LISTEN: 11 real pieces of practical advice that I use, almost daily

This podcast is honestly invaluable

Do you have a favorite podcast? (Abhilash Sahoo/Pexels stock image)

When it comes to advice, I like snippets. Rather than rambling stories and cliche anecdotes, I just want to hear something that rings true and do-able, that I can take away and start using, preferably today.

I’m here to tell you that “The Best Advice Show” is a delightful podcast that’s changed how I think about a number of things -- and it’s truly the gift that keeps on giving, delivering daily episodes, only a few minutes long, Monday through Friday. For real, my friends are probably SO SICK of hearing me go on and on about the latest thing I’ve learned. But it’s incredible.

And really, the show just might help you get through a rough 2020. Each episode offers a new “expert source,” who tells host Zak Rosen what he or she does to survive these strange times.

Some lessons are absolutely pandemic-related. Others are timeless. Some are deep and thoughtful. Others might be about how to best reheat your leftovers.

As someone who listens to, and writes about, the show regularly, I’d love to share exactly why it’s so life-changing. I’m going to tell you just a little bit from personal experience, and then I’ll include each episode, below, if you’re so inclined to learn more.

Happy listening, and be sure to tell a friend!

1. If you can do something in less than a minute, just do it. Right now.

Put the remote control in the right spot. Put away that W2 you got out of your filing cabinet for a quick second. Hang up your coat. Respond to the email. (Once you start doing all this regularly, it’ll feel so good!)

2. Improve your Mondays.

Always, always, ALWAYS, as the final to-do item on your list Friday, set up Monday’s tasks.

It gets things off your mind for the weekend, and then when you sit down at your laptop, a little bleary-eyed and unfocused come Monday morning, you’ll have that list to consult with. (I like to mark a “top five” for my tasks, as well, as in, the top five things I need to knock out first and foremost).

3. Choose the bigger life.

Sometimes it feels annoying to drive two hours to see friends, or it might be a commitment to sign your daughter up for dance classes. You wonder to yourself: Should I really do it?

When you feel stuck on a decision, this advice-giver says, remind yourself to “choose the bigger life.” For some, the bigger life might be a simpler version -- saying no and opting for peace and quiet. For others, the bigger life is most certainly seeing their 4-year-old thrive in ballet, despite any added inconvenience or hassle it might bring to their own schedule. It’s just a simple way to check your priorities: Choose the bigger life. There are no right or wrong answers here. It’s a great gut-check.

4. Restart your day.

As someone who has worked from home for years now, this advice is spot on. Step away from the laptop -- try this little trick to break up your day, and you’ll be glad you did. Seriously, a mid-day shower gives you a mental break and the kind of clarity you might need. Make time for it.

5. How to listen.

OK, this list is largely in no particular order, but this has got to be my favorite episode to date. We could all be a little bit more like Sterling. He changed my perspective and made me think so deeply about how to truly embody the word “empathy.” You’re going to start putting yourself in people’s shoes in all new ways after you hear this one.

6. How NOT to give advice.

This advice-giver is so right: People generally know what they should or shouldn’t do.

Don’t give advice -- it’s just going to put you in a weird spot.

7. Consider the opposite.

Maybe you think you screwed up at work and the world is melting down around you. But what if it’s not? What if your flub was actually a good thing in the long run?

That’s not just optimistic fluff. Whether you believe it or not, just entertaining the possibility above might change things for you, mentally. Listen to Sarah to hear more.

8. Own your mistakes.

Graham Media Group CEO Emily Barr knows what she’s talking about.

This just makes so much sense. If you mess up, personally or professionally, just own it. We’re all human. It’s so much better than trying to slide under the rug or bury your mistake. It’s a learning lesson, it builds trust, and it’s just like, “How to be a better human 101.”

9. Breathe.

This one is so, so important. I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a hippie who does yoga breathing exercises with my toddlers when stuff hits the fan around the house, but still -- regardless of who you are -- if you need to chill, this is going to help. Stressed? Breathe. Can’t sleep? Breathe. Need to talk yourself down? Breathe. This exercise is very specific and helpful.

10. How to be a better drinker.

Feel free to LOL a bit here. But really, you know what stinks, once you turn 30 or so? Hangovers. I swear, sometimes I’ll have only two drinks, but if I’ve started with a cocktail and ended with wine, I’ll still feel gross in the morning. This episode is going to change all that. Pro tip: No mixing! Start with beer, end with beer. (Did you guys already know that?) Phew, I really needed this.

11. How to be close.

Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not, this is something you need to hear. It’s such a vital question: Do you want to be right, or do you want to be close? Sometimes I’ll completely let something go with my husband, because it’s just like, not worth a silly dispute. I want to be close. I don’t care who’s right.

And finally, I’ll do a shameless plug for my own episode: Because these cookies are the BEST.

Want to learn more? Better yet, got any advice to share? Please contribute. Call Rosen at 844-935-BEST. Leave your name and your advice, followed by your email address, in case he has any follow-up questions.

The show exists as a daily reminder that there are weird, delightful and effective ways to survive and thrive. Download it wherever you listen to or access podcasts.

“The Best Advice Show” is a product of Graham Media Group.