One of the best products that has come out of the internet revolution is the podcast. Part old-school radio program, part high-tech audio blog, podcasts have allowed a growing breed of experts and entrepreneurs get their message out to the world in an easily digestible format.
So how can you get the most out of the podcasts you listen to? How do you get started choosing a great podcast? Check out my tips below to help you make effective use out of your podcast choices.
Supercharge Your Commute
Are you trapped in a car for a significant amount of time on your way to and from work? Instead of listening to the same radio station every day, give yourself a supercharge by choosing some great podcasts.
Give your mind and soul a boost by listening to great educational and motivational content. It doesn’t matter if you listen to a podcast related to your field, just choose programs that inspire and persuade you to be better.
Here are some of my favorite podcasts and streams.
- Chris LoCurto
- Dave Ramsey channel on iHeart Radio
- Michael Hyatt
- Lifehack Live
- Entrepreneur on Fire
- Smart Passive Income
Don’t Be a Passive Listener
Become a proactive, engaged listener. Don’t sit in your car and zone out, letting the podcast host drone on while you fight your way through rush hour. Pay attention and do your best to find at least one idea you can apply to your life that day or in the near future.
Ask questions as you listen. Sometimes you can submit questions to the podcast host, but if that’s not possible you’ll still benefit from the process of questioning what you hear. If you don’t understand something, voice your question out loud—making note of it somehow when traffic comes to a standstill.
Spend some time later working on the problem, researching and thinking deeply until you come up with a workable answer.
Perhaps you can set up your smartphone to quickly and safely record voice memos you can play back later. Record statements that strike you as essential, profound, or pithy. Repeat them aloud in your car several times to solidify the episode’s core message in your mind.
Write key statements out on a Post-it notes when you get to work and stick them somewhere they’ll be seen throughout the day. I’d suggest buying a small journal such as a Moleskin to keep track of these ideas to review and expand them in the future.
Another idea is to play Devil’s Advocate as you listen. Do your best to argue against what’s being promoted on the podcast. Imagine yourself in a debate against the host. Use Socratic questioning in an attempt to find logic holes, logical fallacies, or contradictory statements.
If you’ve got a group of friends or colleagues you hang out with at work, why not challenge them to listen to the same podcast and make it a topic of discussion over lunch? Business owners and managers can encourage (not demand) employees to listen to a particular podcast during the course of the week with an eye toward discussing and implementing ideas in an upcoming staff meeting.
Finally, ask yourself questions like, “How does this episode’s core concept apply to me today?” Did you gain new insights while listening or find potential benefits you can reap in the future through application of what you’ve learned?
Not Just for Your Commute
Keep in mind that these strategies are not limited to commuters. Apply these principles to your podcast listening no matter when you get it done—during workouts, over lunch breaks, early mornings before work—anytime.
Podcasts often mention additional resources such as books, websites, and newsletters. Get your hands on some of them and start spending your lunch hours, breaks, and spare time digging deeper into the things you’ve heard during your commute. Make sure you check out the show notes if available—they’ll often provide links to the resources mentioned in the episode.
What are some of your favorite podcasts and streams? Please share in the comments.
Also published on Medium.
I’m Jeff M. Miller, and I help ordinary people who are stuck in a rut change their behaviors so they can be extraordinary. I’m an entrepreneur who retired from my full-time job in my early 40s to work from home. I’m a financial counselor, life coach, graphic designer, and passionate believer in helping others improve their lives a little more each day.
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