How-to Consume Information In Zero Minutes Per Day


reveal secret

Have you ever purchased an information product and not even used it? How do you overcome this in order to learn more, gain new knowledge and improve your business?

It is a common issue, in fact, it is said that 87% of physical info products are never even taken out of the wrapping.

Today I am going to show you how I consume huge amounts of valuable information, without spending a minute of my time focusing on it.

The key to this is the attention span.

You see, it takes a very disciplined person to sit down and watch a 60-minute webinar, teleseminar etc from start to finish.

Reading a 100 page eBook from cover to cover in one sitting is almost impossible for me.

So here is my custom solution.

Online Poker

poker cards

Now, don’t panic, I will explain, and bear in mind that you can replace online poker with anything else that suits you personally. (chess, backgammon, drawing, poetry etc)

What I do is aim to get information products that are in audio or video format.

Teleseminars, webinars, audio books, audio interviews, videos, screencasts…

all of the above have audio.

Then I fire up some online poker, and have the information product running to the side or in the background.

The online poker keeps my attention, keeps me from being bored, and keeps my mind thinking strategically… and at the same time I am consuming the info from the product.

Now, you may be thinking: “But Dean, why not watch some YouTube videos or listen to music instead?”

Both of the above require audio, and it is not possible to listen to two sets of audio at the same time.

So whatever you choose, make sure it has no audio.

Perhaps online chess, minesweeper, backgammon etc…

I also have a piece of a4 paper at the side of me, and I bullet point and mind-map anything that:

a) I didn’t already know
b) I can implement in the coming weeks.

If there is a piece of advice that really grabs my attention, I may re-watch it to make additional notes, and in extreme cases I will even leave the poker room and watch that section in detail.

But the key point here is that no matter how passionate you are, the thought of sitting infront of the PC to consume information for an hour or longer just doesn’t appeal to most people.

This way I make it fun.

But what about information products that don’t have audio?

Such as ebooks or membership content.

Here is what I do:

1) Print it out

Most of us stare at a screen all day, we dont want to spend even more time doing it.

Also, by printing out the info, it adds perceived value, and you are more likely to consume it.

2) Travel with the printouts

Similar to the theory in part one of this experiment, the goal here is to have the information on you whenever you have nothing better to do.

Some of my most productive times have been sat on a train with nothing but an A4 pad and a pen.

3) Outsource the learning

I know a lot of successful people who do this.

Basically, you get someone else to read it for you, and then get them to supply you with notes on the main points.

You can probably find someone on Elance or Craigslist to do this for a small amount, or perhaps you and a friend could take it in turns?

I was given notes from an attendee at a seminar recently, and in 15 pages I was able to digest all the best bits from a 2-day seminar in under an hour.

What’s more, all the info was brief and to the point, no filler, no long explanations, no sales pitches etc…

These tips can save you hundreds of hours, and most importantly, you will now be able to consume the information that you need to grow your business.

See you at the poker tables ;-)

This post is part of the Zero-Distraction Diet series of blog posts:

Part 1: Zero Distraction Experiment

PS: Please comment, it makes me as giddy as a school girl, and gives me a warm glow of self-satisfaction.

PPS: if you do not comment, I will release the flying monkeys. That’s right, you heard me, “flying monkeys”… “Dean, is that a reference to the Wizard of Oz movie?” Yup, that is how I role. I can reference other movies as well, so be warned. ;-)

  • MouthyGirl

    Great post and great ideas, I have the same problem with distraction and boredom, thanks for the tips. I’ll be looking forward to more :D

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  • andilinks

    I agree. I have been playing freecell during talking head/lecture video presentations for years and have always felt that dividing my attention this way improves my learning from the video. I do keep the video side-by-side with the game in case visual aids are presented and have found that the more complex video games and those including motion are too distracting for this use.

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  • Dean Hunt

    Mouthygirl – many thanks.

    Andilinks – indeed, it has to be something you can do in an autopilot like state.


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  • barney_bl

    Dean, if that works for you, great!

    However, it is demonstrable – and demonstrated! – fact that very few of homo sapiens can truly multi-task. The human brain just is not wired that way, nor can it be trained into it. The research types have been trying that for years.

    You method does not work for me, nor for anyone that I know.
    If I’m playing poker, I won’t be concentrating on the audio (which you started watching while taking notes ). I’ll hear it, as background noise, but it won’t register as information, just as static.
    And if I pay attention to the audio, I’ll lose focus on the game and lose it.
    That being the case, I’m better off, as are most, forcing focus – on the written version, preferably, if there is one – and taking notes.
    (Before you counter with ‘subliminal’, that has *never* been proven to work. Legislation against subliminal advertising was engendered by political minds with a concept, not by demonstrable fact.)

    Part 2 is much more workable, but I’d rather use a PDA or ebook reader or netbook or such … harder to make notes, but easier on the environment. However, that brings up a problem as well. Neither I nor anyone in the vicinity has the opportunity to do aught than drive – or pedal – to our various destinations.

    Part 3 … could take years before I’d trust someone else to bring out the same points – ALL of ‘em – that I would garner. I’m already reading someone else’s opinion. If I outsource that, I’m going to get the outsourced opionion of someone else’s opinion … and very possibly miss something important in the process.

    As I said, if this works for you, that’s great. It’ll prolly work for a few others, as well. I just cannot see it as a universally viable methodology.

    (P.S. I’ve been involved (in my past corporate life) in research, survey, & analysis of comprehension and presentation of [usually] advertising and educational material.)

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  • PokerEconomist

    Dean, I didn’t know you played Online Poker! I approach often boring information/seminars/ebooks this way also… to keep the mind occupied. We live in the A.D.D age lol.

    You got my email, let me know if you’re interested in $500 upfront cash Online + and unlimited Bankroll for life. I’ll hook a fellow Internet Marketer + Online Poker up! I’m not even bullsh*tting!

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  • Dean Hunt

    Barney – thanks for showing me the other side…

    What I would say, is that I have ADD tendencies. So what works for you, clearly wont work for me (I have tried almost everything).

    This works for me, and for people who struggle in today’s attention age, it seems to work for them too.

    I agree that if you are focusing on the poker, then the audio can become background noise… which is why I play super low stakes, and dont really focus on it that much at all.

    it is almost like I am doing the poker on autopilot. So there is no distraction, just a small enough level of interest to keep me from wanting to go and watch TV etc…

    Part 2 – yes, again, this works for you, doesn’t work for me.

    Part 3 – Trust? The main points of a product are the main points, ok, you may miss a few of the more subtle tips by outsourcing this… but I am confident that even someone with no prior knowledge of the topic would be able to see what the main bullet points are.

    Heck, most courses and info products even outline them.

    I do agree that this is not a universal method. My guess is that it will work for a max of 25% of people, i.e those who have the same personality profile as me.

    I can only write from my perspective.

    Also, this series is an experiment, so I am open to it all crashing down and not working, but thus far, this technique has worked for me.

    Thanks again.


    PokerEco – Will drop you an email.

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  • Kennedy

    Great post as ever dude. I read sooooo slowly. So need to work on that methinks. More soon…K

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  • Rusty Moore


    I am glad I’m not the only person who can’t do one thing at a time. Life is too short not to multi-task. Too many fun things to do…and not enough time!

    For me, it’s Street Fighter 4 with the sound turned off…but only with Sagat or Ryu. With Guile I have to think to much (charging in the air to prepare for the sonic boom).

    Of course I don’t go online where a 13 year old will “school” me.

    Great Post!


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  • Normal Joe

    It’s true man, that’s how I’ve been consuming info lately. I love physical products, if it’s an ebook, I print it out.

    If it’s audio, I throw it on the mp3 player and listen in the car.

    If it’s a dvd, I’ll watch it over lunch…seriously, I find it hard to sit there and watch multiple dvds, I end up falling asleep.

    What I realize is that if you do something else, especially when the content is audio, you can absorb it without even paying much attention…it’s happening in the background of your mind.

    I spend all day in front of the pc, I don’t want to do it anymore than I need to…so I print, burn, and transfer whatever I need so I can truly consume it.

    I’ve made it through about 4 audio books over the last month, no way I would have read that many books in one month lol….but listening during my commute made it happen.

    good stuff man.

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  • Konata J

    I find I get locked into the online chess or wordwrap and would have to re-listen if I felt missed something. But I would also recommend taking breaks. If the recording is 60 mins, take a 10 minute break or watch and learn (3) 20 minute segments.

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  • Alex Schleber

    Another method is to listen to audios on 150-250% speed, depending on the base speed of the speaker (Quicktime allows you to do this, as will some other custom software programs). This will not only make it twice as fast (the pitch stays the same though), but your mind is also really forced to pay more attention.

    Learned this from Rich Schefren, and it has come in handy over the last few years.

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  • FitJerks Fitness Blog

    Haha, get someone to read for you. That’s effing hilarious. Not sure if I’d go that far for an info product since I do enjoy the joys of reading in an of itself.

    However, there are some BOOORING mofos out there, so at some point this might be a good idea.
    .-= FitJerks Fitness Blog´s last blog ..Recipe: Grilled Fish & Berry Blast � FitJerk Friday�s =-.

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