I work in an industry where the environment and technology is changing all the time.  The industry is changing at such a rapid pace that there is no dollar amount or free time available to keep up to date.  I’m sure most of you reading this article can relate.  A new computer system, a new process, a new service, etc.  I’ve been turned down for a promotion or turned down by a client because I did not have the latest and greatest technology.  Because of this I pursued the many options of training available to me.

We have been discussing the many services available on the internet

and use of modern technology devices to increase your education and knowledge.  Youtube, Kindle, and this week we discuss podcasts.

What is a podcast?  A Podcast is a multimedia computer file available on the internet for download.  Another definition of a podcasts is an on demand radio or video that has been available on apple devices or apple iTunes.  More recently you can now stream podcasts on android devices through services and applications such as pocket casts.  Most producers  have websites that have online streaming right from the website.

In this article I am going to share ways I have used podcasts to increase my knowledge with little to zero free time.  I am a person who has zero free time on any given day just like most people in this world.  I work 60 – 70 hours a week, do 5 hours of exercise each week, and have 5 kids.  I feel I juggle my time.  My family, health, and work all get adequate time and I continue to grow in knowledge.  And this is 0 time at work listening.

Here are the ways I find time to listen to podcasts:

In the car:  How much time do you spend in the car each day? each week? each year?  I spend 2 hours a day.  Half of this time is in meetings and the other half is listening to podcasts.  I do not listen to the radio or even XM radio.  It is my choice to listen to podcasts and expand my knowledge.  After practicing doing this the past 3 years I can say I hardly miss listening to traditional radio.  This is the area I have the greatest amount of time to dedicate to listening so my choice is to listen to something that will better myself as an individual, as  a professional, and as a Husband / Father.

While I exercise:  The second greatest time I have available is while I exercise.  I choose to dedicate 5 hours of my week to staying healthy.  While I exercise I don’t want any distractions or people taking me away from my time to keep healthy.  With my iPhone in my pocket and headphones in my ear I can dedicate 5 hours of time listening while I am on the treadmill, elliptical, or even weight training.  People might say they need some loud music to exercise too but give this a try for a week or so and you might like it.

Just before bed:  Rather then watch the reruns why not spend the last 30 minutes – 60 minutes of each day listening to a podcast?  Even if it’s just 15 minutes that is something that will help each day and help with gaining knowledge.  I bet you can work your way up to 30 minutes of listening before bed each night.

While 15 minutes a day might not seem like a lot or 5 hours a week while exercising, or 1 hour a day driving in a car during the work week it adds up.  Just look at these numbers:

15 Minutes a Day 7 Days a week = 91.25 hours a year

1 Hour 5 days a week while exercising or driving to/from work = 260 Hours a year

This is just minimum.  If you can get 100 hours of training a year in a topic you become an expert in the subject area.  If you can do more then that you become even better.  A typical college course requires approximately 36 – 40 hours of lecture time.  Just spending the time while exercising can get you the equivalent of two semesters of a full time load of college time.  While most people won’t take college type courses just learning any topic these strategies will allow you enough time no matter how busy you are to always have time for learning.

Give these a shot and let us know how well it works out for you.