Podcasts: An ingenious way to restart your self-education & personal development.

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.
— Henry Ford

If you’re not already listening to podcasts, it could be something you get a whole lot out of.  Podcasting is hands down the easiest way to fire up your personal growth or professional development.    I got started on podcasts about 2 years ago and have never looked back.  I'm now a self confessed podcast addict.

You won’t see me leave the house without my headphones.  And I'm always looking forward to driving alone so I can get a podcast hit.

Why you're missing out if your not listening to podcasts. Restart your self education& personal development Katie Heath Thoughts On What Matters Why I love podcasts.JPG


An alternative to music

I’ve used podcasting to learn about writing, blogging and social media.   Podcasts have taught me about productivity, nutrition and simple living.   And unexpectedly podcasts have helped me face fear, procrastination and bad habits. 

If you're anything like me you may have all too quickly dismissed podcasts.  I'd see the purple app on my iPhone and paid no attention to it for years.  I had no idea they were so good.  Stupidly I put them into the too hard basket.  I blanked them thinking listening to music was enough.

Here's my top reasons why I'd recommend giving podcasts a try.

7 reasons why you'll love podcasts

1. Renew your self-education

This is a biggy for me.  I have to say that since I discovered this powerful and free audio tool they have been my number 1 source of self development.  

 There's no need to put your learning on hold until it's the 'right time' for your family.  With podcasts, it's simple to integrate a little bit of learning into your everyday life.

2. Gives a feeling of purpose to household chores

I used to loathe doing the household chores.  Now I almost look forward to it.  Like me you're probably not the biggest fan of the never ending washing, folding and tidying cycle of family life. 

I've tried my best to practice gratefulness and mindfulness - but it's not really my thing.  These days, before I embark on a block of household chores I make sure I set myself up with my headphones or a Bluetooth speaker.

Podcasts will bring a feeling of purpose into the more mundane - some would say soul destroying -  parts of your day.  

3. Podcasts are free

Yes, podcasts are free. Completely free.  And you can hardly believe it once you get into them.  

A little warning before you get started. Unless you have unlimited data available on your phone,  only download your podcasts over wi-fi.  Do not use cellular data.  Make the same mistake as me and you'll end up with a hefty bill.  In my first month of podcasting my bill was $250 more than normal.  

4. You'll enjoy waiting

Waiting used to drive me bonkers.   Commuting delays, waiting for the kids to finish an activity, doctors delays or waiting in a line.   I'd be seething about all the things I could be doing.

With podasts you won't care about waiting anymore.  Waiting won't stress you out.  Because you won't be wasting any time.

5. Podcasts can help you decide before you commit to paid education

Podcasts can help test your fit with a new subject before you commit.  As we get older we don't have as much time to waste.  We're less likely to enrol in a course unless we're sure it'll  be worth it.  Worth it not only in terms of money but in terms of time.

It was podcasts that first introduced me to the online courses I ended signing up for.   I listened to the Fizzle show podcast for a few months before I enrolled in their online entrepreneurship course.

 The podcasts in the Portfolio Life series helped me get to know Jeff Goins.  After listening regularly to his episodes I knew I liked his approach and wanted to learn more.  I was happy to part with my money and time.

6. Share podcasts with others

LIke a book, you can share a podcast.  Sometimes you listen to one and know it would be perfect for someone else.

My husband had a core set of business podcasts he'd listened to for years.  Recently I shared a couple of more personal development style of podcasts with him.  He loved them and got hooked.  He now subsribes to the Tim Ferris show and Michael Hyatt's This Is Your Life podcast. 

7. Learn and exercise

 I've ditched listening to music while I walk.  I still love music but I get a stack more out of listening to a podcast.   Darren Rowse from Problogger credits a big part of his recent 15-kilo weight loss to his daily hour-long lunch time walk.  Everyday he does an average of 10,000 steps.  Most of it while listening to podcasts.  

My husband has also started to walk to work so he can get his podcast fix morning and night.    Podcasts have turned a long dreary long walk into a time when he invests in his personal development.

Tips for listening

  • Download the app: The links in my 'taster plate'  below will take you to the PC recording of the podcast.  While you can listen on your PC but it's best to download the app to your smartphone.  That way you can take them with you.  Simply search for the podcasts below in your app.  See the resources section for further app instructions. 
  • Listen on a faster speed: The app will give you the flexibility to listen on a faster speed.   I tend to get a bit annoyed with normal speed - people can seem like they are droning on a bit.    I find 1.5x is definitely the way to go.  See what you think.
  • Download over wi-fi: As mentioned earlier.   Be mindful of where you download to avoid a large data bill.
  • Dabble to find your fit:  Our tastes all differ.  Find what you like.  
  • Search:  If you hear someone you like on a podcast use the search function to find them again.  If they are featured on one show they are sure to be featured on another.  
  • Headphones: make sure you have a set of headphones handy.  That way you can listen while you walk, lay in bed or do the housework
  • Bluetooth in your car: If your car has bluetooth you can stream your podcasts through your car speaker system.  My favourite way of listening
  • Bluetooth speaker: Not essential but handy if you're listening while  cooking or doing chores.  

A Podcast Tasting Plate: 12 Episodes.  12 Diverse Topics

Here's the thing: listening to podcasts is like listening to music.  What I may love, you may hate.  Or like reading,  you'll fancy something different depending on your mood.  I've always got a selection downloaded so I can pick and choose on the day.

So here's a mixed bag to get you started.  I've put this together because I'm confident that everyone will find something they enjoy.

1. The Fizzle Show Episode 77  Learn New Skills Too much too learn, don't know where to start?  Perhaps you want to be an entrepreneur or start a business or a blog.  This episode is a great place to get your thinking fired up.  (NB:  These guys do engage in quite a bit of banter.  I find it funny.  You may find it annoying.  See what you think)

2. Beyond the To-Do-List Episode 92  How You Should Look At Time I'm mad about this series.  This particular episode recently grabbed my attention.  Julie Sheranosher went from working 18 hours days to 4 hour days.  She is full on! Her time hacks really get you thinking about how much time you might be wasting.

3. Value of Simple Episode 22 Minimalism, Intentional Living and Being the Best You Can   This was was one of the first episodes I listened to about minimalism.  I love Joshua Becker's tidying the garage story.  He's the guy behind the blog Becoming Minimalist.

 4.Problogger Episode 32  Can you really make money blogging If you're interested in blogging or have already started you have to listen to this whole series.  I think I've listened to it all twice.  Quick episodes.  

5. Wellness Mama Episode 23  The Importance of Bone Broth for Health I'm completely into bone broth.  If it makes you squirm maybe try listening to this episode and you may even change or mind! 

6. Michael Hyatt This is Your Life Season 4 Episode 10 The Hidden Dangers Of Sitting I've converted to a standing desk at home.  Nothing fancy.  I've got DIY versions.   I've found I no longer get lower back pain and I'm more alert.  I'll be sharing my stand up desk story (and pictures)  in a future article.

7. Smart Passive Income Episode 140 Productivity and the Early Morning Routine It was Hal Elrod who is interviewed in this podcast who got me started on my early morning habit.  A great way to fit doing what matters into your day.

8. Amy Porterfield Online Marketing Made Easy Episode 51 Putting More You Into Your Business - A Guide to Building Brand Personality  - You may be thinking of starting or already have your own business.    You are what makes your brand unique.  People need to see more of you so they can connect.  Love, love this one.

9. Brilliant Business Moms Episode 19 Be More Organized; Get to Inbox Zero - Quick episode.  Practical tips to get your inbox to zero.  A big trend in the productivity space.  While I rarely get to inbox zero I do use a number of the tips from this podcast.

10. HBR Set Habits You'll Actually Keep with Gretchen Rubin - Hmm yes.  Habits.  I've got some bad ones.  Gretchin has helped me to work on them.  

11. A Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins Episode 47 The Seven Stages of Finding Your Calling - Jeff has loads of podcasts that I love to listen to.  This one is a great place to start.

12. The Tim Ferriss Show 'Productivity' Hacks for the neurotic, manic depressive & crazy (like me) The men in your life will enjoy this one as well.  Teeny bit of a language warning for those that may be offended.  I'm so into this podcast.  Love it. 

Final Thoughts

Podcasts aren't just something to pass the time.  They'll educate you and motivate you to make change.  

They may be the thing that gives you the change of direction you need to do what matters.

Question:  Have you neglected your personal development? Could podcasts be the kickstart you need?  I'd love to hear what you think.  Please use the comments box below.


Resources to help you get started.

Apple iPhone podcast App  All pretty intuitive but if you do need a little help this is the place to get it.

Best podcast app for android

The 4 Best Podcast Apps for Android Phones