This is going to be mind-blowing for a lot of people, and not in a good way. What busy person has time to add not just new shows into their life, but a whole new form of media?
That’s just the thing. You have time.
Getting information from podcasts will save you time. Jim Kwik says, “readers are leaders.” I say winners are people who make things happen better, faster, and more consistently. And podcasts present the opportunity to plow through a serious volume of content. Download one. Have it ready. Next time you’re in a situation where you’d rather be doing anything else, load that baby up on your phone.
I’ve been consuming podcasts voraciously since I discovered them (embarrassingly recently). While I do binge on a series once I’ve identified it as high-value, I also go through a lot of different podcasts. There’s plenty of junk in there, but if you keep your standards high and only listen to the ones that are worth your time, the returns can be huge.
4 Reasons Podcasts are Worth It
Podcasts have (at least) 4 advantages over other forms of media.
You get more value in less time. Good podcasts are made by genuine authorities and packed with value. Depending on how much focus it requires, you can listen to a whole episode in 1/2 or 1/3 of real time. If you listen to a podcast and don’t feel like it’s efficiently beneficial, get rid of that podcast and try a different one.
If you have a smartphone, you probably already have the player. iPhone people can just get podcasts right from iTunes. They go straight to your phone just like the songs you buy. Once episodes are on your phone, they’re with you all the time! Next time you’re waiting for the AAA guy, you might not have your book, but you’ll probably have your phone. If you get hooked on a podcast, talk to your favorite nerdy person about sending new episodes to your phone automatically.
Other people call this multitasking. What I mean is that you can listen to podcasts while you do other activities. But where multitasking involves switching focus from one task to another, I recommend stacking activities that make different demands on your attention. For me, walking the dog requires my physical presence and time, but (compared to the rest of life) close to zero brain power. Listening to a podcast requires my ears and brain, plus reasonably easy access to Evernote to aid retention. This is how I walk my dog and rack up a million miles on my Fitbit without feeling like a waste of life professionally. You can consume podcasts in line (can you say Post Office?!), in waiting rooms, while driving, when people are late, while you clean, etc.
This is the idea of going wide instead of deep. Sure, you can dig really deeply into a single topic by listening to podcasts. But they present an equal opportunity to branch out in new directions. Not sure what people are doing about hair loss these days? Hair Loss Podcast. Trying to buy a mattress? Mattress Industry Podcast. Lucid dreaming? You betcha. In all nature of “stuck” situations, a good podcast can get you moving again.
Are you still reading?
Go do the thing. Download a podcast. This is a seed you’re planting that your future self will be grateful for. Once you’ve listened to an episode or two, let me know about your experience.