I went on a jog a few days ago. No earbuds. No screens. No music, audiobooks, podcasts—just my thoughts. I enjoyed the beauty of January, though we often think of it as dead and decaying. We long for spring.
Around 3 miles in I looked down and saw two pennies. I picked them up for my kids (I knew they’d be excited at the prospect of “having money”). Typically, jog for me means catching up on podcasts, listening to that audiobook, etc. It’s often about checking another thing off the list. Arguably this jog was 0% productive since I couldn’t check anything off my list. However, it cleared my mind. I thought at a different pace since I was focused on what was around me, such as noticing two pennies that I would never have seen before. I reframed worries and doubts that had grown colossal. I thought through opportunities that seemed out of reach. I realized many projects were neither important nor urgent, so I could put them to the back burner.
So while I’ll continue to listen to podcasts and audiobooks while jogging, I won’t do it all the time. Sometimes you need to spend an hour to reflect and absorb what you already know, to make those connections to things you’ve never made before. In short, don’t only ever put on your headphones to block the outside world, sometimes sit (or jog) and listen to that around you and your own thoughts.
Just my two cents.