Things to Do While Listening to an Audiobook or a Podcast

Listening to an Audiobook

Listening to audiobooks can have a lot of benefits very similar to actual reading, and it can be done without compromising much of our free time. The main advantage of audiobooks is the fact that they don’t require you to sit down and actually read, which gives you lots of options when it comes to other activities you can do at the same time. 

Multitasking is not only extremely useful, it can also be rather fun. But finding a way to multitask without compromising any of the activities you do can be challenging. 

So, here’s a list of things to do while listening to an audiobook that are sure to give you a great experience without compromising your reading (or listening in our case) comprehension.

What to do while listening to an audiobook or a podcast?

When choosing the right things to do while listening to audiobooks or podcasts, it’s important to take into account a couple of factors. 

First of all, the activity needs to require as little of your attention as possible, while still providing certain benefits to your mental state. Another important thing is to make sure you do something you enjoy, because always associating audiobooks with an activity you despise may have a negative effect on how often you choose to listen to audiobooks or podcasts. 

We managed to compile a list of adequate activities for your audiobook listening sessions which are pleasant enough while not too engaging to the extent of not allowing you to focus on what you are listening to.

Here’s a couple of our favorites.

Go for a walk

Physical activity is essential for a healthy life. It has countless benefits both for our physical health and for our mental state. It is also an activity you can do quite automatically as it requires very little to no attention. Taking a walk, especially in nature if possible, can have a very positive effect on your audiobook listening sessions. 

By breathing fresh air you ensure that your brain gets enough oxygen to work well, you relax, exercise and also acquire valuable information from audiobooks with minimum effort. 

Walking while listening to audiobooks and podcasts is amazingly beneficial for you and you can basically do it any time. All you need is an audiobook, a device to play the audiobook on and some headphones. 


Knitting, despite being apparently an activity nobody does anymore, is in fact a very relaxing and rewarding hobby chosen by a surprisingly high number of people (especially women) these days. The repetitive actions you need to perform while knitting have a very relaxing effect on your mental state, putting your brain in a sort of trance. 

Knitting also requires very little attention once you get a grip on how it works and has surprisingly many health benefits: it reduces stress by limiting the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) that is released in your brain, increases the level of serotonin and lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. Knitting is also known to delay the onset of mental decline in old age and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Pairing listening to audiobooks with knitting is a clear winner. You will enjoy the benefits of knitting while also taking in all the benefits of reading, without actually reading. 

Do a puzzle

Doing puzzles is a very well known stress relief strategy all around the world. It keeps our mind off of the things that stress us, while also keeping our mind active and engaged. 

It is a great activity to do while listening to audiobooks or podcasts, mainly because it is fun, not at all distracting and, like most of the other activities on our lists, has many additional benefits, both for our health and mental development. 

Doing a puzzle while we listen to an audiobook could be an amazingly relaxing and fulfilling way to spend our free time. 

Take notes with Basmo

While listening to audiobooks is a great experience in general and provides us with several benefits, nothing stops us from improving the outcome of a listening session. The way to improve on perfection is using a reading tracking app like Basmo

Basmo App
The Basmo App

Among many other benefits it has for the modern reader, a particularly helpful feature when it comes to audiobooks is the fact that Basmo allows you to take notes within the book you are listening to.

All you need to do is find the book you’re listening to in the tremendous Basmo library, add it to your “Currently Reading” list and start a reading session.

While the reading session is ongoing, you can simply start typing whatever you find appropriate. You can make notes to remember certain aspects of the book, or you can write down your own thoughts about the action and you can even mark your feelings with emoticons at the end of the session.

This can be particularly helpful when listening to audiobooks because it will help you better remember character names, quotes or key elements of the plot. Notes can be also formatted in different ways, with different fonts, font sizes and colors so that you will find it easier to go through them later.

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An Extra Boost With Basmo

Track the books you read, monitor the time you spend reading and keep notes on your reading habits and how it makes you feel. You can set yourself targets for the time you spend reading and you can get notified whenever you’re behind on your reading time. 

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A quick home workout or a yoga session are great ways of passing the time while listening to an audiobook. Not only do you kill two birds with one stone by doing two amazingly beneficial things for yourself, but both provide certain benefits to each other. 

Exercising helps your brain tremendously and listening to audiobooks may keep you focused on something else and make it easier to get through tougher training sessions. 

Stay outside

Sitting outside on a bench in the park with your headphones on, listening to an audiobook or podcast may be one of the most relaxing things you can do on a sunny day. Enjoying the benefits of outdoor time is not conditioned by walking, running or exercising. Sometimes simply sitting outside in the sun breathing in fresh air is more than enough to change your state of mind for the better. 

The benefits of spending time outdoors are well known and pairing these activities can only be a winning combination.

Color in Mandala coloring books

Increasing self-awareness, boosting creativity, reducing stress, blood pressure and levels of anxiety are just a few of the benefits of coloring Mandalas as an adult. This form of art therapy has become increasingly popular in the past decade, with more and more people from all over the world starting to see its beneficial potential.

It is a great activity to do while listening to audiobooks or podcasts especially because it doesn’t interfere with your ability to pay attention to what you are listening to. Coloring becomes somewhat automatic after a while and you can easily stay focused on other things, without losing any of the benefits of coloring mandalas. 

Take a drive

While we all associate the pleasure of taking a nice long drive with listening to our favorite tunes, listening to an audiobook can be equally rewarding and pleasant. The main benefit is that whether we drive to relax or drive because we need to get somewhere, we do two useful things at once: we relax or get to where we need to be while also enjoying the benefits of reading.

And if we are lucky enough to drive on an empty road where we don’t need to pay much attention to traffic, our focus will be mainly on the audiobook or podcast we are listening to.

Take a bath

A warm, foamy bath and an audiobook playing in the background is something we often dream about especially after a long, stressful day. It is as relaxing as it gets, and we can come out of a bathroom completely as a completely different person. More relaxed, revitalized and much wiser thanks to the audiobook we’ve just listened to. 

Again, it’s a huge benefit that we can combine these two activities which are both good for our state of mind without them interfering with each other. 

Do your hair, paint your nails

Probably one of our favorite things to do while listening to an audiobook is painting our nails, doing our makeup or hair. Again, our desire to do more useful things at once works to our advantage. It’s very unlikely to ever have a makeup session or nail painting session so intense that we cannot pay attention to what we are listening to. 

Regardless of the self-care activity you choose to do while listening to audiobooks or podcasts, you will always come out on top. 


Cooking in itself is an amazingly complex, rewarding and useful activity. It is relaxing, involves all our senses and by the time we are done, we have a warm meal ready to be enjoyed. Whether we do it out of pleasure or because we need to, cooking can be a very pleasurable activity, especially if we pair it with some nice music or an audiobook and glass of wine. 

Of course, not everyone loves to cook, but even if you fall in the other category, listening to an audiobook can help make the experience more enjoyable and the time will pass quicker.

Work in your garden

Doing any kind of work in your garden, whether you’re taking care of your flowers, planting vegetables or simply trimming the hedges or cutting the grass, can be a very nice way to spend an afternoon. Doing some work outside in fresh air and a bit of sun and having tangible rewards for the effort you put into your garden is pretty great. 

Whether you love doing it or not, pairing this activity with an enticing audiobook or an edgy podcast can make the experience a lot better. Again, you do two very useful things at once and you can enjoy the benefits of both without any compromise. 


It may seem like overkill at first, but reading while listening to audiobooks can have some pretty amazing advantages, depending on what you read.

If you choose to read the same book you are listening to, as you are listening to it may massively improve your level of comprehension and the reading retention ratio. Absorbing the same information from two different sources at once can have a huge impact on how your brain processes it and how strong the neuronal connections that constitute your memories are being built from the start.

The effects of reading the book you are listening to at the same time can be described as reading the same thing twice and the fact that listening and reading involve two completely different parts of your brain is a great way of ensuring that the content you are consuming is being absorbed properly in your mind. 

You are basically adding another dimension to your comprehension and information retention and it certainly helps. Listening to audiobooks while reading can also help you finish the book faster, so it’s definitely worth a shot if you are in a hurry to read as much as possible in the shortest time.  

If you are trying to read a different book as you are listening to another one, your comprehension may be compromised. This could put your brain in overdrive if your multitasking abilities are not out of this world, making you a much less effective reader. It is extremely difficult to pay attention to two different books at once, being consumed in two completely different ways at the same time. 

You are very unlikely to be able to keep up with both stories, characters and you may miss some pretty important details about both.  

Final thoughts on listening to audiobooks while reading

Obviously, there are many activities that go well with audiobooks or podcasts, and the ones above are our top recommendations for things to do while listening to an audiobook or podcast without compromising your comprehension or information retention. 

And remember, if you are looking for a great reading tracking app that can help you multitask, allows you to take notes, keep a reading journal, set reading goals, set a reading schedule and provides you with important statistics about your reading, Basmo is the one to choose.

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