In the past few years, audiobooks have become all the rage. Every other YouTube video and podcast is sponsored by Audible or another audiobook company, and you’ve likely considered getting a subscription to one of these services.

Although they can be expensive, audiobooks have changed my outlook on productivity and organization. They help me to get more done throughout the day and make me feel more confident and positive about the work I do. Check out six ways that audiobooks can make you more productive and five resources to get cheap and free audiobooks.

1. Read More 

Listening to audiobooks can inspire students to read more books. Whether they are reading for school or personal pleasure, audiobooks make reading more accessible and manageable.

Any time that would usually be spent listening to music can be turned into an opportunity to read. If you are someone who has a long list of books to read but never manages to get to them, this medium might be the solution for you.

2. Clean Up 

In addition to chipping away at your “to be read” pile of books, audiobooks can make daily tasks more enjoyable. Doing laundry, washing dishes and cleaning your room are not always the most fun, especially after a long day of classes, work and extracurricular activities. Listening to an audiobook while doing work can make these boring chores more exciting.

An hour of chores can feel like half the time when your mind is focused on a book. Personally, when listening to an audiobook, I am more likely to do my chores more regularly and get them done faster.

3. Work Out

Many college students struggle with getting to the gym and finding motivation to stay fit. What if you could guarantee your hour run was actually an hour of reading?

Being able to spend some time by yourself working on both personal and mental fitness can be extremely productive for students. No matter what you are doing in the gym, Percy Jackson can always come along for the ride.

4. Commute 

Whether you walk to class, take a train or get in your car, audiobooks can make the journey more bearable. Commutes can be frustratingly long and seem like a waste of time, but if you’re hanging out with Harry Potter, it isn’t quite so bad.

Time flies when you’re reading a good book, so find some positivity on your commute by reading. When you can get two things done at once, the days feel much more productive.

5. Avoid Screens Before Bed 

For most college students, it is incredibly difficult to stay away from screens at least half an hour before bed like studies suggest, but this is an important habit to create.

Reading an audiobook is a great way to ease into this lifestyle. Replace time spent watching old vines on YouTube or bingeing your favorite Netflix show with a relaxing book to give your eyes a break.

6. Feel More Productive 

Listening to audiobooks makes work more exciting and can help to boost overall productivity. What if by the time you had gotten ready for the day and eaten breakfast, you had already read for an hour?

That sense of accomplishment can set the tone for the day and encourage more productivity and positivity.

Where to Get Audiobooks

Many college students are pressed for money between student loans and bills, so buying audiobooks in not always realistic. Audiobooks often cost as much as or more than physical books, and they are rarely on sale.

Subscription services can be limiting, and, if not used often enough, a complete waste of money. Luckily, there are several services that offer free audiobooks to get you into the habit.

1. Overdrive

Many public and school libraries offer Overdrive as a way for people to check out e-books and audiobooks on their phones. Find out if your library participates and download the app.

Just like a regular library, you can check out titles for a period of time and return them when finished. The best part? When they’re due, the app just takes the files back. No late fees!

2. Librivox

Librivox has tons of free audiobooks, including school textbooks, and they are available to the public.

With more than 10,000 titles, finding a book you want has never been easier, and you can volunteer to be a reader for their site.

3. Loyal Books

If you are still not finding anything, check the Loyal Books archives for free audiobook and e-book selections.  It’s a great source for any curious reader looking to dive into the world of audiobooks.

4. Spotify

Looking to read more classics, poetry and prose? Check out Spotify’s audiobook offerings, which include a great variety of public domain audiobooks, playlists of poetry and more. Spotify is a great resource for listening to literature.

5. YouTube

Many full audiobooks have been uploaded to YouTube. Simply search the title you want followed by the word “audiobook” to see if it’s available.

Although this seems almost too simple, you’ll be surprised by how many titles are on the site for free.

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