How Do I Find Time To Podcast?

Do you ever say to yourself, “I’d love to make a podcast, but I just don’t have enough time?” There are as many people who say, “I wish I had time to podcast,” as there are actual podcasts.

To be brutally honest, you do have time to podcast. You simply don’t have time for the frustration that can happen when obstacles get in the way of doing what you want to do. However, there are ways to eliminate obstacles that cause frustration.

We’ll look at ways to find time to podcast by freeing up some filled time, making the time you do have more productive, and a mindset hack.

How Much Time Do You Need? 

Let’s estimate the size of what we’re dealing with. When we say, “time to podcast,” how much are we talking about?

Colin has written an excellent article about how much time it actually takes to run a podcast. It’s a multi-faceted issue, depending on what kind of podcast you produce and how frequently you want to release episodes.

Some podcasters estimate the amount of time they’ll need by taking their episode length and multiplying it by four. This means a 15-minute episode would take roughly one hour to complete, a half-hour episode would take roughly two hours, and so on. Others say that for multi-layered sound design, you should estimate an hour of editing for each minute of audio per episode.  

The most important part to remember is that recording is not what takes the most time to work on your podcast. Other tasks can take longer. All together, you have to think about:

Planning & Scheduling

Setting up


Editing & Mixing

Writing Shownotes

Uploading & Publishing


The good news is that once you know how long it takes you to make an episode, you can plan accordingly. And, once you’re better acquainted with the tasks involved, you can complete them faster. 

Free Up Some Filled Time

A productivity meme that gets thrown around a bit is, “You have the same number of hours in the day as Lin-Manuel Miranda or Beyoncé.” Yes, it’s true that a day has 24 hours, no matter who you are. But Beyoncé and Lin-Manuel Miranda also have different support people and systems at their disposal. You might not have a staff, but you can make time-saving support systems. 

Queen Bey may have an army of personal assistants, but Trello can manage anything. Lin-Manuel Miranda may have someone to wait in line at the post office or the bank for him, but you can use that time to listen to raw audio before editing. A robot vacuum can’t clean your floors as well as you can, but it can clean a little bit every day, giving you a little more time to podcast more frequently. 

Thinking like people who record for a living can help you find ways to use technology, strategies, and support to make time for podcasting.

We’ll go into detail later about tools you can use to make your podcasting time more efficient. For now, think about your daily tasks and brainstorm some ways to subcontract tasks out and make time in the rest of your life.

Sacrifice The Habits You Want to Change Anyway

Let’s get the hard part out of the way. Everybody has at least one habit they don’t need. For anyone who makes digital content, these distractions tend to pop up in the digital realm. But, there are other ways you can block the time bandits and open the door for podcast productivity. 

Screens Want Your Brain. 

Okay, that’s a vast oversimplification. But Nir Eyal, author of the book Hooked: How To Build Habit-Forming Products, shares how tech companies create systems to grab and hold your attention as long as possible. He admits, “I could easily escape discomfort, temporarily,” via his phone use.  But he’s also found that roughly 85% of smartphone users never adjust their smartphone’s app settings to keep their phone from interrupting or distracting them.

If you want to spend less time looking at your phone, here’s how to do it: 

Adjust iOS Screen Time Settings and notification settings

Set up Digital Wellbeing on an Android phone

Another simple hack is to go into your phone’s accessibility settings, and adjust the color filters. These are meant to improve accessibility for colorblind users. If you turn on the wrong filter, though, your phone’s screen becomes really boring. You can always change it back later.

Smartphones aren’t necessarily the enemy. There’s tons of podcasts in there, right? Instead of scrolling through social media, try these on for size: 

Use a note-taking app to stash ideas for future episodes. 

Bookmarking apps like Instapaper to save and read your research, or Feedly can help you keep up with news about your podcast topic.

Read through your favorite media host’s knowledge base to learn how all of its features work. You may find features in there that save you hours.

Subscribe to some podcasting newsletters to learn what’s happening in the podcast sphere.

If you use phone activity as a reward, do it intentionally. Use timers, use headphones, and enjoy that reward unapologetically, within limits. When I play an open sandbox game, and I give myself only 15 minutes, I play hard. I’m fast-traveling and scooping up resources like Scooby Doo in a haunted house in the last act of the episode. 

Think about it this way: is scrolling through feeds on your phone (or any other habit, really) helping you get your show planned, scripted, edited, uploaded, and so on?

If not, then cut down.

Waking Up and Sleeping Well

Productivity gurus claim that waking up early is the best way to gain time. But this isn’t true for everyone. 

On the one hand, many people derive peace and satisfaction from waking up while the house is quiet, and getting a bit of recording done before the neighbors can start mowing the lawn. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can lead to poor decisions and sloppy podcasting. 

From my own experience, early mornings are good for short work sessions, like writing episode ideas or season plans in a notebook. This way, you get a small win to fuel your motivation for later in the day.  Plus, you’ve got something in place to look forward to when you work on your podcast later. 

This works best when you turn the light off and close your eyes earlier. Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. You’ll miss details that pile up and make audio that you’re not proud of. It’s one thing to find time to podcast and another to poke holes in your mental and physical health. 

Being Proactive vs Reactive 

A lot of time is wasted when you go through life reacting to things instead of sticking with your original plan.

Tim Ferris’s classic book The Four-Hour Work Week covers this in detail. To sum up one of his key points:  

Get rid of (or customize) apps that ping you whenever someone gets in touch. Instead, set two specific times of the day to check and respond to everything in that session.

This falls in line with what Nir Eyal said, above. And, it matches up with Cal Newport’s philosophy, which you can find in his books  Deep Work, and Digital Minimalism.  What Ferris and Newport recommend is: 

plan out your day, 

set time to work thoughtfully on the tasks you need to complete,

don’t let anyone or anything get in your way. 

This is great advice, and I’m sure that Messrs’ Ferris and Newport’s experiences have borne out that it works. It’s terrific advice, especially for men, who benefit from gender gaps in responsibilty for household chores, the wage gap, and multigenerational caregiving. When you have less autonomy over your time and effort, it’s harder to engage in productive thinking. 

But, all podcasters can and should learn from their methods, which are:

Use time blocking to plan your days and your week. 

Schedule time to work on your podcast and nothing else. Don’t multi-task. Relax and give your full attention to the task at hand. 

During a work session, turn off, mute, or block anything else that gets between you and the task you’re doing.

If you have the luxury of a separate room, use it. If you don’t, headphones are your friend

If you were at work and someone called your phone, the phone would ring, and they would leave a message. You’d call them back later. Same goes for when you’re working on your podcast. 

Make Your Podcasting Work Sessions More Efficient

We’ve talked about ways to carve out time and build boundaries around it. Now, let’s look at some ways to make your time in the workspace more effective. 


When you make a dozen cookies, if you baked each one at a time, you’d drive yourself crazy. That’s why you mix up a batch of cookies at the same time and bake them all at once.

Batch processing is when you set out a block of time to perform the same step on multiple podcast episodes at once. Allegra Sinclair, creator of Your Confident Self, praises the method’s momentum: “I produce in batches all the way down to creating my show notes, episode description, and the blog post that accompanies the podcast episode. Once I’m in the rhythm to do a particular task that relates to my podcast, I do as many as I can in the allotted time.” Batch processing is how Rob Oliver broke the world record for the longest interview marathon in the spring of 2023.

For more on this, see Should I Batch My Podcast Episodes?

Teaming Up Can Help You Find Time

The expression “Many hands make light work” is true more often than not. Find a podcaster friend to work with. Whether you schedule work sessions together, swap tasks, or any of the many other ways that podcasters collaborate, you’ll feel more energized and engaged if you’re not alone. 

True, not everyone is a great co-worker. But you’ll find that tasks like editing, promotion, or planning feel less like chores when you have someone else working alongside you. And, when you feel better about work, you can get more completed. 

Body doubling, or working alongside another person who’s also working, is a great way to boost your productivity and mood. A coffee shop or library is a great place for knowledge workers to congregate. If that’s not possible for you, try a virtual co-working session. 

Productivity Tools Aid Efficacy

Earlier, I made some suggestions about how you can use technology to handle your tasks outside of podcasting. Now, here’s a list of ways you can use technology to get more out of your podcasting time. 

Trello is a great project management tool. We love it so much here at The Podcast Host, we even have a course about using it in our Academy. 

Another powerful project management tool to help you organize your work is ClickUp. Check out Tae’s in-depth review of ClickUp and why she loves using it for her podcast.

EditPoint is a phone app you can use to listen to your audio and mark it for later editing. Walking the dog or waiting in line just turned into time to podcast. 

Automate the process of cleaning up recorded dialogue with tools like Izotope VEA or Supertone Clear

AI tools like Buzzsprout’s Cohost AI, Capsho, and many others can write your podcast’s show notes and promotional materials while you tackle a different task. 

Meet Edgar can post all of your social media updates for you.

Scheduling recording sessions doesn’t have to mean playing phone tag. Doodle uses calendar-based polls to set up meeting times and adjusts itself for time zones, so there’s no confusion about when exactly to meet. Book Like a Boss is another scheduling tool, with customizable features that help you set up meetings with shared information. If you’re not playing email catch-up with people, or waiting for them to respond, you suddenly find time you didn’t know you had.

Finally, Alitu can take some of the editing work off of your to-do list. It does all the complicated and steep learning curve processes like Compression, EQ, and Noise Reduction for you, automatically. And that’s just for starters. If you like the sound of Alitu, then there’s a free trial available to kick the tires on it.

Treat Yourself Like The Star You Are.

I keep a dry-erase board on the door to my office, with a line drawn down the middle. On one side of it, I write what I’m doing (working, obviously) and what time I’ll be available. On the other side, it says, “leave a message,” with a blank space and a magnet. If anyone needs to tell or show me something, they can put it on the board. Telling people what I’m doing respects their time. When they leave a message or follow up later, they respect mine. 

Then, when I’m in that room, I do what the board says I’m doing. Setting intentions and following them is powerful stuff. 

Schedule your work sessions on a calendar, and set boundaries around your workspace. If someone infringes on your time to podcast, say, “I have to work.” 

You Are Worth the Time It Takes to Make a Podcast.

We all have busy lives with distractions, responsibilities, and interests. If you find yourself saying, “I don’t have time to make a podcast,” make some. Use technology to eliminate what you can, and swap tasks with friends (like dog-walking or cooking) for what you can’t. Put barriers between yourself and habits that don’t help you make a podcast. Use the time you have more effectively by using good procedures and tools. When you get stuff done, you feel good about yourself, which makes you more motivated.

Carve out that time with a chisel and hammer. Your audience might not be right in front of you, but they need you and your podcast.

In the Podcraft Academy, we have courses that can help you to streamline your process and work smarter, not harder. On top of that, we run weekly live Q&A sessions so you don’t have to get stuck on anything ever again.

Originally posted on February 2, 2024 @ 1:24 am

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