We’re huge believers in accumulation, repetition and continuity. When it comes to our personal development; social, emotional, cognitive or physical – we have monitored ourselves and found our best results come when we ‘do’ each and every day.
Now, we’re cognisant that there are only 24 hours in a day and our lives are full of commitments, to our health, family, business or our own development. Finding time to do anything is tough. However, if we don’t find time, we can’t develop (in fact we’re in danger of regressing, instead of progressing).
With this in mind we’ve found a few hacks that enable us to combine our cognitive development with other, everyday life duties. There are times during most days when we can double up activities, here’s our top seven examples:
1. Gym cardio training – Whether on a rower, treadmill, bike or cross trainer you are fixed in a position that enables you to learn. You might be doing a steady state session (where you work at a fixed intensity) or you may be doing intervals (working hard for a period and then working at an easier rate for another period). Regardless, you will still be able to listen or potentially view and listen. At these times, we love to enjoy an audiobook, listen to podcasts or watch a YouTube channel/ TED Talk. Apart from when working at maximal intensities, you’ll be surprised at how much you can absorb
2. On a train, bus, car for a short journey – At these times, you may not want to watch a video as you’ll have to wear headphones. However, you still have 5 -10 minutes where you can develop. We love to have e-books available on our phones, to quickly flick through. This has replaced much of our social media consumption time and has been a lovely, simple way to consume a book quickly
3. On a train, plane or bus for a long journey – Rather than downloading a film from Netflix or Amazon Prime, we prefer to pull down TED Talks, where we can learn new things about the world including science, human behaviour and technology that are outside of our industry. In fact, we do enjoy a love of research away from health and fitness as we look to hospitality, leadership, marketing and sales to widen our view of the world. This enables us to bring our learnings back to our industry to see where we might be able to better help our audience and customers
4. Driving in the car – It’s always nice to unwind and listen to music, learn about current affairs on the radio or follow our favourite sporting event. That said, this is also another opportunity to listen to podcasts or audiobooks. If you’re in a car for half an hour to an hour a day, you’ll be shocked at how quickly you can get through an entire book!
5. Waiting (for a meeting to start, for your transport to arrive or just whenever you would normally check, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn) – When we only have a few minutes available we like to check our Flipboard or Pocket accounts. Flipboard is an excellent free source of information from the news through to articles, blogs or essays. You can select what you want to read whilst online and then download the pieces to Pocket for offline consumption.
We do this on our phones when we have 2 – 5 minutes spare. That said, if we’re waiting with others, we’re likely to engage them, as we believe we learn far more from even brief interactions than all the reading in the world!
6. Daily household chores (while alone) – Ever fancied learning another language or checking out a certain Vlog, YouTuber or TED Talk but unable to find the time? Well, think about how much time you have available getting ready in the morning, washing up, stacking/unstacking the dishwasher, preparing food, loading the washing machine, hanging out the washing (you get the point). Many of these activities take little brain power or concentration. Why not combine them with using your tablet, phone or speaker system to play something educational? Clean your teeth and learn at the same time – that can’t be bad!
7. Ditch the TV or go to bed slightly earlier – Whether you’re a reader or a watcher, if you drop even 5 minutes a day from your streaming/ live TV viewing you’ll quickly find you have time to learn. If you can manage 10 minutes per day before bed, Monday to Friday, you’ve just gained almost an hour per week in developmental time that you didn’t have before… No doubt you can get creative and think of more ways that you can ‘find’ time in the day to read, watch or listen more. When you come up with better ideas than our own, please share them with us – we’d love to know (and to ‘do’ what you do!)
If it helps, here are our favourite go to apps:
1. Audible – We love this Amazon based app, for playing audio books
2. Flipboard – For news, information and essays (on just about any topic you can imagine)
3. Pocket – For storing everything you find on Flipboard or when you’re emailed a PDF you want to read, Pocket will save it to your phone for offline viewing
4. Kindle – With a vast expanse of books available, this is our go-to digital book reading app
5. Podcasts – We use Apple phones, however, we’re sure there is an app just as good for Android (we set our favourite podcasts to automatic download when they become available)
6. Duolingo – For learning another language, this is a lovely phone/tablet and desk top solution. Again, the recommendation is to use it up to 15 minutes per day
7. Udemy – For purchasing workshops and courses in just about any field this is worth checking out. Be careful though, these are unregulated, so only make purchases with a high number of users and positive recommendations. Stick to this rule and you’ll find some gems…
Podcasts – If you haven’t entered this world yet and are interested in a wide range of topics and guest speakers, we’d highly recommend the following:
1. Escape your limits
2. The Tim Ferris show
3. The Gary Vee Experience
4. The Joe Rogan Experience
Again, if you have any digital app hacks or any podcasts that we should be checking out,
please let us know by commenting on this post or on our social media channels!