How Podcasts Helped Me Learn On-The-Go

A story about discovering “how to learn”.

When I entered the start-up work force, I was always told you should read this book or that book (fill in the blank with books that every startup-er reads). It wasn’t until I actually started getting work on my plate that I asked myself the question, “How the heck do these people have time to read all these books?”.

I get into the office everyday around 8AM and usually leave around 7PM plus two hours of commuting in LA traffic. The last thing that I want to do when I got home is read.

My next step was to listening to the audio version of these books. I almost fell asleep every single time. For those who have experienced this boredom… you can relate.

It wasn’t until a few weeks into the boredom that I realized that the goal wasn’t necessarily to read or listen to audiobooks, the goal was to continue learning. I always heard about podcasts- so I thought I would give them a try. You can say I got really into podcasts (creeping up on 300 hours of listening in 2015 alone).

My two hours of commuting quickly turned into a calm, meditative learning session- and I couldn’t get enough.

I would mix-it up with podcasts about everything from startups, to mystery, to design, to story-telling, and there was seriously not enough supply to keep up with my demand.

A few of my favorites quickly rose to the top: StartUp Podcast from Gimlet, The Joe Rogan Experience, The Nerdist Podcast, Planet Money, The Time Ferris Show, Reply All, This American Life, Freakonomics Radio, Mystery Show, and TED Radio Hour.

I found myself excited to get into the car in the morning and see what new shows have been released that I can catch-up on. It was the excitement that my friends had around their favorite authors releasing new books and articles.

I now have my new favorite learning mechanism, and if I could suggest anything for someone who is reading this, it is “Find out the best way you learn and never stop learning”.