I’m an avid reader,  but sometimes, I’m just not in the mood. With all of the Covid stress this last year, I noticed that I’ve listened to more and more audiobooks, even for pleasure reading.

When I just listen, rather than a hard copy book reading, it’s like last week. I spent hours each day writing and editing content. At the end of the day, I severely needed to de-compress. But, the mere thought of looking at another written word would have sent me into a bad place.

Instead, I found a compromise; podcasts. Like books, they’re a great way to relax and learn something new. They can also be a great source of inspiration. And, unlike books, they’re more accessible as long as you have a smartphone — and headphones if you’re around others.

The drawback? There are way too many podcasts to shuffle through. So, I’ve done the legwork for you and am sharing what I feel are the 10 best podcasts if you want to become more productive.

1. The Productivityist Podcast

If you’re serious about improving your productivity, then you should follow Mike Vardy. He’s a productivity expert and the creator of TimeCrafting and founder of Productivityist — which has a blog, book, and podcast. Mike’s goal “is to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.”

And that’s exactly what this podcast is all about. Every week Mike shares actionable tips and techniques on everything from improving time management, developing good habits, and managing your to-do list. He’s usually joined by top-notch guests like David Allen, Micheal Hyatt, James Clear, Cal Newport, and Laura Vanderkam.

2. Before Breakfast

Speaking of Laura Vanderkam, she also has her own podcast that you should check out. It’s a daily podcast containing bite-sized advice on how to manage your time and reduce stress realistically. As a result, you’ll get more done without feeling overwhelmed.

Here’s my favorite thing about Before Breakfast. Each episode is only 5-minutes long. Even if you have a packed schedule, everyone can spare this minimal amount of time. Like it was intended, I listen to an episode during my morning routine, like exercising, getting dressed, or preparing my breakfast.

3. Beyond the To-Do List

Hosted by productivity expert Erik Fisher, Beyond the To-Do List takes a deep dive into how you can choose the right goals and tasks not to feel overwhelmed. More importantly, this will help you live and enjoy a more meaningful life. And, this is all covered in under an hour.

How is Erik able to pack so much valuable information into each episode? He invites follow productivity leaders to join in on the fun. For example, he had Nir Eyal on to discuss internal and external distractions. Other guests have included Chris Baily, Dr. Samanta Brody, and Daniel Pink.

4. The Tim Ferriss Show

I’m sure that you know who Tim Ferriss is. I mean, who doesn’t want to live that 4-hour workweek lifestyle? And I’m also positive that you’re well aware of his popular podcast.

While not solely focused on time management and productivity, it’s an inspiring and helpful audio experience. Case in point, he’s had Neil deGrasse Tyson share on how to dream big and think more scientifically. Tyson also shared his “overbooking” method when it comes to managing projects.

Past guests have also included Madeline Albright, Adam Grant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lisa Ling, Richard Branson, and LeBron James. While usually longer, episodes are around 2 hours, they’re definitely worth the listen.

5. Getting Things Done

When it comes to productivity, David Allen needs no introduction. After all, he is the author of one of the most popular and influential productivity books of all time, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. So, if you’ve already read the book, then you might want to tune into his podcast.

The themes are a continuation of what was in the book. Mainly, Allen covers personal and organizational tips like how to overcome procrastination and to renegotiate your commitments. He also has tips on focusing on your well-being and making time for smaller tasks like following up where you need to.

Allen’s older posts primarily zeroed in on how GTD could be applied to creativity and daily habits. More recently, however, they are short 2-minute clips that are still packed with awesome advice.

6. The 5 AM Miracle

Hosted by Jeff Sanders, The 5 AM Miracle is all about how you can jumpstart your morning habits. As a consequence, you’ll be able to dominate “your day before breakfast.” Personally, as someone who is also an early-riser, I’m a fan of this show.

Here’s the jest behind this. You’re able to become ultra-productive by taking advantage of being an early bird. Research shows that this is when you have the most focus. There are also fewer distractions. And, you’ll be more successful since early risers are more proactive.

But, there’s more to this podcast than just that. Sanders also shares pointers on losing weight, achieving your goals, and thriving in a remote world.

7. Hurry Slowly

As the title implies, this show is how you can increase your productivity by slowing down. That may sound counterproductive. But, host Jocelyn K. Glei and guests have some valid and convincing points.

For instance, there’s an episode with Alex Pang, author of Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less. During their conversation, he explained why the greatest minds embrace the 4-hour workday and the importance of “detachment.” He also provided realistic tips for building deliberate rest into your daily routine and planning a vacation.

8. The ONE Thing

If you enjoyed the best-selling book written by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, then you’ll also dig the accompanying podcast. Led by Geoff Woods, Vice President of The ONE Thing, this weekly show highlights how successful individuals master everything from time management to healthy habits.

One recent episode highlighted the importance of tiny habits. Its featured guest was BJ Fogg, PhD., who literally wrote the book on the subject. Anyway, this specific episode explained how starting small could help you accomplish big goals.

9. The Paul Minors Podcast

Paul may not be a household name like Tim Ferriss. But, there’s a reason why more than 100,000 people visit his site each month. He has some of the most effective and realistic productivity strategies out there.

If you look at his most recent episodes, they’re all focused on doing less, why it’s okay to waste time, and how to break free from the “too busy cycle.” Others against the grain topics are why he doesn’t want to scale his business, why you should read less, and questioning your routine.

While there are also plenty of other familiar topics, like getting the most out of your calendar or creating a more focused workspace, I think there’s a lot to learn from Paul. He emphasizes not adding more to your schedule if you don’t have to. For example, if you have nothing to write about, don’t waste your time forcing yourself to write in your journal.

10. Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is the best-selling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before. Similar to the book, this podcast offers practical advice on how to live a happier life. And, yes. Research has found that there is a link between happiness and productivity.

Rubin, along with her co-host and sister Elizabeth Craft, discusses topics like how to make the most out of to-do-lits, the importance of de-cluttering, and how to practice mindfulness.

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