A few of my readers have asked me how I eat growth content. So I figured I could write a short article on how I eat growth content for breakfast. 🙂
On average I eat a bit more than 2 hours of growth content every day. But I only spend 1 hour eating content; it’s all about being efficient 😉
I link to all podcasts, blogs, and apps again at the bottom of the article 🙂
I follow a lot of content, but I seldom have time to read through and listen to everything. That’s not entirely accurate. I do have time, but I don’t want to spend too much time eating growth content.
Why don’t I want to eat more? I have a tendency to go into full research mode. And I often research more than I need. I love eating growth content. But one hour per day is enough for me. So instead of eating more growth content, I force myself to take action on what I’ve learned.
While listening or reading, I try to listen after solutions to any problem I have at the moment. At the same time, I keep the mind open and absorb all the new information and how I or someone else can use it.
If I notice that an article, TED-talk, or podcast is subpar. I skip finishing it and continue to the next. This often happens after 10–40%. I guess for articles I often skim through the rest of the article to see if there’s anything of value before I close it.
Now and then I unsubscribe from blogs (and will unsubscribe from podcasts in the future). If I notice that I don’t get anything from the content, either value or pleasure, I unsubscribe from it. This has often happened from niche or shallow blogs. I.e. after a while it feels like I’m reading the same articles over and over again—I’ve heard everything they have to say about a topic.
Besides being effective, I also try to be efficient. For articles, I try to read them as fast as possible. My normal reading speed is about 150–200 words per minute. But I can get up to 400 words per minute and still absorb everything. Although, I have to remind myself now and then, because my reading speed gradually drops back to 150 words per minute.
Listen in 2.2 times speed
I listen to podcasts and watch TED-talks and other videos in 2.2 times speed. When I first heard about this tool, to listen at double speed, I felt it was something that I didn’t need. My thoughts went something like
I want to listen to everything in normal speed. This is how the content is supposed to be eaten. I get more out of it, and I would probably just get stressed if I listen to it at faster pace.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s less stressful to listen now. Why? Because I know it doesn’t take that long time to listen to a podcast; I know that I’m efficient. And most importantly I get to eat more content and ideas per day.
When I listen to podcasts to normal speed, my mind would often begin to wander into different thoughts. Like, what will I have for dinner today? Maybe not exact that thought, because I plan my meals one week ahead. But you get what I mean.
If I listen to a podcast at 2.2 times speed, I have to focus. I can’t begin to think of something else because I lose track directly of what they’re talking of. I simply don’t have the time to think about something else.
First I thought it would take forever to get used to. But I was stunned that I was able to jump up to 1.5 speed without any practice. Although it took a few minutes to get comfortable and catch everything they were saying. Then I slowly increase the speed every day, until a week later when I got to 2.2 times speed. I tried to go up to 2.3 times speed. But I found that it was hard to grasp what they were saying on some podcasts. So I decided to stay at 2.2 times speed, for now at least.
I also remember more of the information, weirdly enough. Some of it must be because I’m focused throughout the entire podcast or talk. What I can’t do is to expand ideas I get during the podcast. I have to put them aside and then think about them after the podcast. Although I’m good at remembering information, I had a hard time remembering the ideas I got during the podcast.
Remember the key points
To remember the key points and ideas I got during the podcast more consistently, I use a memory technique: Create a story of the items and information you want to remember. I’ve used this for memorizing my shopping list for the last six years. In the beginning, it takes some time to remember a list of 20 items. Now it takes about 2–3 minutes. Just a note, it is as easy to memorize 20, or even 50 items as 4 items. The only difference is that it takes a longer time to create the story.
For example, I wanted to remember 1) the inversion technique, 2) everyone has something they’re exceptionally good at, and 3) the importance of measuring everything. I created the story below.
- I saw how I turned inside out (inversion technique)
- Inside me was a large diamond (the one thing I’m exceptionally good at)
- Finally, I measured the diamond to see how big it was (importance of measuring everything)
I still remember it clearly one month later. And I only used it on that day, and when I explained the memory technique about 2 weeks ago. That’s the power of memory techniques.
Organize the content
For podcasts on the phone, I use Pocket Casts. Available both for Android and iPhone. I love the app. I can filter, so it only shows the most recent episodes I haven’t listened. But also sort all episodes from either old to new, or new to old. And a lot of other sorting and filtering options. But those are the once I use.
Of course, the player can play in increased speeds, remove silences, and start a podcast X seconds in (so you can skip the intro).
For blog articles, TED-talks, and YouTube videos I use Feedly.
In Feedly, I have two categories: Reading and TV (I should probably rename it to Video). As you guessed, reading has all blog articles. On my phone and tablets, I have an app called gReader (which syncs with Feedly). That way I can always read an article on the fly. Unfortunately, gReader is only available on Android.
I use my computer to watch videos from the TV category. I’ve installed the Chrome extension Video Speed Controller to speed up my videos 🙂
When do I eat growth content?
The times when I eat growth content can be split into two parts. Scheduled, and unscheduled times. Scheduled times are, well…, scheduled routines when I eat growth content. Mornings, lunch, and lunch walk.
Unscheduled times are all the other times I eat growth content 😉
Scheduled routine times
On workdays, I have a schedule for when I eat personal growth content.
Mornings As I’m living in a single room with no kitchen of my own, I eat breakfast in front of my computer. During this time I watch one or two TED-talks, depending on how much time I have left until I start working. Since I watch them at 2.2x speed, one talk only takes 4–10 minutes to watch.
If my TED backlog is empty, I might start (but not finish) watching an episode of Lewis Howes. Or I might decide to watch some non-growth content.
Lunch Half of the lunches I watch an episode of Lewis Howes. The other half I watch an anime episode. It depends on which mood I’m in. Am I craving more growth content, or do I want to relax and phase out?
Lunch walks After almost every lunch I go out for a walk. This break is 40 minutes long (30 minutes of walking). During this time I listen to one or more podcast episodes.
You probably get that I like being effective. So instead of going out twice per day that one day of the week when I do my groceries, I do them during the lunch walk. I have two stores I use to go to; either I walk to one that’s 10 minutes away, or I bike to one that’s 18 minutes away.
But I only listen to a podcast if I walk. Mostly for safety reasons, I want to hear the traffic as I rely heavily on my ears when I bike. But I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the traffic if I were to listen to the podcasts when I bike, even If I were to listen to them in 1 times speed.
When I do walk to the store, I try to put on a longer episode. Usually one of the Tim Ferriss episodes, as they are between 1 and 3 hours.
Whenever I walk or am going somewhere (alone), I put on a podcast. There are some exceptions. Sometimes I just want to listen to the environmental sounds, other times I want to listen to music. Then there are those occasions when I want to be at peak mental and physical state when I arrive. Then I put on some energetic music and do some incantations.
Traveling If I’m traveling by train I sometimes read blogs on my tablet. But since I started listening to ebooks and podcasts, that doesn’t happen as often anymore.
Evenings On a few evenings, just before I go to bed, I like to read some blog articles, and sometimes a few pages from a book.
Growth content I eat
Most of the growth content I eat today are podcasts and blog articles. I read a book now and then too. But since I discovered podcasts two months ago, listening has taken priority over reading.
I love the format. I can listen to podcasts when I walk, when I travel, or when I’m at home. It’s awesome.
I listen to 4 podcasts on my phone and watch 1 podcast on YouTube.
School of Greatness (Lewis Howes) is the only podcast I watch on YouTube. It could have something to do with that it’s the only one that records video. Lewis is great at asking questions, and I like the style in which he interviews the people.
The central theme of the podcast is how to become great, at whatever it is you want to get great at. So Lewis brings in a lot of famous, great, and interesting guests to his podcasts. For example, Tony Robbins, JP Sears, and Wyclef Jean.
Tony Robbins’ podcast focuses on helping you transform and grow your business. So if you would like to create or to grow your business, this podcast is for you. I can recommend the two episodes with Jay Abraham; they will blow your mind, it blew my mind at least.
As new episodes are now released once per month, I recommend going back and listening to all episodes—they aren’t that many.
Episode length: 50–90 minutes. 1 episode per month. Website.
Art of Charm (with Jordan Harbinger) This is my favorite podcast. It’s geared towards men, but honestly, I think women get as much out of the newer episodes as men. What I love about this podcast is that it’s about creating a deep connection with people. But also developing your people skills, and how to listen to other people genuinely. If you like the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie; then this is the podcast for you.
Episode length: 40–70 minutes. 2 episodes per week. + 1 minisode Monday (2–8 minutes). + Fanmail Friday (10–30 minutes). Website.
Tim Ferriss The first time I listened to Tim I didn’t like his style. But it didn’t take long until I loved his style. I was sold after the second episode.
His interview style is authentic; I only had a hard time discerning it from the start. You can tell that he asks questions that he knows his listeners want to hear, but also some personal questions he eagerly wants to know the answer to. This is what I like about him, that his own personality shines through the podcast. You can tell when he asks a question he has waited forever to ask. Both because he’s so eager to ask it, but also that he says that this is a personal question.
I think this is a genius move, to say “this is a question of personal interest to me.” That means he conveys that he picks the other ones to serve his audience. Besides that, you also get to know more about his current interests.
The podcast has a wide range of guests. Everything from psychology guests—you know the Stanford Prison Experiment, he has interviewed the professor that conducted the experiment—to workout routines, marketing, business, health. If you love personal development, experimenting, and trying out new stuff; then this podcast is for you.
Episode length: 1–3 hours. 2 episodes per week. Website.
På Riktigt med Charlie & Mathias A Swedish newly launched podcast with down to earth economics for ordinary people. They discuss everything from how to travel cheap, to how to save money for your children, and how much you should save.
I like that they every other week switch between having a guest and an expert on their podcast. This creates a nice variation. Even though this is their first podcast, the content is great; it feels like they’ve been doing this for a long time as they sound natural.
If you’d like to make sense of daily economics in a down to earth way and get tips and tricks for ordinary people; then this is the podcast for you. Unfortaneoutly, the podcast is in Swedish; so you need to know Swedish.
I love watching TED-talks. It’s been a routine to watch TED-talks ever since 2011 when I saw the first TED-talk. I only watch the TED-talks from the official site, which releases one talk every day. My philosophy is that they only release the best, so I don’t have to spend a lot of time filtering content. I know it’s not entirely true because I’ve seen a lot of awesome content posted on the TEDx YouTube site. But I can live with that.
I watch about 60% of the TED-talks, picking topics that sound interesting to me.
After watching TED-talks for six years now, you get an all-round education. I know about some of the new researchers in medicine, technology, astronomy, biology, psychology, education… But I also learn a lot through all the stories people tell. I somewhat treat this as my news source as I don’t read or watch the news.
Steve Pavlina My absolute all time favorite personal development blogger. If you’ve read some of my other articles, you know that I get a lot of inspiration from him. He’s written about everything from open relationships, passive income, spirituality, productivity, becoming an early riser, to some funny articles like How to Cook Brown Rice.
If you’re into personal development, you should check out his blog. It’s a gold mine. But instead of following him, go through his article archive of popular favorites. Be warned; you can easily lose hours reading all his stuff.
I never grow tired of Steve’s content. I’ve unsubscribed from a lot of blogs, but never Steve’s. I think it’s because he hasn’t picked a niche. You can argue that he only writes about personal development, and that’s mostly right (except the brown rice). But the personal development field is enormous. And he doesn’t only write about productivity, passive income, or another niche field. This is also one of the reasons I don’t want to niche myself with this blog.
But it’s not only that he doesn’t niche. If that were the case, there would be lots of people like Steve. What separates Steve from the mass is that he writes personal articles, sharing some of his most intimate stories. On top of that, the articles are very rich as he dives deep into a subject. Not any shallow top 10 ways to be more productive articles you can find everywhere. If that were Steve, he would write ten articles with at least 2000 words each. One for every of those productivity tips, but only after he had tried them all.
James Clear has also stayed with me for a long time. His writing style is a bit different from Steve’s. Rather than experimenting and doing deep dives like Steve, James researches tools of successful people.
I like the contrast between Steve’s and James’s articles. They complement each other. James articles are shorter (but not too short). Hmm… Short might be the wrong word. His articles are concise and clear. That sound better.
As he writes about other people, you get a variety of ideas. But it’s not only ideas. You get to hear the story behind each person, and that’s one thing I love. And James does an excellent job researching the person.
Quicksprout (Neil Patel) is a blog on how to grow your website and business through online marketing and growth hacking. This is a topic I’m doing a deep dive into now. If you’re thinking of creating an online business or already have one, I can recommend checking out this blog. Neil has written a lot of quality content there, and they are very informative and in-depth. I can also recommend checking out his free ebook on growth hacking The Definite Guide to Growth Hacking.
What I want to improve on
To be honest. I haven’t read that much for the last half-year. The current book—The Giant Within by Tony Robbins—I’m reading (for the last half-year) has a lot of exercises in it. And while I want to do the exercises in that book I haven’t made the time to do all of them. Meaning I’m a bit behind, and that could be why I haven’t continued to read it. I want to, literary, be on the same page with the exercises and the reading bookmark.
I’ve wanted to read more, but I’m not sure where I can fit that task. I often spend time with my girlfriend before I go to bed. I enjoy spending time with her, so that’s not an option. I’m all ears, when do you find or make time to read?
I also don’t want to read too much since I already eat quite a lot of growth content. But I miss reading books.
Please comment below. What podcasts do you listen to, and which blogs do you follow? How do you eat growth content?
As there are few links in the article, I decided to list them here again. That way you don’t have to scroll up and find the links again 😉
- School of Greatness (Lewis Howes).
- Tony Robbins
- Art of Charm (Jordan Harbinger)
- Tim Ferriss
- På Riktigt med Charlie & Mathias
- Steve Pavlina
- James Clear
- Quicksprout (Neil Patel)
- Pocket Casts
- Video Speed Controller (chrome extension)
- Incantations article
If you need help with a situation or someone to talk through your problems, feel free to contact me and we can probably work something out 🙂