One of the main concerns I had before I started the Geocache Diet was that it would take too much of my time away from my main responsibilities: family and work. I proceeded with this challenge because I wanted to prove I could fit daily exercise into my busy schedule and still be as productive. While my productivity might be in question that is more to do with having a hard time figuring out the best project to focus on and it certainly has not been a result of daily exercise getting in the way. I have found that exercise helps me stay relaxed and when it is time to work I am fairly productive. I have also found that my daily hikes are an integral part of my work day. I might not actually be knocking off tasks while I walk but they have been very productive nonetheless.
The main benefit I get from my hikes is that I can remove myself from the pace of the day and concentrate on my thoughts. It is much easier to reflect on things while strolling in a forest or along a waterfront and some of my best ideas have either been thought up or fine tuned while exercising. I always try to have a notebook with me and I will often stop and spend a few minutes to write down my ideas before they disappear. Of course I also think about what is happening with the family, where to go for our next outing, and the occasional thought about how my favourite hockey team can improve.
Sometimes my thoughts get a little repetitive and boring so I decide that it is time to hear some different voices in my head. This is where my mp3 player comes in handy. I used to listen to music when I walked and I still do when I want to think, go for a real power walk, or drown out traffic but most of the time lately I will listen to audio books and podcasts. I struggle to find time to read a book and when I do I seem to let myself relax too much and I will fall asleep within minutes. Besides walking I find myself doing a number of repetitive tasks, like cooking or folding laundry, so listening to an audio book on business or a podcast on geocaching is a great way to multitask and maybe learn something. I have been listening to audio books for quite a while but the podcasting phenomena is relatively new to me. I did know that it existed, especially as recordings for traditional radio, but I didn’t know how many subjects are covered by passionate independent people. There are some really entertaining and informative podcasts available that I can listen to when I want.
Here are some of my favourite podcasts that I have been listening to while doing chores and hiking:
To my surprise there were many geocaching podcasts and I enjoy listening to many of them. I listen to them as entertainment but they have also helped me think up some topics to write about for the Geocache Diet. My favourite two are:
- Podcacher: A husband and wife team from San Diego who discusses various geocaching subjects. They also have a young child so I tend to connect with many of their stories.
- Geotalk: After spending a couple of years in Australia I enjoy getting an Aussie perspective on geocaching.
CBC radio in Canada has some pretty interesting shows but to listen all day to the radio to find the few that I connect with does not make sense. Podcasts let me pick and choose my favourites and allows me to listen to them when I want to:
- Radio Q: I am a casual listener of this weekday podcast. This program takes an honest and a fairly non-gossipy approach to the entertainment industry. Once in a while I will listen to this show to learn what is new in the less mainstream music world.
- This is That: A very Canadian parody show that I find very funny. The reports have often been mistaken for being real (like an aquarium going out of business and having a big fish BBQ) but that just adds to the humour.
- On the Island: A recap of news stories specifically from Vancouver Island.
There are many great podcasts on business and I will not list all of them as they are quite specific to my endeavours including ones on blogging platforms and online marketing. My favourite one for Online Business is:
- Internet Business Mastery: This show discusses various topics on running an internet business with great enthusiasm.
This one is my ear candy plain and simple.
- Amateur Traveller: They have a usually excellent interview with someone who is an independent traveller talking about a specific destination. This has to be my favourite for entertainment as I just love this subject. I am a travel freak.
I do not listen to podcasts all the time when I walk, in fact most of the time I would rather be lost in my own thoughts or the beautiful scenery. I never listen to anything while in the woods as I prefer to be aware of my surroundings (like what is sneaking up on me). When I find myself walking around the neighbourhood roads, often after dark, I will listen to a podcast or book. Learning while I walk is a great side benefit to the daily exercise routine I do on the Geocache Diet. Going for a hike is now an essential part of my work day.