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2x Speed Listening

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal

Hey friends,

If there’s a hill I’m going to die on, it’s that listening / watching stuff at 2-3x speed is the way forward.

I’ve been a podcast and YouTube-video 2xer for years, but I recently discovered the incredible power of treating audiobooks in the same way.

Before, I used to think ‘oh I’m savouring it more if I listen at normal speed, the way it was intended to be listened to’. But having spent the past 2 weeks on Audible at 2-3x, I can say at least for me, listening to long fantasy books at 2-3x is a much nicer experience than at 1x. The story (literally) becomes more fast-paced, and if there are boring bits (which every book has), I get through those 2-3x faster.

While approaching the final chapter of book #6 of the Wheel of Time series, I did slow things down to 1.3x to savour the ridiculous epicness of the climax. But I’m very glad that I listened to the rest of the book at 2.5x, and I’ve gotten through 30% of book #7 in the past few days by continuing at that pace (whereas before it would’ve taken, well, 2.5x longer).

Naysayers would say ‘what’s the point in rushing? Why not just enjoy life at a slower pace?’. Honestly, the main reason is that there’s so much good stuff in the world, it’s a net positive for me to experience more of it quickly, rather than less of it slowly.

At least that’s my current stance on things. I’m open to changing my mind on this. If you’re thinking ‘nah he’s got it all wrong, 1x is the way to go’, then please do <reply> to this email and share your thoughts.

If you haven’t tried listening / watching stuff at higher speeds, I’d suggest giving it a go. It takes a bit of trial and error to find that sweet spot where the things are fast enough that you can *just* keep up with what’s being said, but it’s totally worth it.

Have a great week!

Ali


My New Online Class

In case you missed it, I launched a new online class on Skillshare this week: Learn Anything with Flashcards - The Ultimate Guide to Anki. Discovering the free flashcard app Anki in medical school changed my life, and in this mammoth 4h class I take you through everything you need to know to get started with Anki, and to optimise its settings to make memorising large amounts of information less stressful and more fun.

This Week On Not Overthinking

Not Overthinking is the weekly podcast hosted by me and my brother. If you enjoy these emails, you’ll hopefully like that too. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Castro (my favourite podcast app) or any other podcast app - just search for ‘Not Overthinking’.

Thinking as Children | Not Overthinking

We talk about Eric Weinstein’s recent podcast episode with his son, which sparks a discussion about how both of our thinking developed as kids and adults and why we should take kids more seriously.

My Favourite Things This Week

1 - Audiobook - As mentioned, I finished book #6 of the Wheel of Time series on Audible this week. The ending bit was so incredible, I was looking forward to going to work each day purely so I could listen to it in the car en route.

2 - Book - I've been making more time to read before bed each night this week. For the past few days I've been unhealthily engrossed in A Court of Thorns and Roses, a sort of fantasy-romance series that's been keeping me up until way past my bedtime. Not quite as page-turning as the Psy-Changeling series (my favourite paranormal romance series so far) but still pretty good.

3 - Home Tech - As the nights have gotten hotter, I’m forever grateful for the Dyson AM06 desk fan I’ve got sitting on my bedside table. I bought it in June 2018 and I’ve had it on every night since. Yes it’s ridiculously expensive for a fan, but it’s legit so nice and quiet and pretty that I think it’s worth it.

Quote of the Week

Please don’t think you need a huge vision. Just stay focused on helping people today

From Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers. Resurfaced with Readwise.

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Ali Abdaal

Junior doctor, YouTuber, web designer, aspiring musician. Trying out this blogging thing.