Thursday, July 9, 2015

Why I Subscribe to Podcasts

As far as I see it, there are two types of people: those who think they can multitask and those who know better. With minor exceptions, multitasking breaks focus and slows productivity. This is one of those exceptions. 

You can call it a habit, a goal, a standard or crazy, but I try to walk at least 10,000 steps--about five miles--every day. In the past month I have done this 28 of 31 days. As I walk I listen to podcasts. I subscribe to several and they fall into three categories. 


About half the walk is an audio version of the PBS News Hour. Once a week, I satisfy my inner science geek with This Week in Science. These and a couple others remind me that there is an
outside world. 

Personal Growth

I pick up an assortment of personal
growth podcasts doing interviews or offering ideas. Some of these lead to books to read, either in full or through a Blinkist summary. If I'm not hooked in the first couple minutes, I'm on to the next topic. 


This category covers hobbies and entertainment. 


By playing these podcasts while I walk, I can get a briefing on current events, pick up some useful ideas and catch a few messages about my hobbies while allocating the time to health and exercise. I generally play the podcasts at 1.5 speed, as fast as possible without distorting voices. 

Truthfully, this time is for the exercise. The podcasts are scanned for potential interests but not rigorously studied. Over the past few years that I've done this, the News Hour has dutifully reported the Dow Jones Industrial Average over 1000 times and I couldn't guess it within 10% or even define it accurately. I guess I was right--I can't multitask, but it does make walking those miles more pleasant. 

Your Turn

What podcasts do you follow and why? Are you giving them your full attention?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

What Are Your Favorite Books

I am currently reading Become An Idea Machine Because Ideas are the Currency of the 21st Century by Claudia Azula Altucher. The book offers prompts and challenges you to come up with ten ideas based on the prompt. The thought is to get in the habit of having and writing down ten ideas each day. Here was today's prompt.

Tell Me Your Favorite 10 Books Of All Time And One Thing You Learned From Each

This assignment was framed to be as broad as possible. I focused on books I recommend, many of them easy reading with significant impact on me. Here are my choices. 

Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl.  The power of choice to cope with anything. 

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.  It's never too late to pursue your dreams. 

Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-free Productivity  by David Allen the systematic process of doing. 

Success Principles by Jack Canfield.  Take 100% responsibility for your life and dozens of other valuable life lessons. 

Good to Great by Jim Collins. Among several other ideas it reveals the value of a stop doing list. From this comes my own advice to get out of your own way. 

The Automatic Millionaire  by David Bach which teaches the latte factor, the long term cost of habitual spending. If you are looking for something specific to stop doing, this may help. 

Notes From A Friend  by Anthony Robbins. Robbins.  Robbins offers a wide variety of formats and many life changing ideas. This quick read introduces some of his most important ideas including the power of decisions. 

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. Thus book points out several ways wealthy people think differently from others including think "and" not "either ... or ..."  

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S Clason. This old book teaches  the basics of personal finance. 

Eat That Frog  by Brian Tracy. Another small book full of great ideas including the one which gives the book its title -- eat the big frog first. That is, start your day by tackling your biggest, highest payoff activity. 

The point of the Idea Machine is to
generate tons of ideas, not stop at ten. So, what books would you add and why?