I commute to northern Virginia (NoVA) a couple of times per week. I make this longer-than-ideal commute to preserve a small-town experience for my family AND a morning waterskiing habit for myself during the summer 🙂 Few things make me more productive and happy that sitting down to work at 830a/9a with a cup of coffee having already taken 4-6 passes at the slalom course earlier that morning!
My commute takes one of two forms: car or train. I drive when I need to have total control of my movement when I’m in NoVA. The drive is regrettable mostly because I lose the ability to produce. I do, however, retain the opportunity to learn by listening to NPR, a book from Audible, and/or podcasts.
I had built a habit listing to long-form podcasts but that was getting frustrating. Many podcast hosts mimic talk radio which adds WAY to much banter and who-gives-a-crap dialog to the preamble. Dear podcast publishers – I assure you.. your opening banter is of no value – please STOP.
A month or so ago I searched for some short form podcasts and I was rewarded with some hits! Using the Downcast podcast app on my phone I’ve assemble a Morning Commute playlist consisting of a series of 8-12 minute podcasts.
I’ve configured Downcast to only keep the latest episode of each podcast making the playlist a custom radio talk show with the most recently and relevant (as curated by ME!). Downcast automatically updates the playlist podcast when I open it. I’ve built the playlist to take slightly longer than the average commute meaning I can get stuck in traffic now and again and still be learning until I pull into the office building. Good stuff. If you spend time commuting I recommend you give this a try!