Nn the distant past when I used to (begrudgingly) go to the gym I would listen to music, watch TV and read investment journals simultaneously to cope with the boredom. I could pull this off on a recumbent bike but give up the reading for the treadmill and also the TV for the weights. I hardly did any weights as a consequence. Likewise running without music was awful. Once during a 10K run my MP3 player died. After that I always carried two MP3 players, one in each hand.
Later in life I changed to walking on a regular basis. Walking around your neighborhood streets isn't exciting so I took up listening to audio books and that helped pass the time. Then the ChargedTech podcast started and I listened to that plus some other podcasts that I discovered along the way. Soon I had a limitless supply of podcast episodes that I would never finish.
Everywhere I went, if I wasn't listening to music I was listening to a podcast, trying to keep up, trying to get to podcast zero. I enjoyed listening to new podcasts, discussions of interesting topics. Then I realized that something bad was happening. I wasn't thinking anymore.
I was so busy consuming I wasn't taking the time to process, reflect on what I had heard or have much original thought.
I have decided to take an alternative strategy. I'm not going to listen to anything when I'm out for my daily walks. I'm going to walk and I'm going to contemplate life, recent events, future plans, outstanding problems & concerns and see what comes to me. I'll have no agenda, I'm just going to walk and see what happens.
So far it's working, walking across the WalMart car park today I thought of this topic and the main point. During the shower this evening I fleshed it out in my head
It'll be interesting to see how long it goes before I get totally bored and start listening to podcasts again. They are fun to consume, but are they audio equivalent of sitting in front of a TV and switching your brain off?