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What is informational listening?

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My wife said to me one night, "Wow, I've been on social media for 14 years and wasted so much time just scrolling...I wish I could take back 40% of it. I could have been a master at something by now, but instead, I'm a master at scrolling Facebook." And so, we have the million-dollar question: what will she say when she reflects again another decade from now?

People are losing time fast and they don't even realize it! If it's not self-inflicted time waste, then it's distracting technology or other people stealing your time. Bit by bit. Are you letting these bad time management habits form?

Ask yourself, have you ever:

  • Procrastinated on deadlines?
  • Stayed up late gaming? 
  • Binge-watched shows late at night?
  • ​Mindlessly scrolled social media?
  • ​Board, lazy, sleeping in too late, etc?

Why does so much time get wasted?

It's because we don't respect time, and we make excuses. Even though we know that we're wasting time, we joke and laugh about it. We accept it—especially when we hear others do the same things. No! Let's flip the script! Get in the habit of forming the best version of yourself every day by turning your time-waste, or otherwise fluff time, into real-life gains!

What if you could learn something new constantly and motivate yourself repeatedly; feeding your mind only positive reinforcement? All you have to do is put lost time to good use. You know, that precious time that others just let slip by...

For example:

  • ​Don't mindlessly scroll social media​. Instead, you take in a new perspective!
  • ​Don't listen to overplayed songs​. Instead, you learn something entirely new!
  • Don't watch the news. Instead, you get positive encouragement!
  • ​Never waste time! Instead, tap into informational listening, and convert time-waste into TIME-GAIN!

What is informational listening?

It's the absorption of information with your ears, either actively or passively.

When you read with your eyes, you must be still and focused. Hence, that's why you never see people reading books while riding bikes; if they tried, they'd definitely crash. On the other hand, when you listen with your ears, you are free to multitask. As a result, informational listening is perfect for gaining more time and fostering new knowledge throughout your day. It allows you to optimize your otherwise wasted time. Like, for example, standing in line at the grocery store or doing household chores.

Take, for example, your drive time. Instead of listening to music during a 30-minute commute, listen to a podcast or an audiobook. Or take, for example, the time you lose in the bathroom, walking, or even exercising. Why are you not recycling this time into reusable knowledge?

Consider that the average CEO is said to read 60 books a year; with informational listening, you could consume that same level of information (or more)!

Let's say, each day, you spend 30 minutes commuting back and forth to work and another 30 minutes total in the bathroom. That equals over 360 hours each year of missed opportunities for learning, motivating, or reinforcing better habits.

Look at it this way. You could gain an extra 360 hours per year! Breaking that down further, let's say you spent that time listening to audiobooks with an average six-hour runtime. That means you would listen to 60 audiobooks in a year. If you listened to 60 non-fiction audiobooks per year, what kind of positive impact would that have on your life?!

You're not an auditory learner?

There are many reasons why people overlook informational learning. For example:

  • Prefer reading — I like holding real books and flipping every page.
  • Prefer music — I like reminiscing and how songs take me way back.
  • Prefer thinking — I like to let my thoughts run wild and free.
  • ​Prefer talking — I like conversing with friends and family.
  • Prefer working — I like working and being too busy for everything.

The above are some reasons why people overlook informational learning, but they're all excuses. When you passively listen to informative things, you get more out of life. It's simple...wisdom in, wisdom out! Your ears will never get full of hearing! So, don't make excuses!

Consider the counterarguments...

Unfortunately, the reality is that very few people are reading books today—let alone listening to audiobooks. Regardless of the excuses that pop into your head, decide to take advantage of every minute of your life consciously. If not, one day, you'll reflect back and wonder where all the time went. God willing, you get to live a life full of years, maximize the time you get, and learn to live it to the fullest. So, I really hope you consider taking informational listening seriously!

What if you're a beginner?

Just because you have obstacles now doesn't mean they are forever. With a bit of work and determination, you can train your ears to absorb information and find workarounds for every obstacle. Try it out for a couple of months. If you don't have a favorite podcast app or audiobook app I'll give you some pointers...

Here's a quick beginner's guide to start. I'll give you everything I've learned listening to 10,000+ hours of audiobooks/podcasts.

If you're just starting out it can get messy and if you're not careful, you can wind up with an assortment of misaligned apps. The apps that people usually start with are phone-dependent, e.g. Android vs Apple. Android phones have Google Podcasts and Google Play Books. While iPhones have Apple Podcasts and Apple Books. Before you lock yourself into one side or the other, consider interchangeable apps. For example, Stitcher and Audible. If you start an account with Stitcher or Audible, you can download the app on pretty much any smartphone.

I prefer Stitcher and Audible because of their versatility. Also, when it comes to Audible, it's easier to share with your family. Know this: if you start using the native apps for Google or Apple they link straight to your personal Gmail or Apple account. This could be problematic if you want to share your virtual library with your family. What worked best for my family was to create one shared Audible account that we all can log into at the same time. Now, the whole family shares one virtual library independent from our individual Gmail and Apple accounts. Note: when it comes to podcasts, there is no need to share a library, so everyone is free to start their own individual Stitcher accounts.

  • Reading — You could double your intake and get twice as smart with information listening.
  • Music — You could listen to music topics, theories, artist backstories, or other creative stuff.
  • Thinking — You could listen to guided meditations, famous critical thinkers, or world leaders.
  • ​Talking — You could become a better conversationalist by being a better listener and learning questioning techniques or negotiations.
  • Working — You could gain more time by becoming better at time management, productivity, or delegation. 

Podcasts vs Audiobooks

Initially when I started, I favored Stitcher podcasts, but over time I got burnt out. The bad started to outweigh the good for me, so now I primarily use Audible audiobooks only. Below you'll find a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of both podcasts and audiobooks.



  • Free: They don't cost money
  • Short: They are easy to consume in one sitting
  • Informal: They are conversational/interview style


  • Ads: They have commercial interruptions and sponsors
  • Open forum: They have small talk, long-winded, tangents, etc.
  • Repetitive: They have annoying intros and outros



  • Distraction-free: They are ad-free and commercial-free
  • In-depth: They are usually much longer than podcasts
  • Purposeful: They are fully formed concise narratives


  • Expense: They cost money
  • Longer: They can be lengthy can't esily share
  • Narrator: They can have annoying narrator voices

Regardless of whether you like audiobooks more than podcasts, the most critical thing is having the most versatile earphones! This is vital — it can make or break your experience.


So to truly take advantage of the power of audio you need the most efficient and versatile earphones. I love using Shokz Bone Conduction Headphones because they are waterproof and allow for great situational awareness. The bone-conducting technology emits sound through the cheekbones without putting anything inside or over the ears. This allows you to hear what's going on around you, in any situation, when the earphones are in use.

Here is a list of ideas to consider when and how to listen:

  • Waiting: Standing in lines, sitting in waiting rooms, on hold, on breaks, etc.
  • Traveling: For work or leisure via bike, car, bus, boat, plane, etc.
  • Playing: Computer games, video games, scrolling on social media, etc.
  • Exercising: Either indoor gym or outdoor hiking, walking, running, biking, etc.
  • Bathroom: Getting ready, shaving, sitting on the toilet,showering, etc.
  • ​Working: Babysitter, security guard, house inspector, traveling nurse, etc. 
  • Chores: Cleaning, mowing, trimming, painting, washing, folding, etc.
  • ​Resting: Lounging in bed, swinging on porch swing, chilling on the couch, etc.
  • Hobbies: Cooking, baking, woodworking, crafting, gardening, etc.

I'm not suggesting to always listen to something and never have any quiet time. It's important to have downtime—but schedule it. I'm just trying to encourage you not to waste any time. Life is short. Oh, and something else to consider: it's often overlooked by our culture, but if you take the Sabbath seriously and don't do any work for an entire day, you will be able to push harder your next six days. Though you'll be down a whole day each week, you will push harder if you treat your week like a race with a finish line. That one true day off will be so much more enjoyable knowing you crushed the last six days. That's just my experience, though—don't listen to me. Listen to audiobooks!

Below are a few audiobooks for ya to consider...


Sincerely, Rene

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Hi, I'm Rene

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