A photo of me when I was going to Columbia Basin College doing a back flip into the Columbia River in Richland.
I’ve heard about people who live outside of New York and other metropolitan areas having to commute for two hours each way. According to US Census Bureau 2011 Report the average commute time in the United states is 25.5 minutes. That number is fairly skewed because it incorporates persons who work at home (with no commute) and persons who don’t work at home. They found that amend workers who do not work at home, 8.1 percent had a commute of 60 minutes or longer and that a majority of those tend to drive alone. WNYC has a pretty cool interactive map that you can look at average commute times.
Last year, when I was commuting from Prosser to Tri-Cities for work, about a 45 minute trip there and the same coming back. I found that having such a lengthy trip to get back and forth to work to be extremely burdensome. I would get back home, and just be so tired, not wanting to do anything. It did have some benefits as well. It gave me time to decompress about my day. It also started a new habit for me, listening to Podcasts.
I grew up listening to talk radio and books on tape with my mom for years. I really love NPR and have talked about National Public Radio on my blog a number of times. When I started doing my commute, I ended up starting to listen to podcasts, and I really fell in love. There are so many topics and possible options. The following are what I’ve been listening to.
Cover art for Mac Power Users
This is by far my favorite podcast, and I’ve written about them a number of times. If you are a mac / apple product users, I would highly recommend it no matter what your expertise level is. I have learned so much, and I have improved my productivity with their content so much I absolutely love it. I’ve even been talked about on one of their episodes, in Podcast Famous. They are a large part of the reason I decided to go to Macworld / iWorld 2014 this year, and I even met them there. All of the other podcasts on the 5by5 Network that I listen to, are because I first heard their guests on MPU.
Cover art for Back to Work
While, I don’t think that I’ve posted anything on my website regarding Back to Work or Merlin Mann, I look forward to this show so much every week. While I’m not really a comic book fan (and sometimes I just don’t pay attention when they talk about them), I absolutely love their show. This is one of the few podcasts that Minnie is willing to listen too, and she actually thinks some of it is funny. They talk about productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more. I have learned a ton. The fact that my workflow has changed, and that I’ve somewhat incorporated David Allen’s Getting Things Done (don’t worry, I will do a book review sometime soon regarding his book) is due to Merlin Mann and Back to Work. While they do sometimes talk about technology, they don’t always so even if your not a tech nerd, I’d highly recommend this show.
Cover art for Freakonomics
This is another show that I’ve talked about several times on my site. While I haven’t read any of the books yet, I am hoping to. Every week they come out with interesting topics, things that just peak my interest and make me want to learn more. The way that they describe it, is that they talk about the hidden side of everything. This is one of those shows that I listen to, and I come away and feel like I’m just smarter. It’s great, and even Minnie really likes it.
Cover art for Smart People Podcast
The Smart People Podcast has a lot of really great guests that come onto their show. They have professors, doctors, business leaders. Unlike many of the other Podcasts that I listen to, they tend to keep their shows close to a half hour, so you can almost always fit it in in one listening. Even the guests and topics that I don’t think I would care very much about end up being really interesting. Much of the show is about finding your passions and being a creator of stuff. It’s pretty interesting and great guests.
Cover art for CultCast
I have several technology and more apple centric podcasts that I listen to. This one is fun. I even got to meet them and go to a private party when I was in San Francisco. It tends to be mostly news and rumors regarding apple products. I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody, but it makes me laugh and has some interesting topics.
Cover art for Systematic
Systematic is hosted by Brett Terpstra who is pretty amazing. I use so many of the great things that he has created and put together. The software he has written and scripts that I’ve been able to download makes everything on my mac so much better. His podcast is another interview style show. He talks to all kind of people do all kinds of jobs (although a lot of them tend to in the computer sciences). It’s always interesting to hear about how people do their work, what they are excited about, and what their lives look like. There does tend to be a lot of discussion regarding technology, especially apple products / apps, but it’s really good stuff.
Cover art for Social Work Podcast
This is the most recent addition to my podcast listening habit. It’s pretty good information. I’ve been going through his back catalogue. He doesn’t post on a schedule, but it seems to be about monthly, but not set schedule. I decided that because I had so many technology focused podcasts, I needed to find something that could keep me up to date regarding my day job too. I looked at a couple, and this was the best one I found. If you your a social worker, or in a counseling related field, it’s pretty good with some really high profile guests and a wide range of topics.