The Best Podcasts For Killing Time and Working on Mindless Tasks
May 31, 2018

The Best Podcasts For Killing Time and Working on Mindless Tasks

While we're super-lucky here at Boredwalk HQ to be able to spend some of our workday doing creative stuff, the actual amount of time Meredith and I spend on designing is pretty minimal relative to the rest of the time we spend here in the office. Most of our days are spent working on Facebook & Instagram ads, working on emails, helping Jessica & Breana with customer service and packing up orders, helping Sarah out with printing shirts, and ordering supplies to make sure there are no bottlenecks in getting your stuff to you. 

All of the above tasks are equally important to maintaining a well-oiled e-commerce machine, but some of it can be a bit tedious and/or repetitive, and as much as I adore listening to music, sometimes we need something a bit more engaging to keep us lively and focused on the task(s) at hand — especially during the holiday season when we're printing shirts into the wee hours of the morning for weeks on end and surviving on nothing but Red Bull and KIND Bars. For those tasks, we turn to the strong stuff — podcasts!

The roster of podcasts we listen to runs the gamut, from comedy to news to everything in between. Below is just a small sampling of some of our faves, but the great thing is that pretty much anybody can start a podcast, so new ones are popping up on a daily basis (this is also the not-so-great thing about podcasts — just because you can do a podcast doesn't mean you should 😜).

*Note: with the exception of Stuff You Should Know, pretty much all of the podcasts listed below are varying degrees of NSFW due to language/content (not in OUR workplace, but maybe yours), so make sure to employ headphones the first time you check these out to get a sense of whether coworkers might take offense.

Put Your Hands Together With Cam And Rhea

1. For The LOLs:
We love wife-and-wife duo Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito's Put Your Hands Together. These two LA comics (by way of Cleveland & Chicago, respectively) always bring on a great line up of funny people, and their show-opening and between-set banter never fails to amuse.

Stuff You Should Know Podcast

2. For the Learning:
We love Stuff You Should Know, the flagship podcast of the How Stuff Works content network. Hosts Josh Clark & Charles W. "Chuck" Bryant have the sort of winning chemistry and witty banter that can make even a 45-minute overview of Social Security sound compelling.

Mental Illness Happy Hour With Paul Gilmartin

3. For the Navel Gazing:
You may remember Paul Gilmartin as one of the co-hosts from TBS' Dinner and a Movie, but now he's got a podcast about mental health called The Mental Illness Happy Hour. Paul interviews guests — both listeners and famous people you've heard of — about their mental health struggles. At times both relatable and funny — but also sometimes dark and affecting — this podcast is great for doing a little self reflecting, or at least feeling a little less alone with your own mental health issues.

Risk! Storytelling Podcast With Kevin Allison

4. For the Stories:
There are loads of great storytelling podcasts out there, but we always end up coming back to Risk!, hosted & curated by MTV's The State alum Kevin Allison  — it's our favorite. The stories range from bawdy to maudlin to hilarious, so it's a veritable smorgasbord of content.

How To Be Amazing With Michael Ian Black

5. For the Interviews:
Michael Ian Black (another alum of MTV's The Stateso much talent in that cast!) interviews fascinating guests on How To Be Amazing. Despite our own preconceived notions about Michael based on his, uh, previous work, he's one of the most incisive and insightful interviewers in the game today.

Conversations With People Who Hate Me Dylan Marron

6. For the Empathy:
Dylan Marron's Conversations With People Who Hate Me is all about dialog with haters. Marron interviews people who've left him mean online comments and tries to get at why they did it and see if they still stand behind what they said. As entrepreneurs who deal with nasty internet comments every single day, we couldn't relate to this podcast more!

Why Is This Happening? With Chris Hayes

7. For Making Sense of the World:
Chris Hayes (of MSNBC fame) has a new podcast titled Why is This Happening? where he tries to break down complex political and global issues in a way the average listener can understand. Whether you want to make sense of WTF is up with the Middle East or why exactly some segments of the population truly have a lot stacked against them, this is the podcast for you. If you're a current events or news junkie you'll love Hayes' ability to dialog with guests in a way that makes the complex a little more digestible.

Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel

8. For the Relationship Insights:
Ever fantasized about eavesdropping on someone's therapy session? Now you literally can! Esther Perel's Where Should We Begin? lets you listen in on a different couple's counseling session in each episode. Some eps are relatable, some are just interesting; either way it'll give you a fly-on-the-wall view of couples counseling, and maybe even give you some insight into yourself or sticking points in your own relationships.

Theo Von This Past Weekend Podcast

9. Wild Card:
We've been obsessed with satirical stand-up comic Theo Von for the last two years. The first time we saw him perform we got about two minutes into his set and looked at one another like "who IS this guy? What a weirdo." Two more minutes and we were dying laughing, desperately wanting to kidnap him, take him home, and just make him talk about anything and everything. Regularly viewing/listening of his This Past Weekend podcast is the next best thing.

Theo's idiosyncratic use of language is entirely unique, and his LA-by-way-of-rural Louisiana perspective on the world — while not always perfectly aligning with our own — is an important one to take note of, and Theo's relentless willingness to have earnest discussions with others and engage in serious self-reflection in an effort to constantly improve himself as a human being are among his most endearing qualities. The fact that his journey of self-improvement and self-discovery come couched in hilarity is just icing on the cake.

If you like Boredwalk, you're bound to find at least some of these podcasts worth a listen. Check 'em out on your next commute or house cleaning day to make the time go a little faster. And if you have podcasts to recommend for us, leave 'em in the comments section!