes a Break: Listen to Audio Books
Ok, it’s time to give your poor eyes a brake and start using your ears instead. There is something refreshing about listening to a gentle voice narrating a story. Another part of our brain is activated and we are able to take in the information in a different way.
More Possibilities Open When You Listen to Audio Books
Traditional reading attaches you to a specific location: either a computer, or a place where you can sit – a chair or a sofa. When you listen to audio books, a lot more reading opportunities open up.
You can listen to audio books while commuting, transforming your commute from a frustrating time waster to potentially a highlight of your day. Walks, airline transits, waiting in line at your bank, doctor, grocery store – the opportunities are endless.
Audible Makes Listening to Books Easy
I needed a hassle-free way to find and listen to audio content, and after some research decided to give Audible a try. Audible is a monthly subscription service that allows you to download one or two books a month. You can download to all your devices and it keeps track on where you are in the book.
Since I am a long-term Amazon customer I usually search for a book on Amazon and then download it on Audible from my Amazon shopping cart directly. But you can also go to audible.com and search for audio books there.
Some of the books that I enjoyed listening to are “The Art of Learning” by Josh Waitzkin and “The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph” by Ryan Holiday. Both of them recommended by Tim Ferris, the author of the “The 4-Hour Workweek”.
Audio Books Can Cure Your Insomnia
I have a little hack that helps me fall asleep. I am one of those people whose brain wakes up and starts solving all real and imagined problems as soon as I lay my head on the pillow at night.
To help divert my brain from all the thinking, and put me in a more calm and peaceful state of mind, I put on my earbuds and click the “play” button. This does the trick and usually I am asleep within 20 minutes, compared to hours that it used to take me before.
For this to work, you need to be smart about what you choose to listen to. If it is too interesting or exciting, you will not fall asleep. Both the audio book and the voice of the narrator need to be calm and peaceful.
Currently I am using a podcast by Shawn Stevenson called “The Model Health Show” for this purpose. Now, let me point out that this is an amazing podcast – and I am listening to all the episodes during my waking hours.
The reason that it helps me fall asleep is that Shawn has the most soothing voice, and he just manages to put you in a peaceful and relaxed state of mind. So I listen to the older episodes and am usually asleep by the time the episode has finished playing.
We live in era of information pollution, and we need to take measures that will help us see the essence. Audio books will help you extract unique thoughts and ideas that will make an impact on your life.