the cut on tuesdays

Hear Sarah Koenig Talk About Procrastination and Her Work Wife

Photo: Illustration: Lauren Tamaki

The Cut on Tuesdays

A weekly podcast from the Cut and Gimlet Media, with host Molly Fischer.

Walking around listening to a podcast gives you a strange relationship to the voice in your headphones. It’s like you’ve got an imaginary friend. And probably no one knows this better than Sarah Koenig: For a lot of people — millions of people — she was their first imaginary podcast friend.

Sarah is the host and co-creator of Serial, the show that made podcasts a cultural phenomenon. It debuted in 2014, and over the three seasons they’ve released since then, it’s been downloaded more than 420 million times.

So: How does Sarah Koenig get it done? For this week’s show, we called her up to ask. Here’s a taste of what she had to say.

MOLLY: To start on the most basic nuts and bolts level, imagine you’re in the thick of producing a season of Serial. What time do you wake up?

SARAH: When we’re in production like it, my whole life changes and it’s frankly kind of awful. It starts out sort of sane and then as we move forward toward our finish line, it gets crazier and crazier. So if I’m behind, I’m getting up at 6:00, probably trying to write before even the kids go off to school. If I can’t drag my ass out of bed in time that I’m getting up, you know, probably 7 or 7:30. I’m continually shocked at my own time mismanagement. Not even my own time management — it is my own wildly inaccurate estimation of how long something takes to do. I have been doing this a long time; I’m almost 50. I’ve been doing this a long time and I’m still stumbling: Yeah, that’ll take a day.

Click above to hear the rest, and subscribe whereever you get your podcasts. And check back next week to read a version of Sarah’s “How I Get It Done” interview!

Sarah Koenig Talks About Procrastination and Her Work Wife