By Sheldon Smickley
Let’s face it—work can be boring. If you’re working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week like most of us, it’s simply hard to avoid the pitfalls of boredom sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
To try and help you stay productive, entertained, and engaged throughout your workday, we’ve found ten podcasts that will keep you brain working no matter what monotonous tasks you may get assigned over the course of a particularly rough Monday. Whether you’re looking to kill it at your job or maybe trying to find a new career altogether, there’s sure to be something to help you make it through your workday here.
Podcasts for Killing It at the Job You Have
NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes heads up the School of Greatness podcast with a clear mission: to make people great. Each episode of his show shares inspiring true stories about some of the greatest minds in business today and their path to success. Howes encourages his listeners to “dream bigger, live better, and make an impact”. Listening to his show will give you the fuel you need to not look at tomorrow as just another day, but as a new opportunity.
Sporting over 14 million downloads, This Is Your Life has mass appeal and the content to back it up. Michael Hyatt created the show in order to “help you live with more passion, work with greater focus, and lead with extraordinary influence”, and that’s exactly what it does. Our favorite episode, “The 3 Forces That Shape Character” (season 2, episode 9) explains how the small things you do each day and the way you use your talents add up to what he calls your character. It’s a must-listen for those looking for self-improvement, identifying their weaknesses, and actively pursuing change.
The way work has changed over the last ten years, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we had to include one non-traditional show. For everyone who calls their home their office, this podcast is essential. Covering tips around working from home including how to be more effective, how to manage a team from a distance, and how to get the most out of your day, “Home Work” is a great podcast for advancing your work-from-home career and one of my personal all-time favorites. While it is no longer actively putting out new episodes, the tips still hold true today and is well worth a listen.
If all you’re focused on is killing your work, at the end of the day your personal life is going to suffer. Unless you’re Elon Musk, most people need work/life balance in order to be successful. To that point, “Beyond the To-Do List” is gospel. This podcast focuses on how to churn out amazing work, be more productive, and most of all, organize your life around your passions, hobbies, and family. In one of their best and most impactful episodes, “Planning, Acting, and Reviewing” (episode 184), host Erik Fisher walks you through a 12 week year plan to help you be successful and balance your life.
Creativity in business is essential, and in business leaders, it’s imperative. Many managers see creativity as one of their weaknesses, but don’t know what they can do to try and remedy the issue. In “Accidental Creative”, receive weekly tips and interviews with top thinkers, leaders, and artists about what it means to be a creative professional and how everyone can benefit from a creative mindset. Particularly when it comes to managing employees, organizing your workload, or adopting a new business strategy, “Accidental Creative” has some amazing ideas that you can put to use during your day-to-day work day.
Podcasts for Finding or Starting a New Career
Inspiration can come from some surprising places. This podcast made our selection because of the broad range of subjects it covers: everything from talking to fish, to opening Velcro silently, to getting close to a panda bear. While these topics may not sound like places to start finding a job—you’ll be surprised. The hosts bring on dozens of experts and professionals each month to help answer hilarious listener questions. If you know that you want to move on in your career, but you’re not sure what interests you, listening to this podcast can give you a jumpstart on finding your passion.
When you’re looking for a new job, it’s incredibly easy to get down on yourself, to lose inspiration, and to think negatively. Whatever is troubling you in your search, there’s a TED talk for that. On this podcast, listen to some of the foremost thinkers explain to you why laziness, procrastination, and any other issue that you think plagues only you actually affects all of us, and how to deal with it. We think after listening to a couple of these episodes, you’ll find the inspiration you need to take the next step forward in your career.
If you love podcasts and you listen to them frequently, you probably already know who Tim Ferriss is, but we’d be remiss not including him on this list. Most famous for his ‘four hour workweek,’ Ferriss gives practical advice and hard-hitting truths on becoming the best person you can. It’s rated as the #1 business podcast of all time for a reason—Ferriss’ no-nonsense style is a breath of fresh air. If you’re looking for motivation and self-betterment, look no further.
In “Stuff You Missed in History Class”, the hosts cover hundreds of topics from multiple angles—everything from The Battle of France, NASA’s history, to classical music. Similar to “How to Do Everything”, we recommend this podcast for finding a new career because of the broad range of subjects it covers and the easily-digestible narratives. If you’ve ever found history, infrastructure, architecture, biology, or mechanical engineering interesting, this is the best place to explore further.
Have you ever thought about starting your own business, but have no idea where to begin? Then this podcast is for you. Navigating a start up is difficult and intimidating, so you’ll be relieved to have these experts on your side. Each episode features a major entrepreneur who made it big giving advice that can apply to your potential business, no matter what the industry. Learn how to be financially smart, hire the right people, and manage people like an all-star in this engrossing, informative show.