When you’re selling podcast ads, one of the things you can talk about to potential ad buyers is that podcast listeners are completionists.

I have not infrequently shared a story of Rosie O’Donnell.

I was in a meeting with Rosie O’Donnell 1,000 years ago, and she had at the time been hosting a radio show on SiriusXM.

Rosie was saying to me, I want to host a show that’s three hours a day, five days a week for my podcast.

I was like, why?

Why would you want to do that?

She said, well, that’s what I do on SiriusXM.

I’m like, okay.

But on SiriusXM, people are listening to you on their commute to work, so they’re dipping in for 20, 30, 40 minutes, and then that’s it.

They’re hearing what they hear.

Podcast listeners are completionists.

They listen to the entirety of every episode.

That’s way too much content.

You cannot make 15 plus hours of podcasts a week.

You should do one, one and a half hours maybe per week, and have that be the thing.

I think I mostly convinced Rosie, although at the time she didn’t do the podcast, fine.

But completionism can be a good thing, and learning to break one’s completionist tendencies can also be a good thing.

But no episode of this podcast is complete without the opening theme song.

Your Daily Lex.

So I bring up all this completionist stuff for a couple reasons.

One, there were years back when I still used a service that was once called Twitter, where I was a Twitter completionist.

I would read every tweet from the people I followed.

Not every tweet that was ever tweeted, because that would be too many tweets.

But frankly, so was the list of people I followed.

That was too many tweets.

But I was like, well, I can’t miss anything.

What if somebody has a gem?

What if somebody shares something really interesting, or insightful, or funny?

So I would really read every post, and eventually I learned, hey, it’s okay.

I can just skip.

I can skip giant chunks of tweets.

If I’m catching up after hours or a day away, I can just look at the last hundred or so, which takes a few minutes, versus looking at the last 800, because I feel some need to read every post.

It took me a while to get there.

But get there I did.

There are times now when I skip, even in Mastodon, where there’s a much lower and more manageable volume of posts, where I even still feel a pang as I’m skipping past some stuff.

Like, boy, I hope I’m not missing any incredible gems there.

But it’s better.

It’s healthier to not be a completionist.

With the New York Times Crossword Puzzle, and a couple other apps, and Wordle even, I think people talk about wanting to maintain their streak, I have friends who would rather use the internet to look up the answer to a New York Times clue they don’t know than use the in-app hint feature, the in-app reveal feature from the New York Times Crossword Puzzle, because they don’t want to mess up their streak.

You can either solve the puzzle and have it be more yellow in the New York Times app, because you solved it all by yourself, or you can have it be blue, because you used one of their hint features or whatever.

For a while, I wanted to keep my yellow streak going.

I was like, you know what?

It doesn’t matter.

I don’t have to have a big streak.

Same thing with my Apple Watch.

Don’t have to be a completionist on that front.

It’s okay.

If I really don’t know a thing, and I’m going to go Google it, the vast majority of the time, I’m like, you know what?

I’m just going to have it revealed.

This is especially true for me.

I’m very fat-fingered in terms of typos when it comes to the New York Times Crossword Puzzle app.

I think it’s two things.

One, they’ve recreated the iOS keyboard a little bit, and two, it’s just something about typing there where I can’t use autocorrect or whatever else.

I’m just missing some letters, so I very frequently will know the correct answer, and if the word is marker, I’ll type in M-A-R-K-E-W or M-A-R-K-E-E, which is clearly not the answer, but it’s just where my fingers go.

It used to be I would hunt to find my typos when it said, hey, you’re almost there, but you haven’t solved it because you filled in every square, but something’s still wrong.

But I don’t enjoy that part, so I immediately, when that happens, turn on autocheck.

It puts a red line through any letters that I have wrong, any squares that I have wrong, and I can fix them and solve the puzzle.

It doesn’t go to a fully, accurately, yellow-completed streak, and I’m okay with that.

But I’m most proud, I think, of my development as a human not needing to be a completionist with TV series or books, and I think many adults get to this point eventually, but it’s hard.

I know I continued watching ER long after it stopped being worth watching, and it was like, well, we’ve watched so much, I’ve got to keep going, which was extra bizarre because I didn’t watch the first seasons of ER, but I watched ER at a time when I liked it, and then I really stopped liking it, it got dumber and dumber, and I kept watching.

That was a mistake, but I’ve gotten better.

I had heard a couple people recommend the show Bodies on Netflix, and before the end of the first episode, I was like, you know what?

This isn’t for me.

I don’t like this enough, and there’s so much great stuff out there to enjoy that it’s not worth powering my way through.

Now, you’ve got to be careful.

I remember many years ago, I watched the first episode of Breaking Bad and found it too difficult, so I decided not to watch the second episode.

Then years later, I decided to go back and watch it again and really got into it.

Sometimes you’ve got to put in the work to see if you want to finish a thing, and that’s fair, but abandoning books because you’re not liking them or abandoning TV shows because they’re not for you is a very healthy thing to do, and I’m proud of myself every time I do it, but Bodies was not for me.

The next one I want to try is Billions.

I watched the pilot of Billions a long time ago and didn’t get into it, but people seemed to really like that show, so I might do a re-watch on Billions and get to two or three episodes and then re-evaluate my decision.

I don’t think that violates the principle I’m espousing here.

I think it’s just clarifying it.

It’s okay to put in a little bit of time, but you’ve got to be ready to pull the plug when it doesn’t make sense.

Sorry if you don’t have a living will, because now you know my philosophy.

Anyway, hope your week is off to a great start.