my podcast listening habits: intro

Quick note: this post is an account of how I currently consume podcasts for fun and profit. It is not intended as an objective analysis of learning via podcasts vs other methods.

From discussions I have had with friends, I seem to consume a lot of podcasts. I think I first started listening to podcasts back in 2007 and, for better or worse, I can’t remember ever having taken a break.

I probably, on average, listen to 1-2 hours of podcasts everyday.

why so much consumption?

My brain is always hungry for ideas and how to learn about the world. Many of the podcasts out there provide an entertaining educational experience that suits my learning style.

what do I listen to?

It’s an eclectic assortment.

My purpose for listening is probably 90% education, 10% entertainment.

I’ll also try to select content that I consider challenging or threatening to my world view. For example, given my that I think habit building is a superpower that everyone should get better at, I’m more likely to select an episode that implies “habits aren’t all that they are cracked up to be” over one that implies “habit building is a superpower that everyone should get better at”

If you feel like you’re missing out by not listening to podcasts but are not sure where to begin, I recommend these podcasts for their accessibility:

  • This is Love – love stories that are somewhat unconventional or have some kind of plot twist. I remember “Episode 19: The Wolves”, to be especially moving.
  • Hidden Brain – psychology broken down into easily digestible narratives. I am currently giving the episode “The Secret to Gift Giving” a “slow listen” (to be explained in the next post!)

Since 2013, I have used only Podcast Addict (Android only, sorry!). They’re not a sponsor, I just think it’s a nice app that gets out of the way and let’s me listen without any fuss. Which is more than I can say for so many other listening apps out there (I won’t name or shame!).

when do I listen?

I find myself habitually putting in my ear buds and hitting play while

  • working out
  • walking
  • running errands
  • travelling to meetings or gatherings
  • drawing

But you may also like to listen during other times like on your commute, drives or doing chores

a podcast for every activity?

I know some of my friends save certain podcasts for certain activities or times of the day. For example, they may listen to their favourite comedy podcast only when they’re working out or listen to a news podcast exclusively on the commute home.

My playback is less discerning. I simply select episodes as my feed gets refreshed and might expedite certain episodes so they get played sooner. When I do any of the activities I mentioned above, I simply hit play and enjoy.

more on my listening habits

In this post, I have told you a bit about what I listen to in Podcast land. In the upcoming posts, I will tell you more about how I listen to them, specifically around how I decide what playback speed to use depending on what I’m listening to and what my listening objective is

Until then,
Happy listening!