Why Listening is the New Reading

By: Eszter C.

Weitzman listens to audiobooks at a speed of 649 words per minute (WPM). In contrast, the average person reads at about 300 WPM. While it takes the average reader 5 and a half hours to read a book, Weitzman reads it in 2 and a half. He boosted his reading speed to be able to consume large amounts of information in a fraction of the time. But why would someone want to read at 500-600 WPM? We have enough optimized and automated tasks in our lives, why would we want to give up the pleasure of leisure reading?

It seems counterintuitive, but listening to information at 2-3 times the normal speed improves focus. When your brain is at its greatest capacity, it can only focus on comprehending the text, nothing else. The incoming information is at such a high speed, that the brain has to block out all other distractions to be able to understand the reading. In a rapidly changing world, our minds have adapted and learned to think quicker. Now, when our minds gloss over an article at 310 WPM, they are stale and inattentive. The brain isn’t stimulated and excited due to the slow input of content. It gets distracted and sidetracked, and reading becomes a bore. When was the last time you were reading a book like you were watching the last episode of a thrilling TV show? By challenging our brain to listen, we can consume, comprehend, and store information like never before. It’s time to take your knowledge to the next level by learning to listen.

Reference: Productivity, Life, and Principles - Deep dive with Cliff Weitzman

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