With most content these days, when you sit down to read a blog or watch a video it consumers you. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, you scroll down your feed and open a bunch of articles to read or videos to watch. You're then committed to watching that video or reading that article. By committed I don't mean you have to watch the whole video. I mean that's all your able to do if you really want to get the most out of your video. If you've ever tried watching YouTube videos while doing something else and you find yourself replaying the same parts to figure out what you missed, you'll know what I mean. With Podcasts, because they're audio based, you can start playing an episode and yours hands and eyes are free to do what ever you want. Suddenly on that drive to work, you can learn something new instead of simply listening to the radio and you can quite literally double your productivity.
Recently while weeding the garden I put on the latest episode from The Model Health Show and it made this otherwise boring task much more enjoyable. I loved this for two reasons: 1) When you listen to a Podcast you can be doing two things at once with very little extra effort. So an hour weeding the garden and listening to a Podcast becomes two hours worth of work achieved in half the time. 2) Listening to Podcasts makes simple or boring jobs much more enjoyable. I even look forward to getting out in the garden so I can listen to another show.
Okay, so I'm generalising. Yes it's more than possible to watch a video and be playing on your phone at the same time. But when it comes to consuming high-quality and often educational content (I always want to be learning) you really can't watch the video in the background if you want to get something useful out of it.
A word of caution though – if you're going to multi-task while listening to a Podcast, don't attempt to do anything that's going to require too much (any) brainpower. For example, if you try to listen to a Podcast while going through email your mind will wander and the Podcast will be lost on you. That's why they're so good on the drive to work, or during your workout at the gym. These things don't require any real thought and so you can concentrate on the show while you're on autopilot.
There are a lot of really great Podcasts out there and I've only scratched the surface of them. Here are some of my personal recommendations: