Choose between music and sports, soak up some project management wisdom, or pick up a new skill with tips from the business world’s shining lights. Each one provides an entertaining listen, and some even drop on Mondays — so you have that much more to look forward to at the start of the week.
Follow our fun flowchart to figure out which podcasts you should check out first.
Which podcasts should you listen to at work? A flowchart
Why you should give podcasts a try
If you haven’t listened to podcasts much or at all, you’re part of a shrinking group. While only 22% of the U.S. adult population knew about podcasts in 2006, an estimated 51% of American adults are listening to them in 2022. Pandemic lockdowns are one reason for the surge, as people looked for ways to stay informed and learn new things while sheltering at home. In fact, the number of podcast listeners shot up 29.5% between 2018 and 2021 alone.
But make no mistake, podcasts are a fantastic diversion all on their own. If you aren’t already listening to podcasts, here’s why you should give them a try.
Listening to a podcast is something you can do pretty much anytime. Unlike watching a show, which requires visual and auditory awareness, listening to a show doesn’t draw your eyes away from your task. You can listen to podcasts while shopping, typing, exercising, cleaning, gardening, crafting, driving — basically any activity.
2. Controlled noise
A podcast is a great solution if you find it challenging to work in silence. Noisy, relentless distractions in your environment can harm your focus or interrupt you during remote meetings. On the other hand, controlled noise, such as soft or low-tempo music, will help you concentrate.
Controlled noise isn’t disruptive, and you can lower the volume or pause the content when necessary. Podcasts are a good example of this because listening to something discourages your mind from wandering. Just choose a podcast you find relaxing and engaging but not so thrilling that you forget to work. The right podcast can keep your mind subtly engaged without getting in the way of your work.
Podcasts cover every topic you can think of (and many you never imagined in your wildest dreams). Topics such as current events, finance, true crime, comedy, health & wellness, sports, and self-help are among the most popular podcast content. No matter what interests you, you’ll find a show you love.
In one survey, 74% of participants said they enjoy listening to podcasts to learn new things. Anyone can start a podcast, which has allowed people from every walk of life to share their unique expertise. This culture of information-sharing is valuable to everyone because it becomes easier to expand your knowledge and develop new skills.
Maybe, you don’t have time to tackle your reading list for how to budget better or be more productive, so instead, you put off doing it at all. With a podcast, you can tune in regularly, get tips you can implement right away, and hear advice based on real situations.
Having a busy work life usually means you have less and less time for hobbies that help you recharge. Since you can listen to a podcast while doing other tasks, it’s easier to squeeze a little entertainment into your life. The occasional comic relief or gripping mystery will help you relax and give your mind a break.
Listen to your perfect podcast
- Fresh Air by NPR: https://www.npr.org/podcasts/381444908/fresh-air
- The Limit Does Not Exist by Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/pictures/geeg45efmli/the-limit-does-not-exist/#3d624bd0256f
- All Things Considered by NPR: https://www.npr.org/programs/all-things-considered/
- The $100 MBA Show: https://100mba.net/show/
- The Project Management Podcast: https://www.project-management-podcast.com/
- Still Processing by The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/column/still-processing-podcast
- This American Life: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/
- The Fantasy Footballers: https://www.thefantasyfootballers.com/fantasy-football-podcast/
- HBR IdeaCast: https://hbr.org/2018/01/podcast-ideacast
- Bill’s Monday Morning Podcast: https://billburr.com/podcast/
- Magic Lessons – Elizabeth Gilbert: https://www.elizabethgilbert.com/magic-lessons/
- The 5 AM Miracle: https://www.jeffsanders.com/podcast/
- Tiny Desk Concerts: https://www.npr.org/series/tiny-desk-concerts/
This post was originally published on August 24, 2020, and updated most recently on March 11, 2022.