I was listening to Podcastle earlier this week, and the editor was talking about how he was excited about the story in the episode, because it was related to how he found out about podcasts. Learning about podcasts ultimately led him to become an editor of the podcast I was listening to. He asked listeners to share how they came to podcasts and what podcasts they listen to, and I thought I’d make a blog post out of it.
I love podcasts. I love listening to them, I love finding them, and I love subscribing to them and then downloading entire back catalogs until I realize there is no way in heck I can listen to 200 hours of audio in this lifetime.
I came across podcasting in late 2004/early 2005 while doing research on new and interesting things for my clients to do while I was at New Media Strategies. I’m pretty sure the first show I ever listened to was Slice of Sci Fi, because most of my clients at the time were Sci Fi oriented and I’m a huge SF/Fantasy fan. I went on to listen to – or try to – as many podcasts as they recommended, as well as venturing into the realm of Podiobooks (podcast versions of audio books).
Over time, though, I found shows that matched up with my other hobbies – knitting, spinning, crafting and learning about science. Since I started listening, I have probably listened to about 150 different podcasts (at this point, I’m regretting that iTunes doesn’t have a wayback machine feature that reminds you of stuff you’ve already looked at…or at least that I didn’t keep a list). I go on stints where I’ll subscribe to a ton all at once, then will listen to as many as I can and delete the ones that don’t resonate. I go through phases where I’ll delete all but my top five favorite podcasts and add others. Sometimes, I revisit old friends that I stopped listening to.
On the whole, I listen to podcasts more frequently than I read blogs. Its hard to work, chase after a small boy and knit while reading a blog or a book (I’ve tried, believe me). Listening to podcasts helps me learn, keeps me company and gives me something to listen to when I’m doing what I do. Right now, my favorites are: Skeptoid, Monster Talk, Cast On, Escape Pod and Crafty Pod – a random assortment, but they are in line with my interests (science, knitting, & SF/Fantasy) to give me something like while also giving me something I wasn’t expecting.
I had a podcast for a while, and have toyed about starting another one up, but since I’m still working at getting the second issue of Strandszine off the ground, I’m going to sit on that urge for now. However, for those of you who do put out a podcast, thanks, and I salute you!
Earlier today, a friend (@kikilitalien)on Twitter asked about tech-based productivity tools that people use. I mentioned that I’d just started using a time tracking app for freelancers called Paymo, that I like a lot. From a consulting perspective, it keeps me on task and on budget for my clients, which I like. I also use it to track my non-working time.
I have a 19 month old son, and one thing I’ve been struggling with is how to accomplish everything I want to in a given time period (day, week, month, year). The answer, as far as I’ve seen to date, is that I just can’t. There’s no way I can actually do or accomplish every single goal I would like to in the time span that I would like to. Anyone who says I can has never spent two hours picking vomit out of the back seat of their car when they had planned to do something else.
At this particular point in my life, I’ve come to accept (grudgingly) that rolling with the punches is more important that hitting all my goals within the fastest time possible. One thing I’ve learned in the last 19 months is to be easier on myself in terms of what I can do and what I have the energy to do. I’m learning to scale back on the goals, or scale up on the time it takes to do them. A great example is that I’ve learned cleaning the house takes about an hour longer than it did two years ago because I have to keep track of a little bit too. I may not hit the treadmill every day, or write every day, because things pop up, so I scale back on what I task myself with doing.
That being said, I’ve started tracking my time on non-work items as well, and its helping me with the sense of scale. Just like when you start to diet, and they make you write down everything you eat, writing down how you spend your time is a great way to see where you’re helping and hindering yourself. I have a tendency to multitask – listen to a podcast while cooking dinner is a great way to work things I like to do in with things I don’t, but watching TV while writing a blog post? Doesn’t actually help my concentration for either, and the blog post takes twice as long to write.
Knowing where you spend your time is a powerful way to see where you’re bleeding time, and a great deterrant for wasting time. When you write it down – even for yourself – do you really want to say that you spent 45 minutes doing Google searches for where former cast members of Kids, Inc and the Mickey Mouse Club are? I didn’t think so. (I’m embarrassed just to insinuate that I maybe did that recently.)
Do you track your time, or am I the only time nerd out there?