When I’m working at my computer, I don’t have a lot of stuff going on. No podcasts, no audio mp3 files, or videos playing, things like that. I get so involved with what I’m working on that I end up missing quite a bit of what’s being said. Which can get frustrating because I really do want to follow what’s being discussed or taught.
On the other hand, I can’t just sit passively at my computer and listen to podcasts and audio files. Drives me crazy. Some of these things are an hour long–I’m crawling the walls. It’s such an unnatural thing for me to sit in front of a monitor. And sit. And listen.
My solution was to put an iPod shuffle on my Christmas wish list – and I got it :). A shuffle is the smallest in space, features and price for iPods, but fits the bill for exactly what I need.
Here’s what I do:
I load the sucker with podcasts. When I’m driving to work and back or running errands or making coffee runs (Tim Hortons anyone?), lunch breaks, coffee breaks, treadmill time, I tune into a podcast.
I’ve also started buying audiobooks. Never did that before, again passively sitting and listening to something doesn’t fit well with my personality. But I can pop a cd in the vehicle while I’m out gallivanting and pick up some neat things like financial planning, marketing, spirituality, whatever I happen to be interested in learning or tuning into at that moment. Helps prevent me from being so one-dimensional (not always focused on webmaster stuff).
I came across a blog post recently that sums up exactly the intention and method to my madness:
Whenever you set off on an errand, think of it as brain-time where you can learn or reinforce a skill. If you travel for a living, throw some of the CDs in your carry on luggage and learn on the plane.
If you’re finding it difficult to keep up with all the information out there or finding time to keep up with all the audio and podcast files you’re interested in, or even finding time to read books (get the audio version), consider creating your own university on wheels.
Resources: Check out Bookcloseouts.com (not an aff link) and browse through their audiobooks. I’ve just scooped up 5 audiobooks (CD) for a little over $50 including shipping. However, if you still have a tape player in your vehicle, the prices on audiocassettes are beyond cheap! *Note: if you find something you like, buy it now because they have limited quantities for most things and the good stuff sells out fast.
Also look at the iPod music store, they have audiobooks that you can play right from your iPod. Prices are similar to retail value of CDs.
iPod Tip: A tip I picked up was to place your podcasts first in your iPod playlist so that you’re not wasting time searching for them if they’re mixed in with your music files.