Image from Stocksnap.

Image from Stocksnap.

If you’re reading this, hopefully you’ve discovered the wonderful world of podcasts. If you haven’t, get thyself to iTunes and download a couple (hundred) of them. Eventually, you’ll realize that you’re absolutely addicted to a certain podcast and as much as you’d love to binge listen for four days straight, you like sleep even more. Your time is important, so let’s maximize it.

1. Get organized

Create a system and stick with it. The default podcasts app will automatically put your podcasts in alphabetical order if you ask nicely. You’ll save time when you can immediately find a podcast based on its name, rather than its presence “near the top somewhere.” Believe me, I’ve noticed the difference. You could also try sorting your podcasts by subject, by most unplayed, or by favorite. The possibilities are endless.

2. Look for other applications

Apple’s default podcast app isn’t the only podcast player out there. Unfortunately, most of the others cost money, either through a direct purchase or through an in app purchase. Consider how important podcasts are to you. If listening to them is just a hobby, you might not want to invest money in a new player. If you see them as a tool, however, it’s worth it to find a player that’s more user friendly than Apple’s app. While Apple’s player gets the job done, the other players hold worlds of extra features. Personally, I won’t be upgrading while I’m still living the broke college student life, but you might want something different.

3. Sample a bit of everything

Don’t just listen to one type of podcast. Educational podcasts can teach you something new in an exciting way. They could even supplement things you’re learning in class and in life. Entertainment podcasts can update you on pop culture or inspire you to look at the world differently. Remember to balance work with play.

The same applies for specific subjects. Listening to a science or literature podcast can spark a deep seated love for a subject that you never would’ve touched about otherwise. Even if you don’t fall in love, you’ll slowly become a more well-rounded person.

4. Cut the fluff

Podcasts shouldn’t feel like homework. Don’t listen to one if you don’t like it. It’s easy to fall into the “everyone else is listening to it” and the “it’ll make me smarter” traps, but remember them for what they are: traps. Podcasts should be fun. Life’s too short to listen to boring podcasts out of obligation.

5. Speed things up a little

If you’re crunched for time, try doubling your podcast’s speed. There’s a definite difference in sound quality, but if you can get used to it, you can listen to twice as many podcasts as before. If you don’t like it, it’s easy to switch your settings back.

6. Find your podcast time

There are certain sweet moments for listening to podcasts. These are usually tasks where you have to pay a bit of attention to make sure you’re doing it right, but overall are kind of dull, like driving, washing the dishes, or styling your hair. You could also substitute television (or Netflix) time for podcast time. I won’t ever be that good, but it’s worth a shot.

There are thousands of amazing podcasts out there but you’ll never be able to listen to every single one. Hopefully you can listen to more than ever before if you follow some of these tips. What are your favorite podcasts? Do you have a favorite time to listen? Comment below!

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