Is watching videos at 2x speed a useful productivity hack or not?
I’ve used this technique at work, where my job was to write content based on the information given in the video. I’ve done this for over a year and still use it.
Based on my experience, here’s the short answer: It depends on what type of content you are consuming and what is your end goal with that.
If you are binging on videos to learn something, watching it at 2x speed is a great productivity hack, given that you grasp the content.
On the other hand, if your main goal is entertainment, watching some parts at 2x speed and others at normal speed might make sense.
On a side note, this technique is also known as speed watching, and many productivity experts use it frequently.
Let’s understand the good and bad side of speed watching.
Why Watch Videos at 2x Speed?
Saving time is obviously the biggest benefit of watching videos at a faster speed. Apart from that, here are some other benefits
1. More Focussed Mind
To retain the information you learn, you need to keep your mind focused.
At first, you might struggle with this. But once you get into a habit, you’ll automatically notice that your mind pays more attention to the things happening in the video.
2. Skip Boring Parts Faster
Almost every film has a boring section that we want to skip. Maybe it is the saddest part of the film or something that we already know will happen.
When you watch it at a faster speed, such parts will pass much more quickly.
Now you might wonder, the same also applies to the film climax. I’ll discuss what to do in such cases soon.
3. Makes a non-native speaker sounds native
If you’re a native speaker listening to a non-native creator’s content, watching their content at a faster speed can portray them in a different light!
You’ll notice how fluent they are in the language!
In fact, many non-native speakers often post a note on their video which goes something like – “Please watch this video at 1.5x speed”.
It feels great to listen to non-native content creators as they speak fluently! Not to mention the time you save.
4. The Compounding Effect
This is the most vital benefit out of all. If you watch a 20 minutes video at a 2x speed, you save 10 minutes.
It might not seem a lot on a small scale, but the difference adds up when you watch 2 hours of content per day!
Watch the 2 hours at 2x speed, and you save an hour.
Multiply this by 5 working days, and you have a total of 5 hours saved every week!
That is rougly 20 hours a month. Amazing right?
However, it’s not always sunshine and roses.
When Not To Watch Videos at 2x speed?
There are some downsides to watching videos at a fast speed.
1. Not Understanding the Language
This one is the biggest challenge of watching videos at a faster speed. If you don’t get the language, it’s much harder to grasp whatever you are listening to.
In that case, it makes more sense to watch the video at a slower pace. Otherwise, you’ll just keep going back and forth without really getting the meaning.
If you’re watching a video for the 1st time at 2x speed, don’t let this challenge stop you. You might need to rewind a few times until your mind gets the hang of things. With time however, your mind will adjust!
On the other hand, if you are watching a film with a language over which you don’t have good command, it’s better to slow down.
2. Climax or Engaging Scenes
These are the most engaging parts of any video, where the ‘meat’ of the content lies.
You can rush through them, but if you want to enjoy the experience, you are better off slowing down the video and watching it.
There’s a way you can use the speed-watching technique to save time, whether you are watching an educational video, work-related video, or a video for entertainment.
Let’s cover that below, one at a time!
Is it good to watch educational videos at 2x speed?
For educational videos, your main goal is to learn.
So ideally, it’s better to stick to a speed which suits you the best because you don’t want to miss anything important. Your speed can be 1.5x or 2x.
Here’s what an ideal approach would be:
- Watch the video at 1.5x-2x speed.
- If you don’t understand something, rewind to that part and watch it at a normal speed.
Watching at 1x is also okay if you find it challenging to understand the content. But you’ll miss out on an opportunity to train your brain to focus more efficiently.
Is it good to watch work-related videos at 2x speed?
You can watch these videos at 2x speed but slow down where the juice of the content is.
Unfortunately, when you see the video for the first time, you cannot predict where the juicy part will be. So you might need to rewind.
At first, you might waste time going back and understanding the meat of the content. But stick to it, no matter what!
Trust me, with time, you’ll get better at it. And as you become more familiar with the client, you’ll instinctively understand where to slow down and where not to.
Is it good to watch entertainment videos at 2x speed?
Generally, it isn’t advisable to watch these videos at 2x speed. Your goal here is not to learn anything but to enjoy the experience.
And whenever you want to enjoy something, you naturally want it to last longer, right? (unless you’re a productivity robot!)
However, if you still want to save time, here’s what a time-saving approach would be:
- Watch the movie at 2x speed (even better if you can skip the boring part)
- Slow down whenever there’s an interesting plot (switch to normal speed)
Ali Abdal, the famous productivity Youtuber, has this approach.
What to expect once watching videos at 2x speed becomes normal for you?
People might find it weird whenever they see you listening to something at that speed.
My family often asks me whether I can really understand what the video is about at that speed.
So once you become comfortable at speed watching, you’ll likely be asked this question.
And you’ll feel like having a superpower compared to the ordinary folks!
At the same time, you’ll save so much time.
Conclusion: Give it a shot
Try it out yourself from now on. Here’s a quick recap:
- Watch everything at a 2x speed.
- If there’s something important or engaging, slow down to normal speed.
- If you don’t understand something, rewind it.
My friend introduced me to this magical hack, which has helped me save countless hours since then!
And now I hope you will save hours in a day with it!
And if you’re looking to be more productive with time, I highly suggest you read the article on productivity hacks for entrepreneurs. Here I share 13 different hacks – some will save you days, some will save you months, while 1 will save you years!
Let me know if you use this hack or have another approach to using it in the comments section below.
Hello! It’s Rana here. On this blog, I write about productivity and self-help. I share my personal experiences and offer solutions that you can use in your life 🙂