Hosted by Jocelyn K. Glei, these wonderful interviews boost productivity, creativity, and resilience in surprising ways.
Being a writer can feel utterly exhausting at times. Although I spend my days in front of a computer screen, which does not sound overly taxing, my brain is usually drained after sifting through hundreds of news stories and pulling together enough information to write two or three (hopefully) engaging and diverse articles every day.
Making it harder are the countless distractions that exist around me. Whether it's my phone lighting up or buzzing, or Skype and Twitter notifications popping up on my screen, or my kids waking up extra early in the morning, or a friend knocking on the door because they know I work from home, achieving a swath of unbroken time to focus can sometimes feel like a bigger challenge than the actual research and writing.Recently, however, I have found something that helps. It's a podcast called Hurry Slowly, hosted by Jocelyn K. Glei, and now whenever I go for a long walk or car ride, I make sure to download an episode in order to get that brain reset that I crave so much.
Hurry Slowly is a podcast about how to work – namely, how to improve productivity and spark creativity by slowing down. This notion is counterintuitive in a culture that urges people to 'microschedule' their lives, and yet is highly rewarding. From the description:
"Pushing back against the conventional wisdom that 'busy is better,' Hurry Slowly explores how we make smarter decisions, feel more comfortable taking risks, and manage our attention more intelligently when we learn to take our time."
The people whom Glei interviews are fascinating, bringing radically different areas of expertise and interest to the discussion table. I've listened to artist Austin Kleon talk about when it's better to use a pencil than a keyboard and how writing by hand helps you to retain information.
Author Adam Greenfield analyzes the smartphone and why notifications are a terrible and fundamentally unkind invention. He observes the loss of physical objects to mark our human passage through time (e.g. think what you used to carry around but don't anymore because everything is in your phone) and suggests that social media posts are an effort to reclaim that proof of existence.
Tim Harford gives a wonderful talk on slow-motion multitasking, and how setting aside one project to chip away at another can be fuel for a creative fire, cross-pollinating your ideas. He gives an amusing defence of messiness and how 'piling vs. filing' affects productivity. (Spoiler alert: The pilers do better than the filers!)
Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, is a proponent of digital detoxes and taking time offline to get lost in creative work. His philosophy has been shaped by his own experience on a 10-day meditation retreat.
These are just a handful of the many great interviews Glei hosts on her podcast. Whether you are in a creative line of work, or if you're looking for ways to boost your own productivity in an unstimulating job, then this is a valuable resource. Take some time to listen and you'll see what I mean. Learn more at Hurry Slowly.