One thing that I often find myself struggling with is consuming all the knowledge I want to. I consider myself a pretty curious person, and that often results in a long and overwhelming laundry list of things I want to read, listen to, or watch.

There is just. so. much. to. consume.

Podcasts. YouTube videos. Documentaries. Books. Articles. Documentation. The list goes on.

Previously when I worked at Boston University, I had a pretty long commute (somewhere between 2.5-4 hours a day). I always used that time to listen to the podcasts in my queue But, now that I work remotely, I have “lost” the time (I know, I have technically reclaimed it) that was specifically reserved for consuming the knowledge in those podcasts.

Adding to the difficulty that is the number of topics that pique my interest is the time required for each. For example, some podcasts I enjoy are sometimes as long as 2 or 3 hours. Making time to listen to those regularly while still having time for other things on the list is difficult.

What Does Not Work For Me

I am always thinking about ways to adjust my routine to be better at chunking away at that list and I’m interested in how others accomplish this. Here are some things I have tried and some things that don’t work for me:

  • Unfortunately, I’m not someone that can listen to a deep, thought-provoking conversation while I’m coding or writing. Music is pretty much a requirement for me when working (background noise like at a coffee shop or silence also works). When I am doing administrative tasks, this sometimes works.
  • I have also tried listening to podcasts while walking my dog in the morning. But I find that taking in the sounds of the outdoors is more enjoyable for me during that time.
  • I used to keep one browser window open where I would accumulate tabs for articles I want to read. I never read them with this method. I have moved this list into a “Reading List” list in my personal Trello board. This also seems to result in ignoring them.

To try and prioritize for myself, I have thought about what I currently consume and roughly organized them into three categories. Though some of these will not fit everyone’s tastes, I do recommend them all!

Things I Always Keep Up With

Below is a list of things that I find myself consistently keeping up with accompanied by a reason why I think I am able to keep up with them in paranthases.

Things I Occasionally Keep Up With

Below is a list of things that I find myself occasionally keeping up with accompanied by a short description of what occasionally means for each.

  • The Joe Rogan Experience (2-4 hour episodes make it difficult to listen to all of them. I pick and choose the guests/topics I am curious about, but sometimes struggle to even keep up with those)
  • Crimetown (catch up with binge listening when seasons are finished)
  • Monday Morning Podcast (catch up occasionally with binge listening)
  • More Perfect (catch up by binging)
  • NPR Politics Podcast (pick and choose when to listen when I want to learn more about specific current events)

Things I Want to Get To

These are things I really want to get to, but just have not been able to.

Improving Knowledge Consumption

Where do you find time to consume the information you want to? What are your routines and habits that help with this? And, even though this will add to my long list longer, what are your recommendations? 😄

Featured image by Rosario Lizana.

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