BY Fast Company South Africa 2 MINUTE READ

Would it be fair to say that 2020 was a bit . . . eh, underwhelming? Is that a diplomatic way to categorize it?

So, we’ve all gotten used to working from home. With any luck, we’ve taken some time to slow down and catch our collective breath over the past couple of weeks. Now that we’re back at work, let’s barrel into 2021 like a bunch of productivity tornadoes.

To help keep you focused on your goals, here’s a quick list of helpful, inspirational, and upbeat podcasts to motivate you in the new year.

Yes, most of us work from home at the moment. And if you’re looking for helpful hints from people who have been happily working from home, this is a great new podcast to check out. Host April Malone interviews real people with all sorts of different jobs about what they do and how they do it from outside the confines of the traditional office. Interviewing regular people can be kind of hit or miss, but Malone’s guests manage to be engaging and interesting. New episodes drop sporadically—every few days to a week or so—and land at about an hour in length. 

When it comes to being productive, we’d all like to be able to switch it on at will so we can power through a mountain of emails or whip up a pitch-perfect presentation. This podcast, hosted by Sarah Steckler, takes a more human-focused approach to productivity so that it’s purposeful and sustainable. Episodes are released weekly, run about 20 to 40 minutes, and feature a nice mix of guest interviews and practical advice straight from Steckler.

Whether you’re starting a new business from scratch or looking for tips and tricks to scale one you’ve already built, this is a great weekly podcast for generating new ideas, hearing inspiring stories, and keeping up on general productivity hygiene. Episodes typically run about 45 minutes.

Business coach Amanda Boleyn’s podcast features productivity tips and entrepreneurial strategies to help women transition from corporate careers to owning their own businesses. Episodes generally drop weekly—sometimes more frequently—and are about 20 to 40 minutes in length, depending on the topic.

Steli Efti and Hiten Shah run an effortlessly conversational 10- to 15-minute podcast that covers how to make it in the world of software startups. Episode releases are a bit sporadic but most of the content is pretty applicable no matter the date, so it’s a good one to binge for thoughtful advice.

John Lee Dumas is an excitable entrepreneur who has interviewed a vast number of fellow entrepreneurs for this long-running podcast. He teases out tips for financial freedom, living wherever you like, and paving your own path—you know: entrepreneur goals. Episodes are frequent (about every two to three days) and average about a half hour each.

How’s that work-life balance going? Too much work, not enough life? This is the podcast for you. Host Dana Look-Arimoto interviews successful C-suite types about how they keep all their personal and professional plates spinning. Breaking down complex issues like compartmentalizing, adjusting to working from home, the myth of perfection, and more, it’s a good, twice-monthly stabilizer with episodes that run about 30 minutes each.
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