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How Podcasts Became My Anti-Procrastination Tool

And my ALL-TIME favourites

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I know that I circle back to a podcast recommendation post approximately every three months, but podcasts are now a part of my daily routine. A HUGE part in fact. I listen to one most days and along with Instagram and YouTube, it’s where I consume the majority of my content. Heck, even my sister listens to them these days and I’m pretty sure she hasn’t upgraded her phone in about eight years.

I listen to podcasts when I clean. I listen to podcasts when I get ready in the morning. I listen to podcasts when I’m hanging up the washing. I listen to podcasts when I’m walking to the train station. Of course audio format lends itself to tediously long travel journeys and hoovering your home, but I’ve found a new use for podcasts as my ultimate anti-procrastination tool. Hear me out on this one…

Whenever I tell people that I work for myself and I work at home, I’m either greeted by two responses. ‘Aren’t you lonely?’ – yes, sometimes. Or, ‘I could not do that! All I would do is watch daytime T.V.’ – yes, sometimes. Unfortunately there is not some magical spell that has been cast on those who are self-employed that makes them immune from feeling like an un-moveable blob that just wants to eat a pack of biscuits and watch This Morning occasionally. It happens to the best of us; whatever our employment status. I find that when it’s down to the wire with deadlines and to-do lists that I just feel that I haven’t got a handle on, it’s more likely to occur which is just so handy. Thanks inner motivation levels. WHY YOU DO ME LIKE THAT?

I’ve tried all sorts of methods to dodge this funky feeling, but more recently I’ve found both solace and creative juice thanks to podcasts. And it’s not the usual ‘listen to something that motivates you‘ line that I’m going to regurgitate; instead it’s ‘listen to anything‘. Perhaps it’s the fact that any kind of voice or interaction around you when you work in silence feels nice, or it’s just the comforting sound of background babble – but whenever I feel like I just CBA-ed, sticking on a podcast always seems to get me back on to task.

I just them in two ways. Recently my ‘morning person’ abilities have been seriously tested. The switching around of the clocks really did me in this time, and I think that combined with some travel has put my body clock out of sorts and I have been S.T.U.G.G.L.I.N.G in the morning. Who am I? Even Mark looks a little worried as he leaves the house and I’m still rolled up in my sheets like a burrito. Deep down I know that I’m lazing in bed just to avoid looking at my plan for the day because I’m feeling behind, but that doesn’t seem to stop me clocking up some serious time lying horizontal. So technique one is to stick on a podcast – a 40-ish minute one works perfectly – and use it as a timer to get up and sort myself out and the flat for the upcoming working day. It provides some company as I get ready and a countdown to clock-in. Works like a dream every time.

The second way I use them is throughout the day whenever my mind is anywhere but work. There are always a few tasks that I can do with audio in the background, so I get that ready to go and listen to a podcast in the background to make the whole thing more enjoyable. There’s something about listening to someone doing their work – hosting a podcast – that lights a fire in my belly for me to get on and do my work. It’s a simple technique and certainly nothing ground-breaking, but I do like to make sure that I have a couple of episodes of my favourites in my back pocket for any and all occasions. Here’s how to do that. One – make sure you subscribe using your podcast feed of choice, whenever you spot a podcast that you like the sound of. Two – scan that feed regularly and add the episodes you like to a ‘Listen Later’ playlist. Three – download this playlist so that you can listen to them regardless of whether you have WiFi or not. TA-DAH, say hello to your very own anti-procrastination podcast playlist.

MY TOP FIVE PODCAST PICKS

Who Weekly? I know I mention this podcast every single time that I give recommendations, but nothing makes me as happy as the banter between Bobby and Lindsey and learning ‘everything you need to know, about the celebrities you don’t’. I have never even watched an episode of Vanderpump Rules, but was able to successfully navigate a conversation about the family dynamics with someone the other day. IT’S HELPFUL IRL. Without it I would have no idea what Bebe Rexha is up to, and quite frankly how sad would that be? Listen, love it and then work your way through the back catalogue so you can understand all the inside jokes. Good form, Bella Thorne – Scar Jo Yummy Pop *crunch, crunch*.

Origins with James Andrew Miller. I first heard about this podcast from another favourite of mine – The High Low – where Dolly recommended a three-part series that took a deep dive into Sex And The City. And man she wasn’t kidding when she said that it was a deep dive. James interviews the cast and crew of the hit series on how it even came to be in the first place and how it took off and the good things and the shit things that came with that, and the end result is an over three hours long docu-series.  Download it and save it for a plane journey. Just make sure you have a few episodes of SATC downloaded for when you’re finished as you’ll want to binge BAD.

Desert Island Discs. It’s an oldie but a goodie and a classic for a reason. Each episode features a figure of note, who picks out their favourite records that they’d lug with them if they were stuck on a desert island. It’s sometimes funny, sometimes tear-jerking, but always interesting. I don’t find myself clicking on every single episode, but tend to download those from people who I’ve heard of already; although whenever I do listen to one from someone new I realise that I should do that more. They are always *SO* thought-provoking. My favourite episodes are the one with Alan Carr and the episode with Ruth Jones.

How To Fail with Elizabeth Day. I love Elizabeth’s work, but this podcast is one of her best pieces. An interview series where she invites guests to talk about their biggest f-ups and how they grew from the situations, because hey we’re all human and we all make mistakes sometimes. It steers clear of the fluff, making very single episode insightful and helpful. Feeling like everything is going wrong? LISTEN TO THIS. The guest list is absolutely cracking too; I’ve got the episode with Tracey Thorn, Everything But The Girl vocalist who I grew up listening to thanks to my Dad, downloaded for my long flight tonight.

Bon Appétit Foodcast. The Bon Appétit YouTube Channel will forever be a ‘Them’ of my heart (you need to the Who Weekly? context for that one). Daily cooking content fresh from the magazine’s test kitchen in N.Y.C from Claire, Brad, Carla, Molly, Chris and the crew? Honestly it’s the best content available on YouTube right now. I would pay for that s**t. It’s a crime that it’s free and it’s so fabulous. Their website is also packed with great articles and recipes, and if that’s not enough they also have a podcast too. Now food content is tricky in audio form, but I love the whole clan so much that I feel the need to devour every single crumb of content from them and who doesn’t want to hear Chris, Molly and Claire debate whether a carrot cake should contain raisins or not? WARNING: This podcast will make you hungry.

Photos by Emma Croman

‘An Edited Life’ is now available to purchase worldwide HERE


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