Are there more videos in your to-watch list than you have time for? I hear you. I certainly have more videos in my to-watch list than I have time for. The two categories of videos I love to watch are spiritual/motivational videos and tutorials where I can build a skill or improve an existing skill. In addition, this is the day and age where people in your circles share a whopping number of videos with you. Apart from the social pressure of having to watch the video they send, you may genuinely be interested in watching that video. 

The solution, albeit a hackish one at that, is to watch videos at 2x speed. This means, you will watch a 1 hour video in a little over half hour – you save half hour just like that. I took this suggestion from Clement Mihailescu, a YouTuber who suggested this technique to watch the coding-problem-solution videos in his coding-probems-prep product

I tried watching a few videos at 2x speed. It took a bit of getting used to, but after a while, my brain could process these videos at 2x speed. There are some occasions where I would have miss something because of the speed, I would have go back at bit and listen. The metric to see if this is working out or not is whether or not you understood the material. For some speakers, I find 2x untenable, I take the middle path of 1.5x.

Though I learned this technique from Clement Mihailescu, I first came across this 2x idea from Ultralearner Scott Young, who is famous for learning a 4-year Computer Science MIT curriculum all on his own using the Free MIT Courseware material. In a video outlining his approach, he said he would go through several of the lectures at 2x videos, and this saved him a lot of time in fast-tracking his education.

As you may suspect, the 2x approach is not without pitfalls. First, this reduces the mindfulness quotient. If you can pick and choose your videos carefully and can remove a lot of videos from your to-watch list, you will be able to mindfully listen to videos at normal speed. Second, the experience of watching a video is much more enjoyable at normal speed. To make this point, imagine watching a movie in 2x speed vs normal speed. Almost everyone would agree that watching a movie at 2x speed is really a non-option (unless you are one of those people who have to finish watching a movie once you start it, however bad the movie is; in that case, you can 2x through the movie). 

Well, there you go. You now know the pros and cons. You can make your choice whether to 2x that video or not. I’d love to hear your experiences of the occasions where you have 2x’ed or 1.5x’ed videos. 

Image Credit: Juliano Ferreira from Pexels 

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Prahalad Rajkumar

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