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Podcast Calculator - Kill Your Dead Time

Created by Steven Wooding, Maciej Kowalski, PhD candidate and Farhan Khan
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk
Last updated: Jun 05, 2023

We all can agree that 2020 hasn't been the most inspiring year for the world. It's like the 'dead time' of our lives where we didn't get much done. But hang in there, buddy, we found a way around it. 😉

In case you're still complaining about not having enough time to turn your life around, we built the podcasts calculator that can hunt down all your 'dead time' and turn it into the most motivational / entertaining / fun minutes of your day... with podcasts. 🎙️

According to recent statistics from 2021, over 200 million Americans are now familiar with podcasting. 😲 Moreover, 28% of Americans (80 Million) are weekly podcast listeners.

In this story, you'll read about what they are, why they are so awesome, and why you should just stop grumbling about never having enough time for them.

How to fit podcasts into your life?

If we haven't said it enough, there are many minutes in our day when we're doing something but not really doing anything actively. This is known as 'dead' time, and believe us, we all have loads of it. Sitting on a bus to get somewhere, cleaning the house, or walking the dog are just a few tiny examples where all your time could just... disappear.

Fortunately, it isn't so hard to turn dead time into something more active. Podcasts can help you take a break from challenging infinite scrolls on social media, staring at a screen for hours (cat videos are okay). In short, it shifts the strain off your eyes while you still get to experience gripping content.

So as long as your precious mask-wearing ears are up for a good workout, all you need to do is find an interesting podcast from a directory and let those earphones do the talking.

Podcasts are ❤️

How do you define podcasts in plain English? And why is it so much more than listening to repurposed radio?

Podcasts are essentially a collection of recorded audio conversations focused on a particular theme or topic. For example, you could find episodes related to healthy eating, productivity, time management, or some other new skill. Alternatively, you can simply listen to people geek out about something you love - music or video games 🕹️.

💡 The word "podcast" is a combination of "iPod" and "broadcast". Podcasts were invented in 2000 by Tristan Louis and Dave Winer. At the time, iPods were insanely popular for listening to music, but they could also play any sound file.

A computer program would look for updates via the internet of podcast feeds and sync them to your iPod. Then you could listen to them anywhere. This was so popular that the name podcast has stuck ever since.

What makes podcasts unique and exciting is the 'flexibility' of their content. There isn't just one way to create them. The episodes can be of any length from a minute- to hours-long in-depth conversations. They range from a solo voice or involve multiple people in chats or interviews. No matter what you're into, you will find a podcast that's a good match for you.

Podcasts can teach you many things related to your field of expertise or wake your interest in others that may be completely unrelated to it, such as aviation or logistics (we can do that too with our crosswind calculator and lead time calculator 😉).

For example, since you need tech to listen to podcasts (internet, smartphone, computer, etc.), many technology-based podcasts are available to explore. They're great for keeping up with the fast-moving world of technology, all in your dead time.

The TWiT podcast network has been going almost as long as podcasts have existed and offers a wide-range of long-form weekly tech podcasts. Alternatively, you can learn about the history of tech (Commandline Heros is well worth checking out).

How does the podcast calculator work?

In the podcast calculator, we grouped some of the most common daily activities such as commuting (whether by car, bike, or something else), cleaning, and working out into what amounts to this dead time to help you reclaim it.

To use our tool, follow the simple steps below.

  1. Input at the top, one by one, the amount of time you spend daily on traveling, household chores, exercising, and 'other' (anything that doesn't fit the other categories).

  2. Write how long a single podcast episode is. On average, they are about 43 minutes long, which is the default option in the calculator. Feel free, however, to input any other value.

  3. Choose an option that describes your focus best: from being 100% focused to being relatively distracted. This percentage will influence the time you need to go through the podcast since you might sometimes want to rewind if you let your mind wander.

  4. Input the speed modifier you use when listening to podcasts. By default, this value is equal to 1, but maybe you prefer the speaker to slow down (values smaller than 1), or speed up (values larger than 1).

  5. Underneath, check how many episodes you could go through weekly, monthly, and yearly. That number can be the motivation you were looking for to start your podcast adventure today!

But it's always difficult to begin, isn't it? Fortunately, for further encouragement, we've prepared a few tricks that might get you started.

Tips to optimize your dead time

Okay, we've established what dead time is, and what to do about it, but is it always so easy to spot dead time without realizing it?

Recall the time when you had no idea how many books you could've read if you quit social media. Here are some tips that can help you catch your dead time red-handed and find the best way to optimize it:

  • Daily breakdown ⌛ - As believable as it can be in 2020, no, we're not talking about having a breakdown everyday :P. Instead, we encourage you to try to divide your day-to-day activities into smaller intervals. It will help you identify the dead time and let you minimize it.

  • Explore what you love 🤟 - There are over 850,000 active podcasts with over 30 million episodes to choose from. You can find what you like on a good podcast listening app and plan your audio-venture :).

  • Start small 🐣 - Just like you won't advise an early book reader to read Shantaram in their first month, with podcasts, it is better to start small. Try listening to something shorter that allows you to get in the rhythm and focus. Here's a list of some short format ones you can begin with and see if it works for you.

  • Find other alternatives to dead time 🎶 - Admittedly, not everyone likes the feeling of being talked to. Therefore, podcasts may not be so luring, but don't let that stop you. Find an alternative that works for you, like exploring great music or learning an on-line skill if your hands are free. The goal is to bring your dead time back to life. Remember, everyone gets only 24 hrs a day.

If you haven't noticed it yet, 2020 is, in fact, the 'dead time' of our lives. What we do with it can make all the difference. Go ahead and play around with the calculator, turn your dead minutes into podcasts, and have a lot of fun 😄.

⚠️ This, of course, does not mean that you should increase your car's traveling speed to reduce dead time. It's better to take some things slowly.

Steven Wooding, Maciej Kowalski, PhD candidate and Farhan Khan
Related calculators
This calculator is designed to show the positive aspects of listening to podcasts while doing everyday chores (e.g., commuting or cleaning), which we consider as dead time. It helps you find out how long it would take to learn something new about the world, history, or yourself 😊
How much time do you spend on these things daily?
Travelling 🚗
Household chores 🧹
Exercising 🏃‍♀️
Other time ⌚
Podcast episode length
Listening efficiency
Well concentrated (95%)
I listen at speed...
Reclaimed time
Weekly dead time ⏳
Monthly dead time ⌚
Yearly dead time 📅
On average, you can finish up to...
episodes a week
episodes a month,
episodes a year.
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