Many of us in the military profession grapple with making the best use of our most precious resource – time. 'Work-life balance' can often seem like a mythical concept as we attempt to balance our commitment to our staff and the achievement of tasks, against investing time in our own learning and development. As we climb the ranks in our military careers, we have less recreation time to focus on getting ourselves ready for the next appointment: we tend to become swamped in the day to day management issues that consume the bulk of our time. Professional reading is often the first to be sacrificed when time is divided up between barracks commitments, family obligations, maintaining fitness, field exercises, and the most highly prized activity of all – sleep.

Listening to audio books as an alternate to physically reading is occasionally frowned upon by the academically elite, however this article by Nicholas Simontis via The Military Leader, explains the benefits of listening to audiobooks and professional podcasts in all the 'wasted time' such as driving in the car, whilst doing PT or even walking the dog. By applying this simple approach, the author has listened to a staggering 90 books in just three years.

Read the article and share your thoughts with us on listening to audio books as part of your own professional reading plan.

  • Do you find audio books a great alternate to physically reading a book?
  • How do you structure your day/week to incorporate time for professional reading?
  • Do you have any suggestions for introductory audiobooks or professional podcasts for those who haven't previously explored this option?