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Fay's What I'm Loving: Laura Vanderkam Podcasts

I enjoy podcasts like I enjoy books--voraciously. In fact, I listen to them at 1 ½ speed to maximize my listening time. A few of my favorites include Stuff You Should Know, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Young House Love Has a Podcast and Up First. If you have an interest, I can almost guarantee there is a podcast for you.

One of my many interests is good advice. Fortunately for me (and you), each morning can offer a nugget of good information if you’ve got a smart phone with a Podcast app. Enter, Laura Vanderkam.

Laura is a speaker, author and productivity expert. Oh, and she also has five children! Her personal and professional experiences allow her to share exactly how it is possible to maximize your time and energy to achieve significant success, however you may personally define those. In addition to research, writing and speaking around the country, she records three podcasts. According to her website, “Laura Vanderkam helps people spend more time on what matters, and less on what doesn’t.”

Laura Vanderkam helps people spend more time on what matters, and less on what doesn’t.”

I was first introduced to her podcast Before Breakfast. Along the lines of NPR’s Up First, this is a compact podcast you can listen to on the way to work, even if you have a short commute. She offers strategies and tips for prioritizing to meet your own goals. For example, she suggests setting aside time for cleaning your home, and then letting it go once that time period is over. Otherwise, one can easily spend all weekend cleaning (and re-cleaning), while failing to do anything meaningful with their time. It’s not a revolutionary concept, but just a clear reminder to prioritize how we’d like to spend weekends--with family and friends (not the Swiffer).

Vanderkam's latest podcast endeavor, The New Corner Office, began in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a work-from-home veteran, she offers tips to maximize productivity and happiness. The episodes “Don’t write off Friday afternoons,” “Have a go-to second workspace” and “Should you dress up?” were recent favorites of mine.

Vanderkam is definitely focused on an audience of professional working parents. She is realistic and relatable, and offers practical daily solutions for managing the challenges of today’s busy world. I am especially impressed with her quick pivot to develop a podcast for new remote workers--one that I now listen to on my early morning walks as opposed to my rush hour commute.

So, tune in to Before Breakfast or The New Corner Office, and let me know what you think!

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