15 Productivity Podcasts to Get You Motivated

Let’s start with a word problem. 🤓

If you walked into a busy Starbucks and asked every customer in a turtleneck if they like podcasts, how many of them would say yes?

Answer: All of them.

Podcasts are seriously popular, and tbh, you probably already knew that! But did you know that as of this moment, there are over 2 million shows and 48 million episodes floating in the podcast universe?

That means there are more podcast episodes than there are miles from Earth to Venus. 👀

Luckily, ClickUp is here to help you narrow down these numbers into a manageable shortlist of absolute winners with a handpicked list of 15 of our favorite podcasts—the shows that speak to our inner entrepreneur, dreamer, engineer, and fly on the wall. We even threw in some celeb-shot picks from other ClickUp team members!

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It’s like, podcasts just get us, you know?

It’s no mystery why people love podcasts. Whether it’s to learn something new, to laugh, or just to hear a familiar voice on a morning power-walk, there’s something about listening to your favorite podcast that feels special.

SNL's spoof on NPR's Delicious Dish, Schweddy Balls
Peacock via GIPHY

Podcasting was born around 2004, but it takes as little as one episode to start thinking of a host as your new BFF. In the rollercoaster of the last few years, many people have come to rely on those friendly podcast voices as a sense of comfort and a feeling of connection they can look forward to, day in and day out.

For people who get a thrill off of knocking things off their to-do lists, podcasts are also a great way to multitask.

In fact, 43% of podcasts are listened to while at a gym, 37% while at work, and 37% while riding public transportation.

Productive people don’t just like to meet expectations, they want to exceed them. Doing the dishes while listening to an episode on a topic that matters to you is one of the simplest and most effective ways to feel like you did something meaningful that day. Or maybe, it’ll fill you with the emotional boost you needed to start doing that thing you’ve been putting off for one reason or another.

Plus, there’s nothing like that rush of excitement when you listen to a really good show for the first time and can’t wait to start the next episode. We all love to be hooked! At ClickUp, we are the same way—we love a good podcast. So much actually, that we made one! But more on that in a second. 🤓

For now, walk a mile with our AirPods and treat yourself to some of our favorite podcasts.

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15 podcasts to queue on repeat

Consider the rankings of these productivity podcasts loosely held—with the exception of number one, of course, 😉—simply because every show has a certain quality that makes it different and unique. Instead, use this list as an opportunity to explore something new or expand your horizons!

Especially if you’ve never heard of it, there is a nugget of wisdom and inspiration to be had in each episode, and this is your chance to figure out what that could mean for you. 💜

Happy listening, podheads!

1. When it Clicked

Subscribe and listen to When It Clicked for uncovered stories from companies you'd never expect
Subscribe & listen to When It Clicked for uncovered stories from companies you’d never expect

One of ClickUp’s favorite creative projects to date, When It Clicked brings you the voices and minds behind products you think you know, uncovering the secret histories of how it all came together—to the one moment when it all, finally, clicked.💡

Part of what makes When It Clicked so interesting is that it highlights the people who don’t normally get all the glory or who took unconventional paths to make their dreams a reality. It found its niche diving into the companies that endured a few setbacks and curveballs in search of their ‘aha’ moments.

Hear host Ilana Strauss weave each story together with guests including Shopify’s first Chief Marketing Officer, Craig Miller; Scratchpad’s co-founders Pouyan Salehi and Cyrus Karbassiyoon; and Parker Conrad, Rippling’s CEO and three-time startup founder. Plus, you can start listening to When It Clicked right now! Each episode runs between 20-30 minutes, perfect timing for your morning commute.

Listen and subscribe to stay tuned for even more surprising stories still to come in season one. 💜

2. How I Built This

How I Built This home page
via How I Built This

By popular demand—because it is that good—How I Built This is coming in hot at number two! Multiple ClickUp employees including our CEO, Zeb Evans, are big fans of this NPR podcast, and recommended it for this list!

As our Deal Desk Senior Analyst, George Reed, puts it, “From Power Rangers to Slack find out what happened on their rise to the top. I don’t think you have to know anything about business to enjoy your time with Guy. In fact, I think that everyone, regardless of occupation, should listen to at least a few of his episodes.”

Well said, George, and we agree! With an average run time between 30-60 minutes, there’s a story for everyone in the years-long How I Built This archive, but some of our favorite episodes include Sara Blakely from Spanx, Yvon Chouinard from Patagonia, and Jonah Peretti from BuzzFeed.

Bonus: Start your own podcast with podcast templates!

3. StartUp

StartUp podcast from Gimlet Media
via Gimlet Media

The premise of StartUp is pretty cool.

It began as a limited series in 2014 by its host, Alex Blumberg, documenting his start-to-finish journey of creating a podcast company that ultimately became Gimlet Media. In fact, Blumberg is still in the process of trying to get Gimlet on its feet while he’s recording the first episode, so there’s an exciting element of unknown from the get-go. From there, we follow him immediately into meetings with venture capitalists.

With a few exceptions, most StartUp episodes stick within a tight 30-minute cap, but what started as a limited series now has eight seasons. The subject of each season has bounced around a bit but often comes back to Gimlet when it hits major milestones, up until it was purchased by Spotify in 2019. 🫖

4. Business Casual

Business Casual home page
via Business Casual

This recommendation comes from our own Ana Verduzco from Enterprise Support! From Ana:

“I love Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast! I also especially love that they (Morning Brew) are a startup like us, and have become successful by being relevant and comical too.”

Enhance your morning routine! If you use the first 10 minutes of your day to read the latest Morning Brew newsletter but you don’t spend part of your lunch listening to Business Casual then it’s time to make a change.

Okay, it’s not that extreme, but Business Casual will definitely get your thinking muscles moving.

Guy tapping his brain like he's got an idea

There’s a pretty big range when it comes to episode topics with features focused on things like big-tech whistleblowers to dating apps. Basically, if an idea can be made into some kind of business, then you might hear about it on Business Casual.

5. The Tim Ferriss Show

The Time Ferriss Show home page
via The Tim Ferriss Show

You may know Tim Ferriss for his bestselling book, The 4-Hour Workweek, or from this podcast, which also happens to be the number one podcast on all of Apple Podcasts. 👀

Our Editorial Coordinator, Leila Cruz, is also an avid listener of the podcast wherein each episode, Tim Ferriss and his guests break down the tactics practiced by world-class achievers in eclectic areas like investing, sports, business, and art to reveal the practical tools and tips that we can adapt to our own lives.

6. Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

Masters of Scale home page
via Masters of Scale

Another addition from George on the ClickUp Deal Desk!

“I have to admit that I am a bit of a Reid Hoffman fanboy and this might be my bias showing through. Not only is Reid a joy to listen to in general, but he also happens to be one of the most successful people in Silicon Valley. If you didn’t know, he was the executive VP when PayPal sold to eBay and went on to found LinkedIn. It’s not every day you get to pick the brain of a billionaire but here we have it. Reid interviews the who’s who of the business world and uses his personal relationships with many of them to create a unique experience.”

An episode of Masters of Scale will typically stay within 30min to an hour, and brings in some incredible guests! Learn business advice, time management tips, and interesting conversations with well-known names like Barack Obama. 👀

7. Dare to Lead with Brene Brown

Dare to Lead home page
via Dare to Lead

This podcast rec comes from the ClickUp Blog’s very own Managing Editor, Erica Chappell! 🥳

“While not necessarily tech-related, I’m a fan of Dare to Lead with Brene Brown. I love the honest convos with various business leaders on what makes for great leadership and how to lift others up, find purpose, and navigate sometimes uncomfortable conversations/situations with poise and vulnerability.”

And who doesn’t just love Brene Brown?

8. On Purpose with Jay Shetty

On Purpose Podcast Page
via Spotify

This may not technically be a business or productivity podcast but it does address important topics that feed into our professional lives like finding a work-life, everyday anxieties, and everything in between. It explores tips, strategies, and shares stories of people who lead their lives with purpose including Jane Goodall, Oprah, Kobe Bryant, and Will Smith.

Oprah being incredible

Episode length can be a bit unpredictable with some staying around 25-minutes and others lasting well over an hour, but when you hear Shetty’s voice, the time stamp might not matter. His voice is incredibly smooth and easy to listen to. In which case, you will be pleased to know that new episodes are released twice a week.

9. A16Z Podcast

a16z Podcast Page on Spotify
via Spotify

This weekly podcast comes from Andreesen Horowitz of the famed Silicon Valley venture capital firm and goes in-depth on broad issues related to the future of tech, culture, and news.

Diving into topics like ransomware, the future of audio, NFT’s, and GenZ, each episode is bound to leave you with a tidbit on something that’s bound to impress your friends at the next happy hour.

10. Today, Explained

Today, Explained Home page
via Vox

One of ClickUp’s own Customer Support Specialists, Paola Lopez, is a daily listener of Vox’s Monday through Friday news podcast, Today, Explained, because “their deep dives into relevant stories are fascinating, and give perspective and context to the day’s biggest or even smallest news!”

Hosted by Sean Rameswaram and Noel King, this 30-minute show will cover one current story in each episode—usually including a punny title to tip you off as well. They also just hit their 1,000th episode so congratulations, Today, Explained. 🎉

11. Startup Stories from Mixergy

Startup Stories Podcast page
via Spotify

Andrew Warner interviews founders from big and small companies—many of which you might not have heard of!

He leans into a lot of the nitty-gritty details you wouldn’t expect, including analyzing the “lucky breaks” that people could attribute to a business’ initial success. Warner wants to dissect the exact moments, connections, and issues that plague startups, and deliver them as tips to help other new founders.

12. Entrepreneurs on Fire

Entrepreneurs on fire
via Entrepreneurs on Fire

This podcast comes as a suggestion from our friend George on the Deal Desk.

“With 2041 episodes already available you know John Lee Dumas has to be doing something right. With infectious energy and a non-stop barrage of information, it’s hard to be bored. This is another podcast using the tried and true interviewer-interviewee format, but JLD really makes it his own. The way he creates an immediate rapport with his guests is almost as important as the information he is getting out of them. I would have thought that quality might suffer after 2000+ episodes but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is a well-honed podcast that is entertaining from start to finish.”

13. Freakonomics

Freakonomics home page
via Freakonomics

Our Customer Success Lead, Sophia Kaminski, is a biiiiiig fan of Freakonomics, and tbh—so are we! From Sophia:

“As they say on the podcast, this is the show ‘that explores the hidden side of everything.’ While you’ll find tons of thought-provoking episodes covering a wide spectrum of topics, Freakonomics’ series, ‘The Secret Life of a C.E.O.,’ is particularly great. Tune into discussions with people like Indra Nooyi, the C.E.O. of PepsiCo,  and Mark Zuckerburg, as they discuss what it takes to run a major global franchise.”

14. Something You Should Know

Something you should know home page
via Something You Should Know

Wes Brummette, ClickUp’s People Programs Architect brings us this podcast suggestion! He says:

“This one isn’t strictly business, but it does touch on business and can impact the way you conduct your business. On Something You Should Know, the host Mike dives into a lot of common questions and provides everyday, actionable tips, such as how to maximize your time on an airplane, what to do with distractions or how to give criticism. It’s practical and can make you think about your routine actions a little differently.”

15. Quote of the Day Show

Quote of the day home page
via Quote of the Day Show

To round out our list, Wes Brummette leaves us another one of his favorites: “Host Sean Sean Croxton shares a quote of the day and then profiles a special guest who gives a speech, talk, or interview around the same topic of the quote. It’s motivating and enlightening at the same time and introduces you to a lot of new voices and perspectives that you may not have discovered on your own.”

Looking for more productivity content? Check out our guide on the 30 best productivity blogs!

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From our ears, to yours 💜

In short, audio storytelling is so cool.

Hearing is such a vivid sense and audio can bring the story to life in a bigger way than you might expect, even if that means simply listening to two people speak for an hour.

Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec listening to music
PeacockTV via GIPHY

Our reason behind creating When It Clicked is probably very similar to your own reason behind why you love your favorite podcasts—to learn something new. This podcast is our way of reaching out to all of you, in hopes of starting new conversations and maybe even sparking some newfound creativity.

We hope this list brings you joy and leaves you with something to think about as you navigate your own professional stories. And if you’re not sure where to begin, it’s never a bad idea to start at the top. 😉

Listen to When It Clicked wherever you get your podcasts, and tell us what you think in a review!

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