Podcasters spend so much time doing their podcast that they often lose sight of why they are podcasting. Getting out of the tactical mindset isn’t easy. Maybe it’s something you should meditate over?
Podcasters tend to cluster in two groups: those who think about their shows all the time, and those who don’t think about their show until they realize they have to release an episode that day. Obviously, those are the extreme ends of the spectrum. But if you could somehow track “time spent thinking about my podcast” on a scatter plot, a barbell-shape would appear.
It’s not great to constantly obsess about your podcast. Nor is it great to have it completely out of your mind until the very last second. Those who occupy the middle of the spectrum probably have a more healthy relationship with their own podcast.
I’m a weird outlier, since my podcast is about the future of podcasting, coming up with novel concepts and ideas you and all working podcasters should be thinking about. But I don’t think about this podcast all the time, so I’m sorta healthy, I guess?
Meditating for Non-Meditators By A Weird Meditator
As you read this, a thousand articles are being published by gurus, spiritual leaders, and self-actualization experts that all extol the virtues of meditating to fix all of your problems.
That’s not what I’m advocating for. This isn’t some weird hippy-dippy trip. I’m not suggesting we form a drum circle or pass around the sage smudge. Yes, I’ve done all of those things in my past. And if you’re into that stuff, groovy! But if not, I promise you won’t come out of this with beads woven into a lock of your hair, OK?
I’m also not talking about transcendental meditation. No need to go into a trance, either with or without the assistance of mind-altering substances. Again, if you’re into that, have at! But that’s not the kind of medication I’m speaking about.
But I do mean meditation. Not getting into the zone and planning out your next episode. That’s important, but it’s not meditating. Likewise, taking some quiet time to do the work of your podcast is also not meditating. That’s finding an opportune time to be tactical, and you’re likely already too tactical when it comes to you and your show.
Meditating On You And Your Relationship With Your Podcast
That’s the meditation angle I want you to explore when you find your quiet space and carve out a half an hour — or five minutes — of reflection. (Pro tip: noise-canceling headphones are super helpful to block out the world and leave you alone with your thoughts.)
Thinking about where you and your show might be in five years is a fine thing to think about while meditating. However, using the time to plan out a week-by-week action plan to get you there isn’t. Again, that’s going tactical. Sure, having a plan (or at least understanding your direction of maximal interestingness) will help you get there. But for now, just be content thinking about you, your show, and the future of podcasting on whatever time-horizon you want.
You may also think about large groups of people who don’t yet know about your show who you might try to reach. Stop yourself if you start plotting growth hacking techniques or marketing plans to reach them, however. Instead, think about things like what aspects of your show would most appeal to them. Or what changes might be required to make your show more appealing to this as-of-yet untapped audience. Think strategically, not tactically.
By all means, let your mind unpack your current processes, or the overall sound of your show. But if you start making a list of equipment to buy, you’re slipping back into tactics. Stay focused on the need for that equipment, and what it might allow you to do with your podcast if you had it. Or think through any problems you’re aware of with your show’s sound without going so far as finding a solution. Examining the problem in depth from lots of angles will often lead you to novel solutions. Don’t force it.
If you find your brain offering up potential guests (if your show has guests), don’t make a list of those guests. Instead, pretend you are that guest receiving an invitation to be on your podcast. Think through their decision process. Will they listen to an episode? Will they visit your website? Your social profiles? And if they do, do those properties and experiences make it easy for the guest to say “yes”?
Most important, and probably advice running counter to adherents of guided meditation: Let your mind wander! Sure, you should try to keep it focused on you and your relationship with your podcast as much as possible. But for me, the best part of meditating this way is the unexpected connections that spontaneously happen when I don’t try to force it. Stay strategic, and see where your mind takes you.
Good Advice From A Bad Meditating Podcaster
Classic meditation never really worked for me. Neither did guided meditation. Heck, I find it hard to stay in a yoga pose for more than 10 seconds. Tools, tech, and apps help, but I’ve found my own path to meditation. Though true meditators will likely say “that’s not meditation.” Yeah, well… I don’t care. It works for me.
I meditate from the prone position, either on the couch or in bed. I try (and often fail) to take a break at around 3:00p every day. And by “break” I mean nap. And by “nap”, I mean maybe going to sleep for a bit, but mostly just decompressing and thinking about bigger picture things.
I also meditate during the twilight hours before dawn. I normally start waking up around 4:00 or 4:30 in the morning. No alarm. Just me. Sometimes I’ll just get up and start my day, especially if my mind is racing through all the things it needs to get done. But more often than not, I’ll just lay there for an hour or so, drifting in and out of sleep, but always trying to return to the big picture thoughts where podcasting is often a part.
Again, this is what works for me. It very well may not work for you. But it’s probably worth a shot, right?
Maybe you know some hippy, new-age, granola-crunchy person with a podcast (again, I’ve lived all of those adjectives so I can use them with impunity) who’s been trying to convince you to do some meditating. Maybe they’re not yet aware of Podcast Pontifications and this would be a good gateway for them to experience the program. Send it!
If you like what I offer you every week, please go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra and sign up to buy me a virtual coffee. It lets me know that you really do appreciate the show and keeps me motivated to keep going.
No episodes from me on Friday, but I shall be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications.
Originally published at https://podcastpontifications.com, where it started life as an episode of my four-times-a-week short-form podcast called, oddly enough, Podcast Pontifications. It’s a podcast for working podcasters that’s focused on trends in our growing industry and ideas on ways to make podcasting not just easier, but better. Yes, you should listen. Here’s an easy way: 👇
Evo Terra (hey, that’s me!) has been podcasting since 2004, is the author of Podcasting For Dummies and Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies, and is the CEO and founder of Simpler Media Productions, a strategic podcast consultancy working with businesses, brands, and professional service providers all around the world.