How Audio Books Can Help You Get Things Done

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I used to think listening to audio books was somehow cheating, not giving the written words the full, undivided attention they deserve. Until I read The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life by Steve Leveen, founder of Levenger.

Prior to reading this little book, I had checked a few audiobooks out from the library and occasionally listened to them while driving, but still felt that the books I listened to somehow didn’t “count” as much as the ones I sat down and cleared uninterrupted time for.

After reading through Leveen’s tips for getting more reading into our lives, I had a new perspective, and was convinced that books listened to have the same weight and merit as books read visually.

Audio Books & Productivity

Even just a few years ago audio books weren’t as accessible as they are today. With apps like Audible and Overdrive and the prevalence of smartphones, audio books are more accessible and versatile than ever. Even if you don’t have a smartphone, with Overdrive, you can easily listen to library audio books through your computer.

When there is something to do that I don’t particularly want to do, like ironing, yard work, washing the dog, and sometimes preparing dinner, I often psych myself up for the task with the thought that I get to listen to my current audio book. One of the best things about audio books is that they allow you to multitask on things that don’t take too much thought.

Listening to an audio book while checking email or trying to do something that requires typing or figuring things out isn’t ideal. If I try to listen to an audio book while trying to figure something else out, I end up having to rewind because I missed a whole section.

I love having the Audible and Overdrive apps on my phone. Overdrive is an app accessible through many libraries, often offering impressively extensive title selections. If there is a book I really want to read (listen to) that isn’t available through Overdrive, I will get it through Audible.

Beat Procrastination While Listening

Besides helping me to get more reading into my life, even when life feels too busy for reading, I find that always being in the middle of an audio book can motivate me to do things I might otherwise procrastinate on. Bonus: you get to do two things for the price of one, without feeling totally scattered.

In addition to accompanying you on your next road trip or trip to the grocery store, you may find that your audio book app is a great companion for otherwise mundane household tasks that you might otherwise be tempted to put off for another day.

If you don’t already have the Overdrive app, or aren’t a member of Audible, what are you waiting for? Think of all the enjoyable reading you will get back into your life in moments that might otherwise feel less than inspired.

Do you find there are certain tasks that work better with book listening than others? Please share your thoughts!

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  1. donna merrill Jan 23, 4:11 pm

    Hi Annie,

    That sounds terrific! You can learn as you go about mundane tasks. What a great idea and if it helps you with procrastination a double yahoo!
    I do try to listen and do something but I must have adhd because I fumble things up 🙁 But hey, nothing ventured nothing gained….I’ll try again!


  2. anniehurley Jan 23, 6:28 pm

    Hi Donna! Ya, it can be tricky! Sometimes I am not even doing anything but listening and my mind wanders…good thing they have that 15 second back button 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!


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