6 Tips on How to Combine Studying and Working

I am a full-time student and a part-time personal care assistant. I have been working while studying throughout my studies and I feel like I have grown a lot thanks to it. This has made me become better at managing my time, out of necessity, as my time is limited. It has also taught me to be responsible and to prioritize. I wanted to share with you how I balance studies and work:

1. Start assignments early

I am someone who loves to be early and in time, so for me, this comes somewhat naturally. But now that I am working, I have had to put extra emphasis on starting early, otherwise, I will not be getting the grades I want. As soon as I get a new assignment and a deadline, I make an outline of the task, for example, an essay: I write down the topic, pick a few sources to read from and write down the deadline. I have a list of assignments arranged from the most urgent to the least urgent and then I work on the most urgent assignment whenever I have a free moment. I also try to break it into smaller subgoals: such as setting a goal of writing 100 words per day.

2. Stay organized

I try to be on top of everything I need to do so that things run smoothly. If I know what it is, I need to accomplish on a given day, I am more likely to get it done. There is just so much to remember, that I couldn't live without a calendar. If I have neglected writing down the classes, projects and work shifts, I feel like I have a million tabs open in my brain and I get overwhelmed. When my calendar is updated, it all seems more manageable. I wholeheartedly recommend getting a calendar and maybe a journal to write down everything on your mind so you can rest assured it is all documented somewhere where you can find it again.

3. Prioritize and delegate

As I started working, I quickly noticed I just cannot do all the things I would like to do. I needed to look at everything on my plate and decide what is a top priority and what could be postponed or done by somebody else. I had a hard time asking for help from people, but once again out of necessity I have started to do more of it and it has definitely improved my mood when I don't feel like I have to do everything by myself. My husband has been a big help and I do not think I could get as much done if it wasn't for him. So, if you start feeling overwhelmed or tired, stop and take a look at your priorities and adjust accordingly, and don't forget to ask for help. 

4. Cut yourself some slack

When you know your priorities, it should be easier to allow yourself to cut yourself some slack. If you feel overwhelmed, look at your priorities and see if there is something you could skip, postpone, drop or try and delegate. At one point in my studies, I was working as a cleaner. At first, it was fine, and I was really happy with what I was doing. But over time, waking up at 4 and working in the morning before classes, I started to feel really drained. I was thinking about how to pull this off, and balance work, studies, exercise, and my relationships. Eventually, I decided to find another job and I felt so much better after. I would advise my readers to find a job you genuinely love. I thought there would not be anything for a young woman such as myself, without a degree and with limited work experience. But right now, my job is so nice I would even do it full-time. I think this is so important to be able to balance everything. You really need to want to do it. Whatever the motivation to work while studying is, you need to keep that in mind continuously.

5. Plan for downtime

I try and plan nice things to help wind down after my work and study commitments. Usually, I read a book totally unrelated to my studies or watch some TV. Consciously planning for relaxation time helps me with getting the most out of that time. Otherwise, I might feel guilty about not doing something 'useful'. We all need some time off in order not to burn out, and scheduling time for winding down is a great way to make sure you are not stretching yourself too thin. 

6. Communicate

I have told my professors I work and the person I work for knew from the get-go that studies are my first priority. This has helped me with flexibility and communicating with my professors and my boss has helped me stay on top of things. People are surprisingly understanding if you ask for something, such as an extension for a deadline, respectfully and early enough so that adjustments can be made. I find that it works best in person. When everyone is on the same page, it is easier to make adjustments and to get some flexibility. This is especially important during final exams: I let everyone know well in advance that I am going to take an exam and that my availability is limited but that I make up for it later by being flexible to my employer's wishes. This has worked wonders and I couldn't be happier with the job I have.

9 Tips for Learning a Language (Fast)

I have always loved languages. I still remember the day when I realized there are other languages than Finnish. A song in English came on the radio and I was fascinated. I remember asking my parents if anyone could just come up with a language of their own. I spent the rest of the day making up words that sounded a bit like Finnish and a bit like gibberish.

When I was 10 years old, we started studying English at school and I was so excited. A year later I wanted to take German as an elective. At 13 years old, we started studying Swedish at school. Languages have also been a hobby outside of school. I have self-learned Turkish and I am now trying to do the same with Spanish. Languages are a passion of mine, and that is why I felt like I might have something helpful to share to others about learning other languages and doing it faster rather than slower.

1. Have a clear reason why

While I learn languages as a hobby of sorts, if I do not have a very clear reason why I want to learn a particular language, I am not going to make progress as fast. "It sounds nice" can be enough of a reason to begin, but soon you will need to be thinking of something else. As an example, I started learning Turkish five years ago because I saw a video on YouTube and in it, the language sounded so beautiful. After some time, I started to become interested in the culture, music, and so on, which made me have an internal motivation to keep learning. This is very important for consistency.

2. Listen to music

I love learning by listening. This might not be everyone's favorite way to learn, but it is definitely helpful for several reasons. Listening to music in your target language is a great way to start picking up some words and also for listening comprehension. I generally try to write down what I hear and then check it against the lyrics to see how well I did and which words I maybe misspelled or misheard.

3. Watch TV

I became somewhat addicted to Turkish TV shows in the beginning and that really sped up the process. I was having a hard time finding shows with subtitles, so I had to start watching without subtitles early on and although it was difficult, I kept going. I would recommend choosing something you are really interested in, for example, if you love documentaries, find documentaries in your target language and so on. Another way to do this is to watch a dubbed version of something you've already seen.

4. Have someone to practice with

Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, it is very easy to connect with people who are native speakers of your target language. In my experience, people are often very glad to do a language exchange, but you have to find the kind of people who are actually willing to talk, correct and give feedback. Through language exchange, I have also learned new things about my own language, which is always an eye-opening and exciting experience.

5. Record yourself speaking

I recently watched a video of a guy who learned fluent Finnish in a few years, and he had recorded himself in the very early stages. It was a great reminder of how much hard work pays off, and most importantly, it will help you with pronunciation. You could even send the voice recording to a native speaker and ask for feedback to help you identify the parts you need to pay more attention to.

6. Change the language of your devices

I  used to have my phone's language set to Turkish for years and it is a great way to be exposed to the language and to do a bit of forced learning. When your phone is not working properly and you try to find the right settings, being able to do that in another language is very motivating and a fun challenge.

7. Read books

It took me a long time to be able to start reading in Turkish and when I did, it was just a very simple and short romance novel. I would advise on starting with children's books or maybe translated novels because on average, they tend to have simpler language and structure. Reading books and writing down the words I don't know was the way I improved in English as well.

8. Write

I haven't done nearly enough of this, and it is ever more obvious to me now that I try and write in English. I have been reading a lot and passively receiving, but not creating myself. Forming coherent sentences can be hard at first, but it gets easier the more you practice. Spell checks are a life-saver when writing in any language, but with a foreign language, it can be especially useful. Online communities are a great platform for sharing your progress and getting feedback.

9. Start speaking now

Do this as early as possible, even if you are only just mumbling to yourself. I made the mistake of not speaking in many of the languages I started to learn, and that has led to the unfortunate situation where I am fully capable of understanding what is being said, but I struggle to answer even to the most basic of questions, purely because I have not practiced. Do not be afraid of mistakes, they are your only way to fluency. I need to keep telling this to myself all the time, and slowly but surely I am getting better at it.

How to Get Comfortable on a Plane

My last travel advice post was about preparation for a long haul flight and this time I wanted to do a follow-up of sorts for how to get comfortable during the flight. There might be a bit of an overlap, but I felt like I had not written about everything that deserves to be mentioned. Hopefully, you will find some of these tips helpful. And to give you some background information, I am writing this post at the airport in Amsterdam while we are waiting to board the next flight, so everything is in fresh memory and will be put into test in the next 20 or so hours I have left. I am sure even the second post is not all-encompassing, but I tried my absolute best to come up with useful advice.

Stay hydrated
My first and perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice is to take a big water bottle with you (I use a flask that keeps my water ice cool for several hours). Fill it after getting through the security check to make sure you won't go thirsty, but make sure the tap water is drinkable at first (as a Finn I often forget this). I know it is possible to ask for water from the flight attendants and some airlines even give water bottles for everyone but sometimes there is not enough of it or you might get tired of requesting it one glass at a time. Dehydration is so easy to avoid with this simple tip!

Move around
Don't forget to stand up every once in a while, and not just to go to the bathroom. I would recommend getting up and walking, if possible. Stretches are always a good idea, and there are several you can do while staying seated. I also like to move my toes around because they get cold easily and try and rotate my body every once in a while. These are some ways to get your blood pumping and prevent muscle ache and stiffness.

Bring earplugs and other things to help you rest and relax
If you want to sleep (and even just to relax) bring a good pair of earplugs! My ears are small, so I need a pair that fits snuggly and feels comfortable. Test the earplugs beforehand so you know they fit well. If you are light-sensitive, bring a sleep mask to help you sleep. I just tested a pair of noise-canceling headphones and feel so tempted to buy them! I need to do some comparing. If you have a recommendation, please let me know in the comments! My husband brought an extra pillow for his back, so if you have space in your bags, that could be something to try. The seats (at least in the economy class) are as uncomfortable as it gets, so anything that helps will make a huge difference in your travel experience. After all, your seat is where you will be staying for possibly hours on end.

Avoid alcohol, coffee and anything that dehydrates
As mentioned in the first tip, it is really important to stay hydrated. One way to prevent dehydration is to drink a ton of water and another one is to try and not drink things that dehydrate - such as alcohol and coffee. I know this is hard, especially for early morning or long flights, but it is worth it. But a word of warning, do not try to quit caffeine cold turkey, I got a headache just now trying to skip my morning cup of coffee - so I compensate by drinking more water!

Bring hand sanitizer
I try to use hand sanitizer as often as possible because while traveling you have to touch things that thousands of people before you have touched. I don't think washing hands is enough in such crowded spaces, and in-flight it also brings me some peace of mind to know I am doing my best not to catch flu or anything. Eating also feels more comfortable after making sure your hands are clean. All this sounds so obvious, but there have been so many occassions where I hoped I had taken a sanitizer that I just thought it would be worth mentioning, as a reminder of sorts.

This is especially good for you nerves! When flying Scandinavian Airlines, I discovered their in-flight entertainment included guided meditation! I think it is such a wonderful idea, especially for those of us who need to do something else to calm their nerves. Deep breathing is a good idea, but do it through your nose (which is a perfect filter for microbes - so as not to get sick). We were meant to breathe through our noses, and it really makes a difference. If you're interested, I could write a post about deep breathing and meditation routines in general.

Be mindful of others
I know it is important to get comfortable, especially on long flights, but I wanted to put a reminder here for not doing so at the expense of others. As an example, don't recline your seat when someone is eating behind you. Everything goes smoothly if we remember to be kind and polite towards one another. I am a big believer in spreading positivity. My favorite is the platinum rule: treat others the way they want to be treated. It is great to keep in mind not everyone thinks the way you do, and this piece of advice has helped me tremendously in the way I approach and treat those around me - loved ones and total strangers alike.

Do you have any tips for getting comfortable while flying? Let me know if you learned something new or if you'd like to share a tip yourself! Maybe I can make use of them while traveling back in January. My next post will hopefully be from Guatemala, so stay tuned for pictures and updates. Traveling is cumbersome, but reaching the destination makes everything worthwhile. 

Get Uncomfortable to Grow

Whoever coined the term comfort zone did a good job. I can almost visualize the borders of my comfort zone in my daily life. I am very aware of discomfort, and that's because I have to step outside those borders frequently, to widen the zone. My reasons for writing this post are somewhat selfish because I feel like I have stagnated lately when it comes to challenging myself. Maybe the things I used to find uncomfortable have begun to be less so. I imagine my comfort zone expanding and feel almost giddy. This is why personal development has become such a central thing in my life - I am mindful of what it is that I am doing, how I feel about it and what are the next steps to take to improve. So, in this post, I wanted to get into some tips you could experiment with to get more comfortable with discomfort, or how I would like to call it, tricking yourself into growing.

1. Commit to plans when you are in a good mood
The bit about sometimes having to deceive yourself to step out of the comfort zone is very true. It is human nature, we want to stay comfortable, stress-free, risk-free and safe. So to come out on top, I make uncomfortable plans for myself when I am feeling great and can't back down later. My future self is often very frustrated with this, but as a conscientious person, it totally works! I don't know if this would work for everyone, and I guess it depends on your personality. The key here is not to cancel the plans. I can honestly say I have never regretted making uncomfortable plans for myself, and after, I feel giddy and excited about my improvement. Today, I will go ice swimming. I committed to this when I was feeling warm and cozy right after dinner. Wish me luck!

2. Keep at it
Doing the uncomfortable thing continuously will eventually lead to your comfort zone expanding. I used to think I will all but die if I speak English. I was terrified of making mistakes, being laughed at or being misunderstood. Now I speak English the majority of my time and have become more relaxed and natural, and most importantly, I am not afraid anymore. It took me years to get to this point, and sometimes there are low moments, but I am so happy I just kept practicing and if I gave up, it was only for a little while.

3. Get to know your fears
I like to try and reason with myself about my fears. I am scared of public speaking, so I interview myself: what is the worst that could happen, will anyone remember this 5 years from now, will I remember this 5 years from now? What is it that I am afraid of? With public speaking, my fears are similar to the fear of speaking in English used to be: I hate making mistakes. A tell-tale sign of perfectionism. Reasoning with myself doesn't always work. I haven't shown up to all of my presentations at school. I am not proud of that, but I think it says something about the fear itself. I think getting to know your fears really helps in finding ways to overcome it. I try to focus on all the times I did show up and how well things were despite my fears. I haven't fully convinced myself about the fact that messing up sometimes is okay, but I am getting there.

4. Just do it
I tried to find another way of putting this, but it works and I love Nike. I am new to blogging and to be honest, sharing what I write to other people is not easy. Clicking 'publish' is incredibly scary and for the longest time, I didn't do it. I have numerous drafts that never saw the light of day because of my fears. My current technique is to hit the button and then close my laptop. It works, but my plan is to get better and better at it, and for that to happen, I need to keep writing and publishing and putting myself out there. I know one day this will feel natural, and I want that day to be as soon as possible. As an overthinker, just doing it is a great way to overcome my fears. When you're not hypothesizing about all the things that could go wrong, you can actually do something that actually helps you grow.

The Best Books of 2018

I love reading. I am a book addict and proud of it. I am always on the lookout for something new to read. In the month of November, I finished my reading challenge of 100 books for the year. I have previously written a post on how to read more, and now I thought of sharing some of my favorites from the books published this year. I tend to read very extensively and I don't pay much attention to the genre in general. I do have a soft spot for books that inspire me, and reading self-help books is my guilty pleasure. This year, I tried to read more nonfiction and as you may see from the titles below, it went pretty well. I can't wait to start next year's reading challenge - I have set some subgoals including categories of books to read. But without further ado, let us get to my list of the best books published in 2018!

Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker
This book changed the way I look at things. Through watching the news and following different media outlets, we get a pretty negative idea on the situation in the world. Not to say it necessarily isn't, but we have to admit us humans are notoriously good at focusing on the bad and even wallowing in it. When we think about it, the news did not use to be a 24/7 thing, they were broadcasted at set times and for the rest of your day, you were news-free. All the click-bait headlines and hyperboles are intended to get people's attention in a world full of distraction, and it does not necessarily give a good idea about what is happening.

I love to read well-thought-over and well-researched texts, and Steven Pinker always delivers on this front. He supports his arguments with compelling facts and statistics and helps the reader to look at the bigger picture, a longer timeline than we are perhaps used to seeing. I wholeheartedly recommend reading this book if you are looking for new perspectives.

Educated by Tara Westover
Reading the memoir of Tara Westover felt like reading a piece of fiction, that is how incredible her story is. Growing up in Idaho in a fundamentalist Mormon family, she went through a tough childhood: no friends, no school, no books. Although I have nothing in common with her except for the love of books that she comes to realize later in life, I found her style of writing very relatable and her story very compelling and inspiring.

Origin by Dan Brown
I had actually only read The Da Vinci Code before grabbing this book by the well-known author. It was recommended to us in my CS101 class, so I thought reading it almost counts as studying. And it certainly did! I had to use Google so much (does anyone else do this?) while reading, because things I had never heard about just kept coming up. Setting in Spain, I found it very entertaining to read about places I had previously visited, but also discovering places I now want to go to. I would recommend this to anyone interested in sci-fi and AI.

The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery by Barbara K. Lipska
I took a course recently that had to do with the structure of our brain from a linguistic standpoint and that is perhaps why I found this book, once again, kind of related to my studies. This book was gifted to me by my husband's relative who has never even met me, so I was quite surprised what a good match this book seemed to be. Barbara Lipska is a neuroscientist and the director of the Human Brain Collection Core at the National Institute of Mental Health. Ironically, she lost her mental health because of brain tumors. The book is an interesting description of losing and then regaining your grasp on reality. It made me question our definitions of mental health and the stigmas that come with it. It is scary to think our personality could change drastically without us even knowing. If psychology, mental health or neuroscience interest you, I would give this book a go!

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
Jordan Peterson has emerged almost out of nowhere to become an international superstar of sorts with an important message: take responsibility. I love the fact his writing started on Quora, a website where you can ask and answer questions - because I am a big Quora fan! In his book, he shares some profound pieces of advice that have resonated with thousands and thousands of people. He came to Finland not too long ago, and I am still sad I missed the event - it sold out almost immediately, and I think that alone speaks for the book. Very recommended to people wanting to take ownership of their lives or to those who feel like they lack some purpose. As an extra mention, he is amazingly well-read, especially on classics, and is very interested in the stories humans have told to themselves and to others throughout the history of mankind. After reading his book, I had a long list of books to add to my ever-growing to-read list.

How to Stay Consistent with Exercise

Sticking to a routine can be tough. Sometimes life gets in the way of the careful plans we make, and sometimes it is hard to get back on track. This applies to anything, but what I want to focus on right now is staying consistent with working out, as it is something many people, myself included, struggle with. I wanted to come and share the tips that have helped me the most with consistency.

Consistency is the only way to get better
When it comes to exercise, consistency is key. To actually stick to an exercise routine without a fail, we have to realize consistency is what makes us improve. Every now and then or only when we feel like it is not going to cut it. Once again this applies to almost anything when it comes to goals and achieving them, and that is how we know it is actually something important. We may have to keep reminding ourselves, and that's okay, as long as the core message is internalized: we need to keep at it. Life is a grind, and therefore you should try and find a way to enjoy your daily routines.

Schedule in your workouts
Break down the week (or a month, or whatever fits you the best) and divide your exercises evenly to each day (and include rest days where needed). Revise the plan every now and then for adjustments and maybe have someone who knows about exercise to review it. There are also several training programs to purchase and then adapt them to your needs.

And related to scheduling, here is my favorite tip: reschedule, don't cancel. Adjust for things that come up, such as having to go to a party on a day when you had planned to exercise. Do not cancel the workout completely, but just do it on another day. I have often neglected this, but rescheduling will make a huge difference in consistency, that way there can be no excuses. One more tip is to have a routine you can do without equipment wherever you are to substitute the workout and to do it later. This way you make sure you don't fall off the horse when one thing gets canceled. You will do whatever it is you planned to do eventually. This is a great way to make the routine more flexible and to help you stick to it.

Track your progress
It might be a good idea to track the progress you have made so far. A journal is one way to do it: you could write down the miles you ran so you can reflect back on it. This will make you more aware of where you're headed and what maybe works and what does not. The same thing works for the gym, but just tracking weights and repetitions. It can become addictive, so be careful - documenting everything religiously is not the point here, unless it is something that motivates you. For me, tracking works like wonder. I am somewhat competitive at certain things, and competing against myself is so much fun.

Stay accountable
A great way to keep consistent is to share your goal with other people. Whether you want to exercise twice a week, run a marathon or compete in bikini fitness, the best way to make it happen is to put some skin in the game. If this is something that might motivate you, try it out even if it sounds a bit scary at first. Let your friends or loved ones know, or maybe share your journey in social media. It would also be a good way to get support and encouragement, and you could even consider finding a workout buddy or joining a group or a community doing what you're trying to achieve. There are many communities in social media as well if you cannot find groups in your area. For an extra push, you could also use a website called stickK: it makes you plan a goal, and select an anti-charity to donate to if you fail to stay consistent.

Find a workout you love
This is really important in order to achieve your goals. Not to say it always has to be fun, that is a different thing completely. But if you despise something, it is not going to work long term. We need internal motivation to do something, as external pressure only works for so long. Sometimes, it is good to experiment and see if you need to switch things around or try something new. It does not always mean you will change the way you exercise, it can also be a way to see what you were already doing in a new light. At one point, I was getting really bored with my exercise routine and tried swimming (laps) instead. Well, turned out I was horrible at it, and it wasn't for me, but I got reminded of what I like about my current routine and let's be honest, it is fun to do something you're good at (especially if it is through hard work and repetitions).

Force yourself and then reward yourself
On my bad days, I feel like doing anything else except my planned workout for the day. It is okay to feel low, but we need to remember the feeling after having worked out. All the endorphins are likely going to lift you up and transform a bad day into a better one. I cannot remember a single time I would have regretted working out, while the opposite happens quite a lot. Maybe you could try persuading yourself by thinking of a reward to give to yourself after you have finished. For me, this is often something like buying a new book or getting my favorite dessert.

Focus on your goal
I find it easier to do anything when I have a clear purpose, something to strive towards. It does not have to be anything huge, difficult or life-changing, but having a goal in mind will make consistency much easier. This would also allow you to compare your starting point to where you are now whenever you feel demotivated. Not having a goal has been a big reason why in the past I have failed to stay consistent with my exercise routine. I know it is not just me, not knowing where I am headed leaves me undriven. I had read this particular piece of advice countless times without actually doing something about it. To be able to focus on your goals you have to actually set some.

How about you guys, are you consistent with working out? What are some of the things you struggle with, and how are you striving to overcome them? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear your stories.

My Favorite Podcasts in 2018

I can't believe I am sharing this with everyone who happens to come across my blog, but I did not have a clue what a podcast is only a few years ago. Maybe it was something new here in Finland or I had not met anyone who listens to podcasts, but in any case, I was missing out! Podcasts are life-savers! Especially for people with a daily commute. My commute is currently about an hour a day, so I get to listen to a lot of different podcasts, especially as I also listen to podcasts when cleaning. 

I thought it would be fun to share my favorites with you, please let me know if you have listened to them and what are some of your favorite podcasts! I am always on the lookout for new podcasts, no matter what the topic or the theme is. It is actually one of my favorite things to look for new things to listen to through the recent episodes listing or writing random keywords in the search box. As a side note, I use an app called Podcast Addict to listen to podcasts. It helps me greatly with keeping up with the new episodes and has never failed me. Sometimes I forget to subscribe to a new podcast (when searching with keywords etc.) never to find it again, so as a reminder for everyone, always subscribe if what you're listening to resonates with you and you want to check out more episodes in the future! Now that I have listed why, where and how to listen to podcasts, let us get to the list of what to listen to:

This is perhaps my all-time favorite, and I am serious! Awesome Etiquette is a podcast by Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning, who are cousins. They are from the Emily Post Institute, based in Vermont. Their weekly podcast gives a lot of insight into all thing’s etiquette, being kind to each other and sharing useful scripts for handling tough situations that the listeners send to the podcast. I also love their post-script segment, there is always something I did not know or had not considered before. Thanks to Awesome Etiquette, I feel less dread over social situations and feel more confident about being able to socialize with others successfully. I wholeheartedly recommend giving their podcast a try!

A guru of self-growth, Tim Ferriss was one of the reasons I got so into the self-improvement world. I remember watching a video of him learning new languages fast and I got really inspired by his energy and way of communicating. He has become skilled in interviewing others and because of the considerable size of his audience, has been able to get some pretty impressive people on his show. Whenever I feel stuck in a rut, I go back to some of my favorite episodes by him or read a chapter of one of his books (we have many). 

I discovered Sam Harris through the recommendation of my husband, who has many of his books (perks of having a well-read husband). He is a neuroscientist, an author, and a philosopher. I have read some of them and find him extremely inspiring. Whenever I listen to his podcast, I have books to add on my to-read list and most importantly, I feel like going and grabbing a book right then and there to keep learning. I especially admire his eloquence and clarity, he speaks the way most people write and that in and of itself is insanely cool. I like the philosophical topics and anything related to meditation - and speaking of meditation, he recently launched an app with lessons and short, guided meditations. 

I found this podcast through Podcast Addict and have been following for quite some time. Anna is so upbeat, inspiring and coherent. I like the practical advice she gives and also the personal bits that make her super relatable. Her podcast is one of the reasons I decided to start my blog, although I was listening for a long time without actually doing anything. Her own story is very inspiring and she has grown her website into a platform for helping women with their careers and setting goals. All she does is actually something I would love to do in the future!

A few years ago I got really into reading about finances and investing & minored in Business Administration. That's when I discovered Freakonomics Radio through Podcast Addict and it has really helped me learn and internalize concepts and phenomena related to economics. They have interesting guests, a very fun way of delivering the message (it is like listening to a story) and while every single episode might not be of interest initially, there is always something that can be useful or something I hear more about later. Recently, there was an episode about creativity and it got me very inspired! Another push for starting my blog! If you like their podcast, I would also recommend the books written by Stephen J. Dubner.

Looking at my list now, I feel like the fact that I am curious is easy to see. However, while the topics of each podcast might seem very different at first glance, they are all very much related to personal development. I think podcasts are a great way to learn while doing something like cleaning, folding laundry, doing your makeup or hair, anything really that does not require your full focus. It also makes less nice tasks a lot more enjoyable (I reward myself with an episode of a favorite podcast whenever I go running at 5am in the cold Finnish winter - I need a treadmill!). 

Do you listen to podcasts? If you have any favorites, especially if they are about self-improvement, share them with me and the others in the comments below! And if you don't listen to podcasts, is there are a reason for that? It would be great to find out what you guys think about podcasts!