Of all the statistics I come across, those expressing the vast amount of time we waste year to year are probably my least favorite. Just twenty minutes of weekday commute traffic turns into more than thirty-six days after ten years…not very inspiring for people with growing to-do lists (and more than twenty minutes in daily commuter time).
Scale that over a lifetime and add in waiting rooms, plane trips, and a few hours at the gym each week, and we’re losing years of productivity. Yes, years.
There are a few ways, however, to take it back—most notably, audiobooks and (often insufferable) smartphone multitasking. Since I get far more pleasure listening to brilliant audiobooks than crackling Bluetooth calls, I placed a lot more emphasis on the former these last few years. Here are my results:
Turning 12,000 miles into 12,000 pages
Since joining Audible.com three years ago, I’ve averaged two books a month and added significant value to my life (and business knowledge) by filling a fair amount of my “dead” time with streaming audiobooks.
Three years at roughly twenty-four books a year comes out to a whopping seventy-two books I likely wouldn’t have otherwise read . . . or about 30,000 pages for a nominal monthly fee.
I think my old English professors would be proud, no?
A few of my favorites:
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
If you haven’t read this, you might not know just how brilliant—and incomparably ambitious—this founding father was.
Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
I tend to think of business pitches as both an art and a science. This book covers both from the perspective of one of the masters (who has personally raised more than $400 million).
When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man
Half entrepreneur’s textbook, half memoir of road trips with Elvis and Ocean’s Eleven poker tables, I listened to a few parts twice.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
I referenced Gladwell in a previous post. If you’re interested in overcoming obstacles, this is the guy to listen to.
Got recommendations? We would love to hear about your favorites in the comments…