I am a total failure—when consuming podcasts or taking part in virtual conference calls. I have good intentions. But ten to fifteen minutes into the audio program, I discover I have zoned out. My mind has wandered. I don’t have a clue what the last individual said, and I pray the presenter won’t ask me a probing question. If it is a recording, I rewind only to experience the phenomenon happen again. I never noticed zoning out during in-person meetings.
It made me wonder if it was the host’s delivery, their cadence, or the sound of their voice? Perhaps it was the subject? I researched the art of active listening and studied the meditation trick of returning my focus to the call. After some experimentation, I discovered similar mental inattentiveness with podcasts, audiobooks, and online meetings. Music and movies also have this effect, though to a lesser extent. Maybe it is my learning style. Visual information engages my attention, and I remember the facts better than if I hear them.
As the listener, it is a miserable struggle that leaves me with intense feelings of wasted time. My solution is taking detailed notes. The process reminds me of college lecture halls without the final exam. My professors delivered talks with the express intent of delivering specific material within a structured setting. Many work calls do not fit those criteria. It is a change, a challenge, and I am working to adapt.
How do you best consume content?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer