Why do we listen to the radio in the car? Because the act of driving requires hand eye coordination, but not our hearing. The act of driving is largely automatic, so you don't need to spend 100% of your concentration on driving. Therefore you can do other things with your sense of hearing whilst driving. So what other things do you do on autopilot? Anything that you do that doesn't require a high level level of concentration could be an activity you could use for learning. It could be walking, exercising, stretching or sitting one the train.
I listen to podcasts all the time. By default I make sure I have a few podcasts lined up before I leave the house. I probably listen to upwards of 10 hours of podcasts per week. That's 10 hours of passive learning whilst I'm doing other things. I've created 10 hours of time! Beat that time travel. I don't listen to podcasts when I'm working or writing as those activities take too much of my mental focus, but anything that doesn't require that creative focus is time that could be repurposed for learning.
Podcasts aren't for everything, but they're good for ideas and they're good to get inspired. I love to listen to podcasts on new topics or something that has piqued my interest recently. Since they don't usually get too technical, they serve as a good introduction for beginners.
Learning is about the habits you create. Habits like this could 'create' the time for you to learn a new skill, improve an old skill or inspire you. And it's not just podcasts, I'm writing this post as I stand on a train. Definitely beats playing candy crush.
Listen to a podcast today.
Here's a few of my favourite with some of my favourite episodes:
Life & Learning
- Tim Ferriss podcast
- London Real
- Future thinkers
- Software Engineering Daily
- Shoptalk show