I was stuck in a phase not long ago, where my very little and precious “down-time” was spent scrolling through social media. Now don’t get me wrong — I obviously work with (and love) all creative outlets available to us, and it’s also enabled me to grow this platform in a way I could never otherwise have imagined. But let’s face it, too much of a good thing can turn sour, and when it came to social media, I’d found myself in a spiral of endless scrolling, which in turn resulted in a sense of never being enough.
Having gone through an eating disorder when I was younger, I am now very removed from “body comparison”, and whilst I am perhaps not 100% happy with the way I look (seriously, who is), the body-comparison thing is something I don’t engage in at all any more — and I feel very lucky for that. I don’t follow people on social media because I wish I looked like them, or am comparing myself visually to others. This is a dark, dark space of the online world that I was once caught up in, but am now well and truly removed from (thank goodness).
However, because I’ve chosen to instead, follow people of a creative background — cool people doing some really cool shit, I found myself falling into familiar territory when I spent too much time endlessly scrolling. Am I achieving enough? Why haven’t I thought of that? Should I be at the same point in my life as this person? And so it goes…
Instead of motivating us, if this becomes a way to ‘relax’ and seek inspiration, all you’re really going to find at the bottom of the pit is some serious anxiety and FOMO — and in my case I found myself getting creatively numb and a little bit like a deer in headlights. Instead of getting inspired and productive, I stalled, and then beat myself up for not getting anywhere.
Enter : the podcast.
Now I’m sure we’re all pretty familiar with the good old podcast. My husband is actually whom got me into them in a big way, as I used to find I was easily distracted when I listened to them, trying to multi-task when having one on in the background. PSA : this does not work. At least not for me.
If you’re after a bit of background noise, Spotify will do just fine, but the point of podcasts (for me at least), is to tune out and dive into something that’s completely out of my day-to-day. This requires at least a little bit of focus. Now I’m not saying you should lock yourself up in a quiet room in order to consume a podcast, but if you’re listening to something that’s truly serving you, also allow yourself the chance to learn from it. When I’m writing, creating marketing content or trying to read something, a podcast is not my friend. But I’ve found that when I’m doing any of the below, I can enjoy, and learn from, a good interview or conversation:
- Editing images
- Walking the dog
- Travelling (flight, Uber etc)
Find the sweet spot for you. You might be able to multi-task in a way I can’t, in which case — I’m jealous, but good for you. I’ve also found that having the podcasts readily available makes me more inclined to listen to them. Have them downloaded on your phone, or better yet, have a speaker around that you can simply ask to play your favourites. I have my JBL Link in the kitchen which is next to my desk. It’s brilliant because I can just ask it to play whatever comes to mind, without having to fiddle around with downloads / headphones etc. And apparently a hands-free speaker is your best friend in bub’s early days…
Now, down to the nitty-gritty. The podcast list. I’ve broken this down in to a few categories that I’m loving at the moment, which I will try to keep updated with particular episodes as well as new discoveries I’m enjoying.
Take it or leave it of course — this is just what’s on my rotation currently.
Yes, he gets a category of his own. He covers a lot of different topics and brings on an array of guests, so it’s hard to put Tim in a “box”. I’ve listened to his podcasts on-and-off for the last 3 years or so, and while they’re not all equally as inspiring, there are some serious gems in his archive. He also interviews high-profile people and / or people with really interesting experiences or stories to tell, which often leads to many late nights of follow up research and book-buying. My latest favourite was “How to Succeed in High-Stress Situations” (hello, my life) featuring Ryan Holiday. And yes, book purchased.
For the creatives
This is a more recent discovery of mine, which I stumbled upon as some of my favourite bloggers and creatives have been interviewed here. I find this podcast really inspiring and in a weird way motivating (not intimidating), and absolutely does not leave me with the feeling that I’m not doing enough. Your Creative Start is usually a very open and candid conversation about how creatives have made their careers work for them — whether it’s starting a small side hustle, opening their own agency, or how to deal with stressful clients.
Ladies in business
Lady Start Up by Mamamia is also quite a recent discovery, again something I just stumbled upon when trying to load up a few podcasts for a trip to Melbourne. Rachel Corbett sits down with an array of seriously inspiring lady entrepreneurs and engages in candid conversation about business. There are two things I particularly love about this podcast… 1. The real-talk about what’s worked and what hasn’t in your business, and 2. That the people interviewed are in all kinds of different stages with their adventure. 10 years in or 2 years in — it’s all go, and interesting in different ways.
Obviously a very recent addition to my podcast family, but I’m currently in information-overlaod-mode when it comes to pregnancy, baby and motherhood. I found it pretty tricky to find a well-balanced one that suited me, I think I’m probably more in the “hippie mum” basket than the super strict, composed mummy-to-be, so I’m finding a lot of the advice out there to be a little bit square. However, I discovered The Longest Shortest Time, and am hooked. If you’re looking for something with more concrete advice, I’m also loving Common Sense Pregnancy, which covers all the facts, with a side of a giggle or two.
Again, a guy who deserves his own category. I really do come and go to these episodes though, very much depending on whom he’s interviewing, but Rogan has a very cool, calm and digestible interview style, where as Tim Ferriss can get a little too deep into he nitty-gritty for me sometimes. This is one of the podcasts that I can sometimes keep on in the background when working. My faves include the interview with Jamie Foxx, Mel Gibson and Whitney Cummings.
For the Swedes
Another one that I can keep on in the background — bloggers / Instagram gals Victoria Törnegren & Alexandra Bring’s podcast “Två systrar en podd” is really just an hours chit-chat between the two of them, of any topic that listeners have requested or they plan for at the time. This is a Swedish one — sorry to my English-only speaking readers, but I figured it was important to get something from my home country in there that I really enjoy listening to. It makes me feel like I’m keeping up with what’s happening at home in a way, and the candid style of their chats make their episodes really easy to keep on in the background. I usually put them on in the morning when I’m getting ready for work… The first time I played one, Josh came into the bedroom and said “Uh… babe. I think your speaker is talking Swedish…”