I'm big on efficient multitasking, so I make sure to utilize my time is in the morning.

Whether I'm getting ready for the day, commuting to work, or catching an early flight for my next business trip, I like to use this time to exercise my mind and learn new things by listening to podcasts. They are a way to get different perspectives on topics that are important to me and what I do for a career, too. I learn more about new business skills, consider how to create better work-life balance, or explore current topics that delve into creating a sense of purpose.

There are so many podcasts nowadays, it can be difficult to find ones you might enjoy. But here are five podcasts that will help get you started on defining a path that is purposeful and authentic to the life you want to live.  

1. Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert

Great for: Finding inspiration

Gilbert's book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (one of my favorites), explores how to tap into and pursue creative interests while overcoming the fears and doubts that often come with creativity. The Magic Lessons podcast is a spinoff of her book and focuses on helping individuals overcome creative blocks. Each episode features an expert guest, like life coaches, artists, and best-selling authors. It offers valuable insight and inspiration when you have trouble with creative thinking or are looking for more confidence in your work.

2. Beyond the To-do List by Erik Fisher

Great for: Increasing productivity and work-life balance

I'm always looking for new ways to increase my work focus and productivity. On Beyond the To-do List, Fisher interviews successful individuals who share their past issues with productivity, and how they've learned to better manage their time, prioritize projects, and escape burnout. If you often feel overwhelmed with work (and life), the episodes can teach you valuable tips on how to stay focused and positive, and improve efficiency.

3. Oprah's SuperSoul Sundays

Great for: Women entrepreneurs looking for inspiration and insight

I've found that the best advice comes from those who've been there before. Oprah's interviews include a variety of leading thought leaders, authors, and wellness experts, many of whom are women business leaders. They discuss topics that can help women better approach how they live and work. This is often my go-to when I'm looking for inspiration and a good mental boost.

4. Invisibilia by NPR

Great for: Expanding your mind

Invisibilia is a podcast with a psychological bent; I enjoy it because it makes me look more deeply into subjects that influence daily life. The NPR podcast, in its fourth season, explores topics that "shape human behavior." For instance, past episodes have focused on topics like the nature of reality, computers, social norms, and personality. Even if psychology is not your thing, you will learn more about how ideas, beliefs, and emotions are formed and what they mean. There is a good chance you will finish each episode with a different perspective on how you look at the world and at yourself.

5. TED Radio Hour

Great for: Exploring new interests and ideas

One of the great strengths of TED talks is the breadth of their topics. If you have a new interest in something (or are looking for something new), odds are there are several TED talks about it. The TED Radio Hour follows the same concept. Each week's podcasts focuses on a single theme supported by four to six episodes. (For instance, the most recent episode, "Quiet," explores different ways to find quiet in busy lives.) The variety almost ensures you will find something to fit your current curiosity.

These podcasts can be a great way to engage in some self-reflection before entering the workplace, as well as improving your understanding of the people around you, so you can better engage with them at work and at home. Listening to them while getting ready for your day, on your morning commute, or during your downtime can create a daily ritual you actually will look forward to.

Published on: Nov 15, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.