way I learn featured

My Secret Way To Learn When There’s Not Enough Time To Learn

I wish I could read one book a day. I’d even be okay with one book a month.

There are two big problems that limit me in this desire of mine.

Problem #1

In order for me to make sizeable progress in a book I need to sit down for at least half an hour and read. Since I don’t read anything over 300 pages I can usually finish a book within a couple of weeks…if I read everyday (notice the big if). The problem is that some days my schedule doesn’t play out as planned and I miss my reading time. Since I value this precious time, it can be very frustrating to me when I miss out on it.

Problem #2

my-kindle-progress

The bars beneath each book represent the % of completion.

Although I enjoy reading the books that I read (I don’t read just for the sake of reading), my brain gets excited and wants to read something different, something fresh. This results in having a bunch of books on my Kindle that progress slowly (see image ->). The problem is that I very seldom get the feeling of accomplishment by finishing a book, and since I bounce around from book to book it can be hard for me to remember details from each.

So those are my two main problems.

Anyone who is ready to jump into the internet marketing pool headfirst should do so knowing that in order to stay afloat, you need to be willing to always be learning. Things change so fast within the digital marketing space that if you’re not doing this, you or your company become irrelevant.

You’re wrong. You really aren’t good at multitasking.

Although I will always try my best to schedule in my reading time, I have mastered the art of learning on the go. The important word here is “go.” Humans aren’t great multitaskers. Some may claim to be, but let’s be honest; our brains aren’t programed to read a blog post while listening to an audiobook and clipping our fingernails. I thought about including an image here of the dangers of cutting fingernails too short but I just regurgitated my banana I ate after viewing some of them.

Back to “on the go.”

What our brains can do effectively is concentrate on one thing while doing another thing that can be done almost subconsciously. Those are things like:

  • jogging
  • driving (that strange feeling when you arrive at your  destination but can’t remember making any conscious decisions about getting there)
  • mowing the lawn
  • shoveling the walk
  • riding your bike
  • working out at the gym
  • flights

All of these types of activities allow our brains to relax, think, ponder, etc. So this is the perfect time to learn while on the go. And I have my one thing that I turn to each and every time I’m on the go.

So what’s my “one thing?”

Here it comes. PODCASTS.

To some, this may be an ancient artifact, to others, a totally new concept. The podcast experience is much shorter than an audiobook. I love listening to audiobooks, don’t get me wrong, but when you’re starting and stopping with long breaks in-between it can be difficult remembering things in the book. Podcasts are usually 30 – 45 minutes worth of golden nuggets.

Golden nugget tip: bump the playback speed up to 1.5x speed, once you can follow along (easy peasy) at 1.5x, take it up another notch to 2x speed. You’ve now just allowed your self to listen to an entire podcast within 15-20 minutes. This allows me to finish my learning experience in one lawn mow or during my drives into and away from work.

Within the last year or so, podcasting has really taken off. There’s pretty much a podcast about anything you’d like to learn. From my own experience, I’ve found there to be a plethora of great podcasters in the business/marketing/entrepreneur space.

How to download and listen to a podcast?

iOS

podcasts-iconApple makes it easy. Simply download the Podcasts app and you’re ready to start browsing. Just search for “podcast” in the app store and it should be the first result. You can search by category and Apple lists the podcasts by popularity by default for you. I’m an iOS guy so this is my go-to method.

 

 

 

Android

As mentioned above, I’m an iOS guy. I’ve never listened to a podcast on an Android device. However, most podcasters mention the different ways to listen to their podcasts on Android devices. I’ll list the main apps that can be found in Google play. I can’t give you my personal opinion since I’ve never used any of them. Just know that the community uses them and you should be happy with whichever app you decide to go with.

On a side note, if you currently listen to podcasts on an Android device, I’d love to know which app you use. Let me know in the comments.

So what are my favorite podcasts?

At the end of 2013 I wrote a blog post about my top 7 podcasts on my personal blog. I’ve since updated it with my 2014 favorites. Some new one’s have crept in and if you’d like to get my personal take on each, you can here.

I’ll quickly list them here since I know you’re busy.

  • Smart Passive Income w/Pat Flynn
  • Social Media Marketing Podcast w/Michael Stelzner
  • Niche Pursuits Podcast w/ Spencer Haws & Perrin Carrell
  • The Lede from Copyblogger
  • The Empire Podcast w/ Justin Cooke & Joe Magnotti of Empire Flippers
  • This Is Your Life w/ Michael Hyatt
  • Internet Business Mastery w/ Jeremy Frandsen & Jason Van Orden

The bonus one: The Model Health Show w/Shawn Stevenson

And that’s what I call “my university on wheels.”

So there’s my secret. I’ve given you the blueprint to always be learning. I’d love to know which podcasts you may already be listening to. I’m always sampling new ones to see if they will make it in my weekly lineup, so please, let me know in the comments.

Also, if you are new to podcasts let me know if you have any questions about them. I’d gladly help out.

Now get back to the grind and make a valor effort to “always be learning!”

 

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Trevor Erikson

Vice President, Stukent, Inc. at Stukent, Inc.
I'm from Idaho, best place ever. Currently working the pavement on our ed-tech startup - Stukent, Inc. Follow me through my social media channels to see what keeps me busy.

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