I’m a big fan of routine and if you have read any of my Bullet Journal posts you might have spotted a tracker or an ideal week somewhere. In particular, during lockdown my “fake” commute became a very important aspect of my routine. It’s just too easy to not leave your flat when your desk is 10m away from your bed or sofa.

I’ve been working remotely from my office corner in the spare room since March 2020, and I honestly can’t see myself going back to campus full-time. But I digress – back to my fake commute and the new addition of podcasts.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to get into podcasts but I think it might have to do with the fact that I run without music and wasn’t sure how I felt about the distraction. After hundreds of walks in my local park I’ve explored and seen it all. It was time to add something new. And this something new for me is podcasts.

At the moment I mostly listen to Academic life and productivity podcasts for my walks (and more recently running podcasts for my recovery and long run), so here are a few of my favourites

On the Reg

This is by far my favourite podcast – I love the chit chat at the start and the friendly atmosphere. Prof Inger Mewburn (also knows as the Thesis Whisperer) and Dr Jason Downs make you feel part of their conversations and I often laugh or smile on my way round the park. The honesty and openness of their podcast makes it a joy to listen to and they manage to cover the difficult topics of academia with a type of realism and joy that I really like. I think it’s the mix of work and personal life interspersed with helpful tips that just make this work. This is a rather long podcast and episodes average 80min or more…but I really don’t mind.

Academic Imperfectionist

On the other end of the time spectrum is podcast by Dr Rebecca Roache . The episodes are around 15 min and focus on aspects of culture of overwork, stress as a badge of honour and how to combat these and find ways to create a more sustainable work model. The episodes are short and to the point and often leave you with an action to try. I do like these and I revisit episodes when I need a reminder or when I plan a re-set to some of my work practices.

The Productivity Show

Some of these episodes are not as relevant to me as an academic but I usually find something I can implement in my work routine to get more out of my time. I like the TEA (Time Energy Attention) framework and the episode about calendars has changed how I approach this aspect of my work life. Episode vary in length and I do tend to listen to these as they come out. In my dive back through the episodes I liked the one focusing on productivity with a chronic illness (Episode 256: How to be productive through illness and recovery). They also have interesting guests and I enjoyed learning more about focus music. I haven’t listened to all episodes yet but I’m slowly working my way back through the catalogue.

Mindful Productivity Podcast

This is a dip in/dip out podcast for me and I pick what episodes I listen to depending on the topic. At the moment the episodes focusing on Notion are really helpful.

Billy Yang Podcast

I love Billy Yang’s running content and his focus on ultra running – there are so many parallels between ultra running, life with MS and being an academic. These are quite long episodes but the conversations are so interesting and they have become my go to for recovery and long runs.

The Way of the Runner

This is a fantastic podcast by Adharanand Finn and I found it after reading his book The rise of the ultra runner. The conversations are very interesting and I do enjoy hearing from different runners and how they tackle the variety of challenges.

The Runner’s World Podcast

A mix of episodes with a wide variety of guests from coaches, to Olympians and every day runners. I do pick the episodes based on topics e.g. a running with MS or hearing from Laura Muir after her Tokyo success. The episodes average around 30 min are perfect length for my park loop or solo ParkRun on a Saturday.