I was a relatively early joiner of the podcast bandwagon, and it’s safe to say I fully embraced them and was quickly listening to countless podcasts. Whilst it’s something that I still really enjoy, in recent times I have been scaling back for a few reasons. So, I thought I would share why I’m listening to less podcasts these days. I’d love to hear your thoughts too.
My list of podcasts is a diverse one covering everything from true crime to music, sport, history, comedy – basically you name it. Given how much I enjoyed listening to them I quickly subscribed to pretty much anything I was recommended, and found myself listening to them basically at all times (except at work, somehow that never worked for me!). Whilst that’s not necessarily a problem, I realised it was no longer working well for me.
I wasn’t fully engaging in the content
I was listening to podcasts while doing things around the house that needed my attention and would find myself realising I hadn’t taken in much of what was being said. As a result I wasn’t actually paying attention to the podcasts – they had just become background noise instead. This meant I had to make sure I didn’t listen to podcasts that I was most interested in during these times so that I didn’t miss anything. At this point I decided that anything I was happy to just have as background noise I might as well just unsubscribe from. Pretty quickly I found myself listening to less podcasts as a result, but also not really missing it.
My brain needed a break
At some stage last year I realised that by constantly having podcasts playing I was keeping my brain engaged at all times, which I didn’t think was the best idea. I found myself needing to give my brain a break from being constantly stimulated to help me properly switch off. Periods of silence took a bit to get used to, but after a while I found myself enjoying the peace and quiet. I did have to make sure I didn’t replace podcast listening with things like watching tv otherwise it would have been counterproductive!
I wasn’t retaining what I was listening to
For some podcasts, not retaining the info isn’t that much of a problem. Some of my favourite podcasts (that I am still subscribed to) I listen to purely for entertainment purposes. There are plenty of others though that I do want to learn from, but I found I wasn’t necessarily retaining what I was hearing. I put this down to not giving myself any time to process things, as the next source of information would be following hot on its heels. Ensuring some down time between those kinds of podcasts has really helped, and so in total I am listening to less podcasts to enable that.
I had stopped listening to music
When you’re subscribed to as many podcasts as I was there wasn’t any listening time left for anything else. As a result, I realised I had basically stopped listening to music – which is something I always loved. I wanted to balance things out a bit more, and the only way for that to happen was by listening to less podcasts. I had to create some new habits to make sure I picked music over podcasts sometimes, but I’m getting there! Choosing music for when I wanted background listening was a good starting point.