10 Podcasts to Help You Navigate 2021

By the SMU Social Media Team

Suffering from visual fatigue after endless hours of staring at your screens this year? Enter the podcast, a medium uniquely suited for multi-taskers. Simply tune in while working out or getting the housework done, and get tips on improving your productivity, inspiration for your next venture, and the latest on the biggest industry trends.


1. For boosting productivity: The Tim Ferriss Show

Best known for writing The 4-Hour Workweek, a bestseller about growing your income while escaping the rat race, American author Tim Ferris is now the host of this popular podcast where he examines the productivity habits of world-class performers from eclectic fields. Guests include former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and comedian Kevin Hart.


2. For seeing the big picture: Beyond The To-Do List

How do you stay productive in a crisis? How do you break bad habits? How do you overcome distractions? This productivity podcast is designed for the overwhelming nature of modern life, and features expert advice on the true end-goal of productivity: living a meaningful life.


3. For working smart: Eat Sleep Work Repeat

Created by Bruce Daisley, a respected thought leader on workplace culture from the UK, this podcast sees him talking to psychologists, neuroscientists and other experts about the future of work. As you prepare for a world in which workplace norms have been upended, tune in for insights into beating burnout, powerful rebel ideas, and mastering the flexible schedule.


4. For insights from SMU faculty: Podcasts@SMU

From sustainability to the social fabric, SMU faculty members shed light on a diverse range of topics and discuss their latest research. Check these episodes out if you’re curious about subjects such as Singapore’s place in global value chains, how tech is being used in eldercare, and the challenges facing data privacy.


5. For diverse perspectives: Wonder

Entrepreneur Kalika Yap hosts this series about female entrepreneurs. From diving into the wellness industry to tackling systemic bias, these enterprising women share their insights about the challenges and triumphs of charting their own paths.


6. For provocative takes on the ethics of tech: Pivot

Tech journalist Kara Swisher and New York University marketing professor Scott Galloway are the dynamic duo deep-diving into the latest stories in tech, business, and politics in this podcast. Come for the amusing banter, stay for the sharp analysis and shrewd predictions about influential leaders’ next moves and developing trends in some of the world’s most powerful businesses.


7. For insights into an emerging potential superpower: Inside China

Learn more about China first hand through real-life reporters on the ground in this podcast that covers a wide range of topics, including updates on the Covid-19 pandemic from across the country. Gain insights into the tumultuous relationship between Huawei and the US, how US-China relations will change under Biden, and Covid vaccine reality in China from this South China Morning Post podcast.


8. For grasping the Asian startup landscape: Startup Snapshot

Why did delivery start-up Honestbee flounder? How will cloud kitchens change Southeast Asia’s F&B ecosystems? How are different startups handling the current spate of layoffs? For an insider’s look at the region’s dynamic startup scene, check out this Tech In Asia podcast for engaging insights into the struggles and innovations of Asian tech founders and industry leaders.


9. For inspiring thought leadership: TED Talks Daily

Tune in for a new episode every day, each helmed by a different inspirational figure. Topics touch on key issues shaping humanity’s future, and range from environmental protection to artificial intelligence. Featured speakers include climate science scholar Myles Allen and agricultural entrepreneur Cedric Habiyaremye.


10. For honing life-hacking strategies: The Square Apple with Dr Yong Hsin Ning

An Adjunct Professor at the SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Dr Yong is also an entrepreneur who runs a consulting business, as well as the host of this podcast about changing the way you see life’s challenges. Tune in for her thoughts on learning from failure, change management and effective decision-making.