"Maybe it's obvious, but if you're working on a big project that demands creativity or deep thought, consider switching up your listening habits.
"Say you listen to a podcast or talk radio during your morning commute – the more engrossing it is, the more likely it is to block out a productive train of thought or even a breakthrough. When you sit down to work, you then have to waste time dragging your brain out of the story or conversation and into work mode.
"Start the day with silence or unobtrusive music, though, and you leave your mind to its own devices. You're more likely to arrive at your desk with a mostly formed idea that you can immediately pour into your keyboard/sketchpad/piano, meaning you hit the ground running."
"That's not to say podcasts can't provide inspiration, of course, but if you find it takes a while for your mind to warm up, consider saving that new episode for after work." – Lyle Brennan