The demand on our attention these days is through the roof. We love to scroll through feeds, watch videos, read articles, but there’s only so much we can consume in a day. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, said that “more content is being produced in 48 hours than was created from the beginning of mankind to 2003.”
It is evident that there is so much more content out in the world than we can ever consume in several lifetimes. This makes our attention a scarce resource. This means we must be very selective with the content we choose to consume. Most importantly, much of the content out there requires our full attention, meaning our eyes, ears, and/or mental processing power.
Podcasts are a way around this.
Last year was my first introduction to podcasts. I have now been listening to podcasts for a year now and I can honestly say they have changed my view on life in so many ways.
Podcasts are far from new, but they are experiencing a boom in listenership as our culture is transitioning into a mobile, on-demand culture where the demand on our attention is increasing. Podcasts do not require your full attention. Good podcasts can be just as valuable as a great book, video, or blog post, if not more. They are perfect to listen to while doing monotonous tasks that don’t require all of your attention. They’re great to listen to while you’re exercising, driving, or my favorite: drawing.
If you’re not listening to podcasts, you’re missing out on the opportunity to optimize your content consumption and be more productive. Fill in those gaps of time in your life with free, high-quality content. Podcasts take advantage of the audio format to deliver you the tools to improve your personal, educational, and social life. It’s honestly the closest thing to true multitasking that I have found.
If you’re not listening to podcasts, you’re missing out on the opportunity to optimize your content consumption and be more productive.
— Dane Gonzalez (@HeyImDane) March 1, 2015
If you have an iPhone and iOS 8 there’s no excuse for you not to be listening to podcasts. The podcast app is now native to the iPhone’s software, and there’s so much content readily available at your fingertips.
Here’s what the podcast app looks like on your iPhone:
And if you have Android, here are some options for Android podcast apps.
My Favorite Podcasts
Here’s my top 10 favorite podcasts that I’m currently loving. If you’re just getting into podcasts, I encourage you to check these out or search through the categories in iTunes to find the ones that suit you best.
1. seanwes podcast
My all-time favorite podcast. It’s a twice-a-week podcast focused on helping you make a living with your passion. This podcast flips the “do what you love” cliche on its head. Sean McCabe and Ben Toalson take the entrepreneurial, realistic approach to what it actually means to follow your passion independently. In 2015, the seanwes brand will be branching out into a podcast network and launching several new podcasts this year around entrepreneurship. I cannot recommend this podcast enough.
2. Roderick on the Line
Roderick on the Line is “Merlin Mann’s frank & candid weekly phone call with John Roderick of The Long Winters.” I love this podcast for its deep and comedic discussions on the various social and philosophical questions of this world. It’s a hybrid of an interpersonal conversation and intellecutal exploration through candid discussions and anecdotes. It can often get explicit, but in the service of uncovering the real truth. There’s never an episode that fails to make me laugh.
3. The #AskGaryVee Show
The only reason The #AskGaryVee Show isn’t higher in my podcast rankings, is because it’s also a daily video show, which is really worth giving your full attention to. I find Gary Vaynerchuk to be one of the most interesting entrepreneurs in this day and age. In this show, he gives current and relevant business and marketing advice to questions asked by entrepreneurs. He’s very passionate about business and can get explicit when he’s speaking the hard truth.
4. This American Life
This American Life is a great weekly podcast where they cover several stories tied together by a single theme, with a different theme each week. Often seated at the number 1 ranking of the top charts in iTunes, so I won’t say much else about this. The ranking speaks for itself.
Serial was the first spinoff show from This American Life launched in the fall of 2014. Serial tells one story – a true story – told week by week, over the course of an entire season. The first season was a re-investigation into a murder case against an ex-boyfriend, and Sarah Koenig questions whether the right decision was made. It quickly experienced unprecedented success for a podcast and gained the number 1 ranking in iTunes throughout its debut season. Arguably the most viral and popular podcast to date – It even earned itself a great SNL Sketch!
6. The Accidental Creative
The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry is perfect for the creative professional who has the job of creating value everyday and addressing the struggles that go along with it. Highly condensed material into quick, valuable takeaways that you can implement into your creative routine right away.
7. Reply All
A new show by Gimlet Media about the internet. Dives into the interesting world of the internet we all live in, and how the internet effects us in very profound ways. There’s also the podcast StartUp, which is a podcast about the launch of Gimlet Media company. It’s a unique behind-the-scenes look into the management of Gimlet Media, which includes the show Reply All.
Radiolab is where “science meets culture and information sounds like music.” They investigate people, stories, and experiences within the theme of a particular cultural subject. This marriage between the world we live in and scientific explanations is what makes this show great.
Invisibilia is a new podcast from NPR which I really love. It’s all about the invisible, yet very real forces of this world. In their first season, they wonderfully discuss subjects such as echolocation, the psychology of thoughts, and entanglement.
10. Snap Judgment
Snap Judgment is “story-telling with a beat.” They discuss several stories around a single theme which is edited to be a musical experience that enhances the story being told. I’ve only recently began listening to this again. When I first picked this podcast up as new podcast listener, it was so heavily edited that it was difficult for me to handle it all. So, you may want to wait if you’re new to podcasts.
11. Back To Work
I didn’t include this in my top ten because it has evolved into more of a personal talk show podcast, but I wanted to mention it. Back to Work with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin was really good in the beginning about discussing the problems with being productive and engaged with the work you do. I highly recommend that you at least listen to the golden episodes (Episode 1, Episode 3, Episode 5, and Episode 7). These four episodes have been extremely influential discussions about productivity for me. If you enjoy those, the first 50 episodes are just as solid and it slowly begins to evolve from there.
Thanks for reading, I hope this has helped you! Could you please share this with your friends who could benefit from listening to podcasts? It would mean a lot, Thanks![feather_share]