Headphones, notebook and laptop on desk

6 podcast episodes to help you master your working week

Podcasts are the perfect solution for a busy person. Don’t have time to read a book, or watch a video tutorial? Not a problem. Just pop a podcast on when you’re doing the cooking, putting your makeup on, walking the dog, or driving the car. If it feels like you just don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done, these 6 podcast episodes will help. Browse through the list below, pick the ones you like the sound of and you’ll soon find ways to master your working week.

I’ve been sharing my favourite time management and productivity podcast episodes with my coaching clients for years. Feeling overwhelmed by work and struggling with a never-ending ‘to-do’ list is a problem that I’m often asked to help with. Instead of just sending out the titles of the podcast episodes and links to download them in an email, it was about time I ordered them neatly in a blog post. I hope they help you to master your working week. If you decide to give any of the ideas in the podcasts a try, drop me an email to let me know; I’d love to hear how you get on.

1. “Coronavirus: How Do I Stay Productive When Working From Home?”

From: Radio 1’s Life Hacks Podcast
Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

After most of us were plunged into working from home during the pandemic, this became the newest entry on the list of my recommended podcast episodes. With so many of us struggling to juggle competing demands from work and home, productivity expert Graham Alcott shares useful strategies to help. He is the author of several books, including the excellent, “How to be a Productivity Ninja.”

Graham talks about the importance of taking short breaks and moving around to help keep your energy levels up; turning off your computer and phone notifications; setting a timer to keep you on track with tasks; avoiding multitasking. He also suggests some great productivity apps. If you enjoy listening to Graham’s words of wisdom, you may also want to give his own podcast a try, Beyond Busy.

2. “Tired of Making No Progress On Goals? Try This!”

From: Lead to Win with Michael Hyatt & Megan Hyatt Miller
Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.

A victim of burnout earlier in his career, Michael Hyatt is passionate about achieving great things without killing yourself through overwork. He is also the king of the business catchphrase; listen out to see which of his many different ones he uses in this episode. The top catchphrase for this episode has to be, “Consistency beats intensity.”

Michael explains how to get clear on your goals, communicate them effectively to your colleagues and then take small steps to achieve them. Referencing James Clear’s brilliant book, “Atomic Habits”, Michael emphasises the power of making tiny behavioural changes that have a big impact. Such as setting time aside weekly to work on a project, putting mechanisms in place to help keep you on track and making sure these are tailored to your personality type.

3. “When Work Takes Over Your Life”

From: WorkLife with Adam Grant – a TED original podcast
Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.

The WorkLife podcast is one of my absolute favourites. Adam Grant is a brilliant podcast host and I hope the podcast is brought back for another series. With warnings from Arianna Huffington (who collapsed at work after working excessive hours for years) on the risks of working yourself into the ground, this episode is packed full of tips on how to effectively set clear boundaries to save yourself from burnout.

Advice comes from a range of people (including a former FBI Negotiator) who have found different ways of setting boundaries. Their tips can help you ring-fence time to do uninterrupted work, prioritise your tasks, get enough sleep, manage a busy email inbox, push back on demands for others and ask colleagues for support.

4. “How to Be Less Distracted at Work – and in Life”

From: HBR IdeaCast
Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.

With our attention being interrupted by technology and demands from other people, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and as if there is no way to get through a full to-do list. Podcast guest Nir Eyal, author of the book, “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life” shares his insights on how to avoid distractions and focus on the work that is most important to us. As well as focusing on practical steps, he helps you to recognise that it’s often our emotions, rather than our devices that are getting in the way of our work. The idea is that once we realise what’s really holding us back, we can address these issues.

The HBR IdeaCast podcast is excellent if you are looking for a podcast which explores a different aspect of succeeding in business and management each week. If you enjoy listening to it, you may also want to give Dear HBR a try. This is one of its sister podcasts and each episode is spent answering listeners’ questions about work challenges they’re experiencing.

5. “How Theming Your Week Can Make You More Productive”

From: Productive Flourishing (formerly The Creative Giant Show)
Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Podcast host Charlie chats to guest (and productivity guru) Mike Vardy about a range of ideas including making meetings more effective, shaping your day to suit your energy levels and being kind to yourself. If you like what Mike has to say, you’ll probably also like his podcast, Productivityist.

My favourite concept that they discuss is theming. Although the examples they use in the interview apply for people who work for themselves; theming is something that can work well as long as you have some sort of control over your calendar and time. This involves giving setting yourself certain tasks for certain days, weeks, or months. So, you know there is a task you need to get done regularly and then set yourself a certain day of the week to make sure you get it done on that day.  It’s something I’ve implemented – I keep Mondays free from coaching to give myself time to catch up with admin and creating resources for my clients (like this blog post) and it has transformed my working week.

6. “Feeling Overwhelmed? Here’s Your Action Plan”

From: Lead to Win With Michael Hyatt & Megan Hyatt Miller
Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.

You’ll have noticed that I’ve snuck another Lead to Win podcast episode onto this list. It’s packed full of such helpful advice, I couldn’t bring myself to leave it off the list and let a different podcast episode take its place.

Michael begins by reassuring us that most people feel overwhelmed at some point and that its a feeling that can be overcome with action. His simple but effective tips on overcoming your own overwhelm revolve around cutting down your workload. You might be reading this and thinking that it’s impossible to reduce your workload but I promise it isn’t. The podcast has tips on how to do this by eliminating tasks, delegating them, or automating ‘drudgery’ tasks. We’re also taught how to use your calendar wisely and respect your time because, “What gets scheduled, gets done.”

Extra tip: If you feel that email has taken over your life and is your biggest drudgery task, I’d recommend listening to Lead to Win’s episode, “How to get out of email jail”.

Need More Help?

Juggling a busy schedule is an issue that many of my career coaching clients struggle with. I fully empathise with them because it’s something I’ve always found challenging myself and I have devoured countless books, courses and podcasts on time management over the years. There is no, ‘one size fits all’ quick fix because we’re all different; with our own motivations, quirks and strengths. We’re all operating in different working environments as well, which bring their own unique challenges. It’s all about finding what works for you.

If you’re still feeling frazzled and as if you’ll never master your working week, you may also find the article, “Want to get more done at work? Try using these 7 simple steps” useful. Or book a free call with me to discuss how coaching could help you to take back control of your time and get on top of your workload.