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What do you do with idle time? I define idle time when you are doing a mindless activity. Idle time examples could be taking a shower, driving or riding a bus to work or school, doing house work, or any kind of repetitive task that doesn’t require 100% of your attention. What could you do to make the most of your idle time?

 

You may have never heard of a podcast or maybe you have heard of it but don’t really know what it is. A podcast is a recording (much like a radio talk show) that is posted on the internet for audiences to either listen right from the internet site or downloaded to an MP3 player (iPod, Sandisk, Zune, or smartphone).

The term podcast originated from recordings (aka broadcasts) designed to be downloaded and played on an iPod (iPod broadcast = pod – cast). The really neat thing about downloading to an MP3 player is that you can then listen to the podcast any time you want and wherever you want. The range of topics are countless and can of course be paused, rewound, and listened to again (unlike a radio talk show).

If you have iTunes, or other MP3 player device you can find a function that lets you view, and search podcasts. There are other programs that are free like Juice that can go to internet sites and automatically download the latest podcast for you. Your MP3 player can be setup to download overnight so that when you plug in before you go to bed, your podcasts update and are ready to listen to the following day.

I listen to podcasts every day as I am driving in the car, or sometimes when I am exercising. Some of my favorite podcasts are:

  • 48 Days – Author Dan Miller’s podcast answers email questions about entrepreneurial ideas and seeking your vocational calling.
    Typical length: 48 minutes
    Frequency: weekly
  • 60 Second Science – Scientific American spends 60 seconds discussing some new scientific fact or discovery.
    Typical length: 1 minute
    Frequency: Daily, Monday – Friday
  • A Moment in Time – NPR broadcast from Richmond Virginia’s Dan Roberts explains a short historical event
    Typical length: 1 minute, 30 seconds
    Frequency: Daily, Monday – Friday
  • Best of YouTube – Video podcast that is guilty pleasure. Posted are top funny or amazing videos from YouTube.
    Typical length: 30 seconds to 5 minutes depending on the video
    Frequency: 5 or 6 times a month
  • The Buzz Report – CNET’s video podcast that highlights the past week’s technology news
    Typical length: 5 minutes
    Frequency: weekly
  • Discovery Channel – short video clips from recent Discovery Channel programs.
    Typical length: 1 – 2 minutes
    Frequency: 6 – 8 times a month
  • Freakonomics Radio – Unique perspective about what you think is true.
    Typical length: 15 – 20 minutes
    Frequency: weekly
  • Free Agent Underground – Owner of Free Agent Academy discusses through a live chat the tools of free agency.
    Typical length: 45 – 60 minutes
    Frequency: twice weekly
  • Manager Tools – Mike Auzenne and Mark Horstman discuss business management effectiveness.
    Typical length: 30 minutes
    Frequency: weekly
  • NOVA Video Cast – short video clips from recent PBS NOVA episodes.
    Typical length: 8 – 13 minutes
    Frequency: 1 or 2 times per week
  • PhotoTips: Photography Tips by BCphoto – video program that highlights basic to advanced photo techniques.
    Typical length: 30 – 40 minutes
    Frequency: weekly
  • Saddleback Church Weekend Message – Rick Warren (author of the book Purpose Driven Life) delivers his weekend sermon to Saddleback Church.
    Typical length: 60 minutes
    Frequency: weekly
  • Saddleback Church: DriveTime Devotionals – Tom Holladay from Saddleback Church reviews a portion of the bible designed to be listened to as part of your commute.
    Typical length: 5 – 10 mintes
    Frequency: weekly (5 posted each week designed to listen to one per day)
  • TEDTalks – Video podcast of some of the most compelling conference presentations from the TEDTalks conferences.
    Typical length: 5 – 20 minutes
    Frequency: daily
  • The Dave Ramsey Show – One hour of Dave’s 3 hour call-in radio show. Almost commercial free.
    Typical Length: 39 minutes
    Frequency: weekdays

I also listen to a few more than just these podcasts. Of all of these, podcasts that are at the top of my list and I try not to miss include, The Dave Ramsey Show, Saddleback Church: Drive Time Devotionals, Saddleback Church Weekend Message, Free Agent Underground, and 48 Days.

If you haven’t listened to a podcast, check out an few of these and let me know what you think. If you listen to podcasts already, let me know some of your favorites. I am always looking to find the next best podcast.