What makes a podcast fun, and when to listen to them


I write about my 5 favourite podcasts recently but I want to talk a little more about this subject.

First, a few things that make a podcast a good one for me:

  • not too long – my commute is about 40 – 45 mins so that’s my preferred length. One hour just seems too long (mindset?) and then I always have these bits left over (I don’t mind if it’s Alec Baldwin, but then again, not everyone is Alec Baldwin!)
  • a great voice or great banter between the presenters
  • they need to get into their advertised subject within a minute or two. I stopped listening to two (I’m told) great podcasts because they take way too long to get into the topic. The one had ads/ filler for 7 minutes, and the other one I actually timed and took 19 minutes to get into the subject. No thanks, life is too short. Now I don’t mind Jess Lively’s one because her 5 mintues of advertising are at the end of her podcast, so I just stop the podcast at that point. The Simple Show asks filler-type questions at the end of the interview but those are interesting and fun, and not long at all (minutes at most).
  • Β an Irish accent won’t hurt πŸ™‚
  • For audio books, a good voice is key (I’ve returned books with annoying narrators) and I LOVE when the author narrates their own books.


I think because I happen to have a commute where I’m in the car for about 40 – 45 minutes each way, three times a week, that you may think you need to also have a commute to enjoy a podcast (or audible book).

Not true.

So here are a few times to enjoy listening to a podcast/ audio book:

1. driving in the car, whether long distances or short, 5-minute drives

I won’t listen to a serious non-fiction book on a short trip, but I would listen to the Happier podcast during that time. The trick is to match the podcast to the type of drive. I love listening to books in the morning because I’m concentrating fairly well (!) but in the afternoons when I want to unwind, I listen to podcasts, nothing where I need to concentrate too hard though.

2. cooking/ baking/ kitchen stuff

There is nothing better than cooking and then tidying the kitchen while listening to a podcast. You don’t even notice the time passing while you’re getting things done. I listen to 1 – 1.5 podcasts and whip up that evening’s meal, plus one other, on at least 1 – 2 weeknight evenings.

For those that don’t like cooking, try listening to a podcast while you cook to distract you πŸ™‚ I used to always burn carrots but now I don’t leave the kitchen so no more burnt carrots.


3. organising/ cleaning/ tidying

I re-listened to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in August (I’ll write a blog post about that process when I’m done), and then I listened to podcasts while I tweaked organising solutions and tossed out a few more things.

4. editing photos

When I’m editing photos, I want to be productive and not too reflective, so I do like listening to a podcast. I can get through 2 – 3 podcasts in a 90 – 120-minute editing session.


5. general pottering

I tend to batch fun, creative pursuits like wrapping presents, so I always listen to a podcast while I do things like this. Also, pottering. Some don’t know what this means. Here’s the definition from the Cambridge dictionary:

to move around without hurrying, and in a relaxed and pleasant way:

I spent the afternoon pottering around the garden doing a few odd jobs.

Basically, I think pottering around my house is one of life’s great (uneventful) joys πŸ™‚ I can potter around for hours.

6. Running or walking

I don’t listen to podcasts while walking (you won’t catch me running, ever, unless I’m racing Connor for 100m) but I know many people (online!) who run or walk who use that time to listen to a podcast. This might work for you too.

When would be the best time for you to listen to podcasts or audio books?

If you’re already a podcast/ audiobook listener, what makes a good podcast/ audio book for you?

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  1. I listen to podcasts while doing things that don’t require maximum attention all the time…so mostly while working.

  2. I’ve only just gotten into it – my best time is in the evenings while I knit. Rarely while I’m driving – I don’t drive long enough distances! And I actually like music in my car.

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