Today, I want to introduce you to one guy who shared my life during the 4 past years.
It saved me hundreds of hours, if not thousands.
This is my Sony WH1000-XM3 Wireless noise-cancelling headset:
I bought it in November 2018.
And as you can see, it’s got many marks of wear as I’ve used it *all* the time.
Here are 4 ways I use it as a mass time-saving weapon:
Listening to audiobooks and podcasts
I love audiobooks and podcasts. If you are not using them yet, I would highly recommend you try these formats.
For one, it allows you to consume high value information in plenty of non-practical situations. You can listen to them while walking, while waiting for your train, even while running!
Also, I noticed one thing: when I read in audio form, I read much faster. This is because my mind is not tempted to read the same sentences multiple times.
To be fair, before buying my wireless headset, I was already listening to audiobooks and podcasts with wired earbuds. But I had to replace them all the time, since the wires got broken quickly.
Also, when I read in a noisy street, I had to increase the volume a lot. And this was hurting my ears. With the noise-cancelling function, you can listen to your books with a lower volume, and it’s much more comfortable.
Calling people while you eat or cook
Another way I use it all the time is to call people while I do manual tasks.
You must know by now that multitasking does not work well for intellectual task.
For example, in one study, college students who tried to multitask took longer to do their homework and had lower average grades. This is because our brain does not work in parallel, it simply switch gears to bounce back and forth between tasks.
But multitasking works pretty well for manual tasks like eating or cooking. This is because eating or cooking requires requires little attention.
So why not take advantage of it?
Before buying this wireless headset, I barely called my parents once per month. Now it’s become a weekly habit. Each Saturday, we catch up, and it’s been a steady ritual for a couple of years.
What’s more, I sometimes call my accountability partner while cooking or eating. I don’t do it often because I prefer to give my full attention to someone when I talk about deep subjects. Also, I like to take notes when I’m on call with my accountability partner.
But when you are short on time, it’s better than nothing to have the option of calling while in the kitchen or when you are busy eating in the dining room.
A couple of years ago, I read a memorizing book that blew my mind. Its name is “Moonwalking with Einstein” by Joshua Forer.
It’s a great story about a journalist who becomes the American Memory Champion by training his memory from scratch.
After reading it, I practiced a lot of memory exercises. But training your memory requires absolute focus and it’s best done in silence. So this headset’s noise-cancelling feature saved my life!
Of course memory training is not a common practice. But if you are used to solving complex problems, silence is a pure gift. Especially if you are a student or knowledge worker, you will save yourself a lot of headaches with this headset.
One thing to note is that the noise-cancelling function is not perfect. You will still hear irregular noises like a dog barking or a conversation near you. But it is effective with continuous noises produced by devices like air conditioners or your fridge.
Just try it and you will experience a great sensation of calm.
Are you working in an open space? Then you are likely interrupted quite often while working. And this can be annoying.
This was my case before COVID-19. At some point, it was so annoying I had to come to work early, or stay late to progress meaningfully in my tasks.
But the headset improved the situation. People saw that when I wore my headset, I preferred not to get interrupted. So there were less interruptions, and I was relieved.
However, please note this can be a double-edged sword. You don’t want to wear your headset all day. As a great team player, it’s best to encourage people to have meaningful conversations with you.
You co-workers should not hesitate to seek your help or warn you of urgent matters when required.
And with the headset, you can signal easily when you need to get focused for rough problems, or are available to talk when you do lighter tasks.
I hope this piece made you realize the time-saving power of a noise-cancelling headset. I know it’s not cheap, but the return on investment is incredible. And it’s been a game-changer for me.