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Podcasting Recording Hacks

Podcasting Recording Hacks

Okay, I’m really really into podcasting. Why? Because I think they have some uses that blogs can’t cover. Portability being chief among these. Basically, it’s another way to have a conversation with an audience. If you’re a marketer, this is almost a no-brainer. If you’re a geekhead, this is a way to share knowledge and information in a group setting, without requiring even more reading.

Sometimes, you want to read. Like Manuals.

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But other times, you might want to have someone executing a step by step method of procedure. Can you imagine a tech remoting into a data center, getting ready to upgrade a server, and she’s listening to her trusty iRiver device. She pushes play and hears her coworkers’ pre-recorded steps for execution. It sounds like Mission: Impossible, only without the steps for “shoot this guy; make a copy of his face; put on the mask.”

CEOs can give messages to senior management. Vendors can get their clients subcribed to weekly product podcasts. (I’ve got a million, kids!)

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Most folks get nervous about doing a podcast because of the technical stuff. Well, here are a few hacks to get someone who might not be 100% techie into putting their voice into digital media for sharing purposes. The best part is, most of them are cheap or free:

Podcast RECORDING Hacks

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Quick definition partly copped from Wikipedia: Podcasting is the distribution of multimedia files (audio or video), using a syndication method like RSS or ATOM, for download and playback at a time convenient to the listener/viewer.

  • Odeo– Take an inexpensive microphone (built-in or a $15 jobber from RadioShack.com), plug it into your computer, poke around the audio settings, and you can use Odeo. You really can’t get much simpler than that. I could probably end the hacks right here, really. It’s an easy solution for desktop recording. How about MOBILE recording?
  • K7.net– We mentioned this the other day regarding Adam Weiss’s voice reminder hack. You can use the same thing but talk just a little longer and you’ve got a podcast. Is there a timelimit to the messages? Here’s another hack. Record the time limit’s length as segments, tie them all together using Audacity. The only trick there is, it’s a Seattle number.
  • AimPhoneLine.com– I saw this at Lifehacker, and I thought: well there! That solves the local number. (I admit I didn’t look for non-US numbers, but I’ve got a sidebar hack for that, too: can’t you SKYPE to it?). I haven’t tried out the length, but again, just record little bits and blend them. I now have two new internet phone numbers in a single day. Weird.
  • SkypeCasts– Skype just launched a great tool for this called SkypeCasts. I think this thing will really rock the boat in the “record it easy” marketplace. Hey Odeo- what do you think?
  • Cheapy Digital Recorders– You can get an inexpensive digital record for under $100 US, and those might be a good starting place for something you can shift from your device to the computer for pushing into a Podcast.

Even if you’re not interested in podcasting, these services all offer something of interest to busy productivity types looking to use other tools to get things done. Don’t have access to the keyboard? Use a phone in service for a message that translates directly to MP3. Need to leave lots of people the same message? Email them the file. We can go on like this, but I need your help.

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What Did I Miss?

I’ll admit that I didn’t exactly scour the internet to see other examples of similar services. Do you have some favorites that I missed? Let me know. Load up the comments with your thoughts, opinions, and your variations on the theme. That’s what you’re here for, tough guys!

–Chris Brogan recently launched New Media School, a video podcast that takes a tongue-in-cheek look at podcasting, while still attempting to be marginally informative.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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