My Favorite Productivity & Time Management Podcasts
Podcasts are a fantastic learning tool and are a great way to squeeze that extra bit of productivity while stuck in traffic, enjoying a long run or while performing mundane chores around the house (I’m looking at you laundry and meal prep).
I subscribe to two-dozen podcasts covering a range of interests, but in this post I’ll identify my favorite personal productivity podcasts. A personal productivity podcast is one that focuses on topics like effective time management, goal-setting, planning and habit development.
Here are my favorite productivity prodcasts:
- Focused: Life is More Than Cranking Widgets: Hosted by David Sparks and Mike Schmitz discuss their personal productivity journey and their evolving productivity systems. They occasionally have guests on the program. I especially appreciate the hosts’ humility and candor.
- The Productivityist: Mike Vardy hosts this interview-format program. I like to limit the number of interview shows I subscribe to since they all seem to book the same individuals but Mike’s program is the best in class for this format in the productivity space.
- Bookworm: Hosts Joe Buhlig and Mike Schmitz (who also hosts Focused above) read a self-improvement book and then engage in an in-depth discussion about the learnings and applicability to their lives. This is a great way to get introduced to new authors and to add to your personal reading list.
- Cortex: CGP Grey and Make Hurley discuss their working lives. Productivity isn’t always front-and-center in this podcast, but when it’s on-topic their insights are gold. CGP Grey’s organizational idiosyncrasies can be laugh-out-loud funny.
- How I Work: Amantha Imber’s business podcast is a top-notch interview program. Episodes cover daily habits, productivity systems and feature practical advice.
Some notes on my selection criteria:
- I’ve left out “generalist” self-improvement podcasts. While some are excellent, these cover a broad range of personal-improvement topics. In this category I include: The Art of Charm, The Art of Manliness, Jocko Wilink, Lewis Howes, Shane Parrish, Time Ferriss and many more.
- I try to avoid self-promotion and marketing focused podcasts. I understand that online content is an income stream for many content creators, but I find constant self-promotion and product-pushing off-putting.
- I prefer podcasts that eschew extraneous chit-chat for the first 20 minutes of the episode.
- I don’t care for productivity podcasts that focus on apps and tools. I find these podcasts to be less interesting than the ones that focus on productivity concepts and app-agnostic systems.
- I don’t care for podcasts with episodes under 10-minutes running time. It doesn’t leave enough time for a deep exploration of the topic.
- I only included podcasts that are creating new content (no defunct podcasts).
- I only included podcasts that have been running continuously for more than half a year (new, promising podcasts are not listed above).
Here’s a full list of other productivity podcasts that I’ve listened to at one point or another. I include them here in case you are looking for other podcasts to audition: 5AM Miracle (good interview format program), Becoming Better (Chris Bailey: love his books but still a new podcast), Before Breakfast (big fan of Laura Vanderkam but individual episodes are very short), Beyond the To-Do List (decent interview program), Extreme Productivity with Kevin Kruse (defunct), Michael Hyatt: Lead to Win & Focus (too new to evaluate yet), Nested Folders (too new), Optimal Living Daily: Personal Development (too general for this list, but interesting topics), ProdPod (1 minute episodes! I find the format difficult to get into), The Productivity Show by Asian Efficiency (too focuses on apps for my taste), Getting Things Done (decent but very dry), Tools They Use (app-focused podcast), Upwire (fascinating but defunct science-focused productivity).