Productivity is a skill that everyone in business wants to improve, but it can be difficult to find the time to learn new tactics. There are plenty of great books to teach you aspects of productivity like time management, but sometimes you only have a few minutes to dedicate to sitting down and reading. In these situations, podcasts are a better option.
You can start listening whenever you have some spare time and continue when you’re working out, cleaning the house, walking the dog, or doing anything else that doesn’t require your undivided attention. There are countless podcasts to choose from, but several stand out as being the best productivity podcasts in 2021.
Most people who are passionate about improving their productivity are familiar with Tim Ferriss. As well as being a best-selling author, he has one of the most popular productivity podcasts.
Every episode features an interview with a different guest — always top names in their field. Afterward, Ferriss turns his guests’ insights into ideas that listeners can apply to their own lives and adds some suggestions based on findings from his own experiences.
Start your day with a podcast about productivity that’s designed to be the first thing you listen to in the morning. The name of the podcast — The 5 AM Miracle — reflects the fact that the most productive people are often those who wake up early and begin working toward their goals almost as soon as they get up.
The podcast is an excellent choice if you want to develop better habits, including a morning routine. You’ll learn something new each week, and there are always practical tips for you to put into action what you learn.
Another early-morning productivity podcast is Before Breakfast with the author and speaker Laura Vanderkam. You’ll learn useful ways to better organize your time and manage stress.
As the podcast is only around five minutes long, you’ll definitely have time to listen. It comes out every day, meaning you can fit it into your morning ritual.
4. Power Hour
One more productivity podcast about mornings is Power Hour. However, you don’t need to listen to this one in the morning. Rather, the podcast will give you ideas for how to dedicate that first hour of your day for a happier, healthier, more productive life.
Host Adrienne Herbert talks to business owners, creatives, coaches, and other professionals to find out what they do every morning that leads to their success.
5. Hurry Slowly
A different approach to productivity is to slow down. The idea is that through slowing down, “you can find more calm, comfort, and clarity.”
It’s not just the host Jocelyn K. Glei who has this view: every week, she invites guests to talk who also use this approach and they share their insights.
You may be familiar with the book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. This productivity podcast is hosted by the author, David Allen. You’ll learn more about the GTD system including how to organize your professional life and improve your wellbeing by beating procrastination, learning to negotiate, and reducing your responsibilities.
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The length of the episodes range from more than an hour to less than five minutes, which enables you to choose what to listen to according to exactly how much time you have available.
7. HBR IdeaCast
With information from experts on strategy, creativity, and management, Harvard Business Review is a great resource for all things business. As well as articles, HBR has several podcasts, but the top one for productivity purposes has to be HBR IdeaCast.
You’ll learn how to increase your competitive advantage, advance your career or grow your business. The host is the editor of HBR, Sarah Green Carmichael, who uses the platform to interview business leaders from all kinds of sectors — ranging from journalism to science.
Specifically made for entrepreneurs, Positive Productivity will teach you how to balance running a business with finding time for your personal life. The host is Kim Sutton, a mentor in marketing automation and business systems. If burnout is a big concern of yours, this is a productivity podcast you need to listen to.
Every week, host Erik Fisher invites other productivity experts to discuss their advice for setting goals and finding time for all the various facets of life.
You’ll find this podcast particularly useful if you currently feel like all your time is taken up with work. However, the main selling point of this podcast is that the interviewees share their stories of failures as well as successes.
You can create your own strategies to avoid similar mistakes by following the clear instructions each episode provides.
Productivityist is a business offering several productivity-based services, including courses, coaching, workshops, and resources. All these services come at a cost, but The Productivityist Podcast is free.
It’s hosted by the founder of the business, Mike Vardy, and each episode features techniques you can apply right away to improve your focus, time management, and target-setting skills.
For creatives who struggle with organization and want to improve their productivity, there’s The Accidental Creative. Host Todd Henry is the author of a book of the same name (among other books). He invites a new guest each week to share ideas about how to become more productive without sacrificing your creativity.
12. Back to Work
For improving productivity at the workplace, there are few better podcasts than Back to Work. Every week co-hosts Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin have an informal conversation about a wide range of topics, ranging from tools to use in the workplace and how to improve your communication to overcoming obstacles.
This is a great choice if you want to learn more about productivity, but you’d prefer something lighthearted with a bit of humor.
In The Intentional Advantage, Tanya Dalton offers tips and exercises you can use to start working toward better productivity. Each episode is categorized according to the type of information it covers — categories include goals, business, prioritizing, relationships, and systems.
Listen each week or just choose episodes that target the areas of productivity you need the most help with.
It’s no secret that women in business often have extra demands on their time, which can make staying productive that much more of a challenge.
The Productive Woman is aimed at people in just these kinds of situations and offers advice on how to balance your personal and professional life. The host is Laura McClellan, who is a successful lawyer, writer, and mom to five.
15. Life Kit
Productivity is often about making the right decisions — and Life Kit can help with this. The podcast from NPR releases episodes that are all less than half an hour long and that explore common issues that many of us face, relating to finances, parenting, career development, and more.
Each week features a different expert. This is a great podcast for picking and choosing episodes that are relevant to you.
16. TED Radio Hour
Another podcast from NPR is TED Radio Hour. If you’re a fan of TED Talks, you’ll definitely enjoy this podcast. It explores productivity from the angle of finding new ways to do things, solve problems, and innovate.
One of the most interesting segments of this podcast is the exploration of recent inventions, which can be quite inspiring — and a huge help if you’re feeling stuck.
Stay up to date with all the latest and greatest content related to productivity with the Optimal Living Daily podcast. The team curates the best blogs and, with the authors’ permission, reads them.
Topics include personal development, digital minimalism, health, and distractions. Listening regularly will save you from needing to search out blog posts for yourself and enable you to listen rather than read.
18. The Upgrade
Every week, Jordan Calhoun invites guests to teach podcast listeners new skills on The Upgrade. In less than an hour, you’ll learn something valuable that you may never have realized you needed, such as how to read more, change your mindset, never miss a deadline, or enjoy running.
The underlying theme is that all these skills lead to improved productivity.
19. Happier Podcast
Since there’s a strong link between productivity and happiness, it makes sense to work on both at the same time. Writer Gretchen Rubin hosts the Happier Podcast along with her sister Elizabeth Craft. They share happiness hacks and other ideas to try at home and answer listener questions about things like overcoming barriers and getting to know yourself better to make the right decisions for you.
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