Some say you are what you eat. What about what you listen to? Edison Research found that people who listen to podcasts “often take action in direct response” to what they hear. If you have a career goal, it only makes sense that listening to an informational or motivational podcast on the subject will help you. Here are seven of the best podcasts for improving life at work.
According to its website, Brain Training Podcast is “the daily audio workout for your head.” Just as physical exercise strengthens your body, mental stimulation makes your brain stronger. Rather than a tedious exercise session, Brain Training uses games to get your mind working. Some of the games seem low-impact, such as Order, which asks you put a list of random numbers in ascending order. Others might make you sweat as you try to recite a list of letters and figures, which sounds easy until you realize the name of the game—Backwards.
Who doesn’t want to be happier and more productive? In one British study, the productivity of a group of workers rose by an average of 12 percent. Why? They were happier than before and the study’s author, Dr. Daniel Sgroi indicated that this gain is easily replicable if managers create “work practices aimed at boosting happiness.” Rather than wait for your manager, why not take your happiness into your own hands? Writer Gretchen Rubin tackles the subjects in her podcast series. Plenty of topics apply to the workplace. For example, the episode “One of the Worst Ways to Waste Time Is to ______” identifies things that don’t need to be done. With the time you save, you’ll be able to increase productivity and also spend time in the pursuits that make you happiest.
Are you intimidated by the thought of starting your own business or patenting an invention? The How I Built This series follows the stories of successful entrepreneurs from beginning to end. Not every story is entirely rosy; some innovators had as many hard knocks as they had victories. By the time you finish listening, you may be motivated to get started on your goals.
If you eat a tasty dish in a restaurant, you may be able to guess many of the main ingredients. Tim Ferriss attempts find the recipe for success by “deconstructing excellence.” He asks the highest performers of different industries what their daily habits are like and who their role models are. He separates out the main ingredients, sharing tips that anyone can use. He pushes you to question things you never thought about, such as who you sit next to in the break room. According to Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”
Most employees would love to increase productivity and reduce stress. Inside Mastery examines performance in the light of neuroscience and psychology. What are the best practices of those at the top of their fields? In each episode, a distinguished presenter shares proven techniques from their own experience or research. For instance, CEO Caroline Webb hosts “How to Have A Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life.” She shares insights from behavioral science such as how implementation intentions affect your work ethic.
I don’t have time to learn to be a better writer. In my occupation, writing isn’t very important. What reasons do you give for failing to improve your writing skills? Experienced authors host the podcast each week. The podcasts eliminate the excuses. The audio is short—usually less than twenty minutes—and the methods are for everyone “whether they write for fun or for profit, whether they’re new to the domain or old hands.” Once you run out of excuses, you might find yourself writing better than you ever thought possible.
Sarah Green, editor of Harvard Business Review, hosts this weekly program. It features tips from successful upper managers about everything from dealing with conflict avoiders and seekers to healthy team building practices. Guests hosts include CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and some quite famous names—Greg Louganis, Katie Couric, and Salman Rushdie, to name a few.
Changing from a poor diet to a nutritious one can boost your physical health. Likewise, listening to podcasts can have a strong positive effect on your work life. What are your career goals? Feed them, and watch them grow by listening to one of these seven excellent podcasts today.