I’ve been spending a great deal of time the last few weeks thinking about productivity. Specifically on using my time the best way that I can to accomplish my goals, both business and personal without burn out. I’m not sure if it is because I am so immersed in this topic that it feels like I see, hear and read about this topic everywhere or that so many others are just as obsessed with productivity so that it IS everywhere. I suspect it’s a combination of the two and am glad that the information keeps popping up and that I’m paying attention. The most interesting part of this is that most of the information is really similar and this is a great thing. It basically means that not everyone is giving conflicting information on productivity and goal setting, they are all saying the same things…so I should probably listen.
I wrote this week about the idea of using the new year as a chance to evaluate and regroup and the areas in which I am doing this. I then wrote the next day about my decision to put pen back to paper and to go back to using a paper planner. For me, there were just so many digital options that I was becoming counter productive and felt a desire to simplify. It was a great personal choice and that step alone has been a huge help on getting a grip on my productivity and to regroup in the areas I outlined the day before. The other huge step has been to keep listening and reading about productivity. I’m almost doing so passively, just to keep it all fresh in my head. I listen to podcasts in the car and when I’m doing things like having breakfast or putting on make up, time when I’m paying attention, but not giving my full attention to it.
Three podcasts have stood out to me this week. They all deliver similar basic messages, yet each from their own unique point of view. The first from an economists standpoint, the second from a master planner view and the third from a more trying to find life balance view.
- The economist: Freakonomics Radio – How To Be More Productive. The unique POV is explaining the difference between being busy and being productive.
- The master planner: GTD (Getting Things Done) – Making Changes Stick. The importance of not only being productive, but staying productive and getting back on track if you slip up.
- The life balance: The Goal Digger Podcast – Goal Setting For People Who Hate Goal Setting. This one gets a little too faith based for my personal preference, but it’s good enough that I kept listening regardless of that.
Have you listened to any great productivity podcasts recently? Share them in the comments below, I’d love to know what they are!
A few months ago, I was in the middle of the Elizabeth Gilbert podcast series “Magic Lessons” that she created along with the release of her book Bog Magic and obsessed. I would listen to it when I went on the couple of walks I take each week and one night was leaving for a run and considered walking instead so I could keep listening. Then I thought that as I enjoyed listening while walking so much, that I might give a whirl when I went for a run. As it turns out I LOVED running to her podcast. I had been recently bored of the music I was running to and had been having pacing problems with music with beats too slow so I wasn’t adding new music in often enough. Podcasts turned out to be the perfect answer. Which was surprising as I never would have thought that I’d enjoy the spoken word to run to, but it’s amazing. I learn things, am completely entertained and find that I actually run faster the to music. I have a dozen or so podcasts on my phone but these are my top 5 that I find myself constantly going through their archives pre-run.
My Top 5 Podcasts for Running:
1. Freakonomics Radio – I love the books so no surprise that I love the podcast. The economist host picks a subject and gives you two perspectives on it via research and interviews and it’s always fascinating. Examples of some of my favorites: The No Tipping Point; Who Needs Handwriting; Why Do People Keep Having Children; Should Every One Be In A Rock Band; Food + Science = Victory!; Meet The Woman Who Says You Can’t Have It All; Aziz Ansari Needs Another Toothbrush; Is It OK For Restaurants to Racially Profile Their Employees?…and so many more. I love them all!
2. Stuff You Should Know – A very close second and the one I’ve been listening to the most recently because I can not help myself. Two guys delve into random subjects and geek out. I adore them and find myself laughing at their banter and tangents while running all the time. Examples of some of my favorites: Nostalgia is not the most toxic impulse; How Makeup Works; Some Really Interesting Cases of Mass Hysteria; How Dark Money Works; How Freak Shows Worked; (Approximately) 10 Things That Vanished Mysteriously; The Duality of Caffeine; The Satanic Panic of the 1980’s; How Lizzie Borden Worked; Great Wall of China;How Dementia Works.
3. Gastro Pod – Oddly I really enjoy listening to people talk about food while I run. I think that is bizarre AF, but whatever works. The hosts research a topic and then bring in guest speakers to pepper their findings. Examples of some of my favorites: The Bitter Truth; The End of The Calorie; The Maple Boom; Grand Theft Food; Caffeine: The World’s Most Popular Drug.
4. America’s Test Kitchen Radio – This one is new to my feed, but I am so excited about the topics that I can’t wait to dive in deep. The subjects are typically behind the scenes with famous chefs from Emeril and Rachel Ray to Aaron Franklin and pop subjects like eating paleo and cutting sugar. I suspect I’ll enjoy it immensely!
5. The Tim Ferris Show – I don’t listen to this one as much as his tend to be really long (1.5 – 2 hours) or really short (17 min) and I prefer and try and fit one podcast into one run. But I was recommended on this one and have liked what I’ve heard a great deal more then many I have tried so far, so it made my top 5.
Notable mentions: Inquiring Minds, Stuff To Blow Your Mind, Stuff Mom Never Told You, This American Life, 99% Invisible and Stuff You Missed in History Class.