Of all the themes you’ll see here on Lifestyle Is Medicine Doc, undoubtedly, the theme of self-education reigns supreme. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” So what is one of the best ways we can habitually educate ourselves without taking up additional time throughout our week? Podcasting.
The Power of Podcasting
Podcasting has been around for quite some time. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn about the power of podcasting until I took a job with an hour-long commute and literally googled, “How to make my commute suck less.” In addition to discovering a sweet magnetized holder for my phone saving me from the hassle of traditional clasping cases, I came across several articles that recommended podcasting.
Having nothing better to do with my 120 minutes each day, I decided to experiment with different podcasts. Surprisingly, I was able to access a seemingly endless number of shows through my Spotify account. It was a game changer. I bounced from random topic to random topic learning about sports, finance, parenting, personal growth, nutrition, politics, cooking, natural birthing--you name it, I’ve likely tried it. After a couple weeks of browsing, I honed in on those that were most aligned with my goals and interests.
It was like a whole new world of knowledge was at my fingertips. Unlike school, I got to pick the topic. I was in control of the content I listened to. It was incredibly empowering. Another plus is, podcasters aren’t shackled by the same FCC regulations as radio hosts and can, therefore, share their information with you without restriction.
In the first month, I learned more useful information than in my first semester at college. I was addicted. Not only was I learning about topics that allowed me to make positive changes in my life, I was also starting to look forward to my commute.
Maximize Efficiency While Doing Chores
Wanting to maximize efficiency, I even started to podcast while doing chores around the house. “Well, there’s laundry to do. That’s pretty mindless. Maybe, I’ll try me a lil’ podcast.” Dishes to clean. Podcast. Leaves to rake. Podcast. House to vacuum. Podcast. Meeting with hospital administrators. Podcast (ok, ok, this never really happened, but if presented with the opportunity....).
Menial tasks transformed from a nuisance to an opportunity to learn and grow. I then took this information and applied any actionable steps to better improve my life position. If someone suggested that a Charles Schwab bank account was a fantastic option for those traveling abroad wishing to avoid ATM fees when withdrawing money, I would sign up for an account.
If I learned that the consumption of cheese and other animal products increased my risk for developing a wide array of cancers, I set out to reduce my consumption of said products. Whatever good advice you receive, the key is to TAKE ACTION.
So what actionable steps can we take to habituate listening to podcasts? Well, the first step is to identify resources that offer a variety of shows. As said before, I do this through my Spotify account which does cost $9.99 per month. However, access to a number of podcasts is available through YouTube, Itunes, Google Play Music, Pocketcasts, Castbox, Overcast, or Stitcher Radio for free or for a nominal fee. A simple google search on the topic will help you identify the best medium for your particular situation.
The next step is to figure out systems to remind you about podcasting when doing menial tasks. Consider hanging up a sign in your garage or laundry room reminding you to podcast. Leave your headphones on the kitchen counter. Create “if, then” statements about the habit. “If I’m doing chores around the house, then I will turn on a podcast,” etc.
The final step is to act upon whatever you’ve learned and you'll be forever changed for the better because of it. Happy podcasting!
How about you? What are some of your favorite podcasts? What mediums do you use to listen to your favorite podcast?