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Thursday, January 05, 2012

How to Improve Your Thinking (and your Life) with a Podcatcher

We know we have to update our apps on our smartphone or tablet to fix bugs and add current enhancements. It is what we do when we want to (usually) get the best out of our device.

Update Your thinking and  Update Your Life
We need to update our thinking and habits too. So we can fix things that don't work or improve things that already do. It is what we do when we want to get the best out of our life.

Yesterday as I talked to my 9th graders about life, we talked about the average lifespan and agreed - let's use 80 years as a round number. I asked - what percentage of your life is the next 4 years. 5% - if we're lucky. So, can we wait to live our lives until after high school: no. (My life, by this calculation is 52.5% over!!! I'd better get busy.)

The decision to not make decisions or set goals is also a decision.

You are what you think.

One of the best ways to update your life and your thinking is to listen to inspirational, informative "radio shows" or as we call them now, podcasts. We call it a podcast, typically if it is an mp3 or audio-only and a vodcast if it is using video, but now most people just call all of it podcasts.

The iTunes method of getting podcasts is clunky and unreliable, so I have a podcatcher app on my iphone and iPad.

Use a Podcast Catcher
iCatcher lets you type in the podcast and is very good at finding the feed and adding it to your list. You can create playlists as well for different times, like listening in the car, your chore time or washing dishes. It can take a bit to update and you do have to launch the app for it to update, but I use iCatcher EVERY day. (I know other people that like Downcast instead.)

Program your thinking by listening to good things.

 I use iCatcher my iPhone (for audio) and iPad (for video) to catch and update the current podcasts. I love the 1 minute podcasts because I can have a playlist and listen to 5 different things on my five minute drive home.

The easiest way to add these is to look them up in iCatcher to find the podcast. I've included my screens so you can get some ideas but, by all means find your own based upon your personal interests and goals.
I have 3 categories of things I have on my iCatcher: short 1 minute podcasts for quick listening, longer shows that I listen to while I'm washing the dishes or cleaning the kitchen, and video how-to's that I watch on my ipad (while I'm cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry.)

I can't think of anything worse than having to fold laundry, but if I add something I like to the process, I find myself (dare I say it) sometimes looking forward to it.

Some of my favorites include:

Short Podcasts
Longer Podcasts (for while I'm doing chores)
Video Podcasts (sometimes called Vodcasts)
One word of caution, go into the settings and Application Events and tell it to only update the most current version, especially if you're grabbing video as it can take up a lot of space. Also tell it to delete the copy after you've listened. 

You are what you eat. You are what you think. Reprogram your mind to think well, especially if you're in a negative environment, podcasts like these can be your lifeline.

Have a great day! Gotta run to school and see my beautiful students! 

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