Professional Development Opinion

Audiobooks Are the Answer to My Reading Backlog

By Starr Sackstein — February 15, 2018 2 min read
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“Thank you for the suggestion! I love knowing about great books to read. I’ll put it on my list.”

You have no idea how long my list is right now. Between a new job, a leadership program, and a healthy blog diet, I’ve recently learned the secret to being even more productive and not wasting any more time.

So I’m sure this isn’t a secret to everyone and I’m not sure why I was so resistant to the idea of audiobooks before, but I have to say that I’m loving listening to books while I drive.

My mornings and long drives used to be filled with podcasts and/or NPR or music, which are still all good things, but now that I listen to/watch the news before I leave for work, my commute and other drives can be filled with thought-provoking growth.

Since I’ve been struggling with having tough conversations, I listened to Difficult Conversations to get some ideas about how to communicate more effectively as well as to develop some incite as to why professionally I have such a challenge with having hard talks. I don’t have this challenge anywhere else in my life since I’ve worked for years on asserting myself.

One thing that I learned was about addressing my own personal identity story and tried to figure out what was causing the challenge.

Needless to say, listening to the book and being able to reflect while I drove was most useful. So much so that I picked up another audiobook by the same authors that my friend suggested with the first, Thank You for the Feedback. When a friend and colleague tells me that a book is life-changing, I’m eager to see what it is all about.

Busy educators and other professionals seldom have extra time. It’s almost an oxymoron, so I’ve learned to try to maximize the time I have. Reading is really important to me, but my days are so full recently that sitting down to read an extra book isn’t as easy as it once was. Plus I don’t want to spread myself too thin, so the audiobooks have been a great solution.

Of course, sometimes a bit of traffic is also good just to decompress and enjoy the silence. One of the major benefits of my old job was when I had a rough day and I knew it was going to take at least one hour for me to get home. The quiet of my car was a sanctuary after a noisy day at school. And I think there will always be space for quiet meditative moments, opting out of complete maximizing of awake time.

Now that I have had some success with the audiobooks, I’m eager to listen to more of them and use that time to really continue to grow as a person and an educator.

If you haven’t checked out Audible yet, so far I like it. You get to choose a free audiobook when you sign up and who doesn’t like free stuff.

As professionals, it is important for us to stay up to date with important new ideas and research, but there isn’t always enough time in the day to add to the already long list of things to do. So why not use a tool that can help with that?

Have you listened to any good audiobooks lately? Please share.

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