TED talks take key issues right down to the bone using mainstream personalities. Productivity is one of the most sought-after values in the modern world, where multitasking activities are growing exponentially. Learn how to be more productive with this expert advice.
TED talks have the best ROI ever
The best way to learn a new skill or go beyond the recognized limits in a yet-to-be-mastered art is to go surfing the internet looking for answers. TED talks cover every topic you can think of, and provide incredible information from people who have mastered a given activity. The best thing about them is that they are very practical and provide the information to you in a down-to-Earth, simplified way. They have the best ROI (Return on Investment) ever, often taking only a few minutes to provide great information and motivation for everyday life. Let´s consider the nine best productivity talks from TED.
#1 Ariana Huffington — How to succeed? Get more sleep.
This might be somewhat contrary what many people think. Sleeping hours are not to be overlooked and play a key role in being productive during the following day. Ariana is the author of over 15 books and ran for governor in California´s 2009 election. She´s also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post. She advocates rearranging priorities and decreasing levels of stress in order to have a healthy eight hours of sleep a night. She also warns about the consequences she has experienced keeping sleep low down on the list of personal priorities. Sleep patterns form an essential aspect of developing a productive and healthy lifestyle.
#2 Shawn Achor - The happy secret to better work
This incredible professional highlights the relationship between happiness and productivity, citing the philosophy of Positive Psychology and taking an approach to life that more closely resembles a stand-up comedian than a psychologist. Once you see his presentation, you´ll very quickly realize how important is to make a significant effort to be happy on your path through life, and how this will enable you to accomplish fulfillment.
#3 Tim Urban - Inside the mind of a master procrastinator
Tim Urban is the co-founder of the renowned blog Wait but why?, and has interviewed and worked with a range of personalities including Elon Musk. Procrastination is a very common symptom, and a fierce enemy of productivity. In this talk, he fully acknowledges himself as a procrastinator and although he realizes it doesn’t make sense, always waiting until the last minute to do what he needs to do, yet he still can’t seem to shake it off. His approach is very funny as he dives through all the “attentional black holes we manage to find in order to avoid the task at hand”.
#4 Simon Sinek - How great leaders inspire action
The model that Simon Sinek employs in this video is truly as powerful as simple can get. He draws circles on a white board with a magic marker and explains why everything is based on Why we do things rather than What, Who or How. He is a motivator and a best-selling author, whose career began with helping friends and relatives discover their own Why, just standing in the middle of a circle in an apartment. This TED talk is incredibly powerful, so be ready to be moved and called to action from every level. He has great insight into millennials and the workplace, so check him out.
#5 Nigel Marsh - How to achieve a work/life balance
This writer of controversial book titles such as Fat, Forty and Fired is a great example of how workers can regain ownership of their lives despite the overwhelming demands of today´s working environment. He states that time is too important to be left in the hands of our employers. He rebuilt his own life from the ashes, and reorganized himself around the concept of working to live instead of living to work. In no way does this philosophy conflict with productivity, which is ultimately the result of living a happy, balanced life.
#6 Jason Fried - Why work doesn’t happen at work
Reinforcing the valuable concepts from our last TED talk, we now face this revolutionary idea of offices not being the best place to actually work. Jason describes everything from his own personal experiences, which makes this TED talk even richer. You can understand every frustration he went through as he challenged workplace distractions as being the worst enemy of productivity and efficiency. He´s also written several books with incendiary titles such as Office Not Required. You can check his full catalog here.
#7 Paolo Cardini - Forget multitasking, try monotasking
This is a hugely controversial idea for many people. Have you ever put the kettle on to boil while you load up your laundry machine, and at the same time try to watch your favorite TV show? Multitasking makes us feel like we’re being productive every second of our lives, but we can’t enjoy each task the way we used to. This incredibly talented and creative industrial designer tells us we should try going back to mono-tasking, and enjoy the best bits of everyday life like we used to.
#8 Angela Lee Duckworth - Grit: the power of passion and perseverance
This is a tried and true life hack that’s usually overlooked, especially by those who actually have the talent. According to this great psychologist, grit is the ultimate key to achieving the goals one aspires to in life. Not talent, or intelligence, but will-power and perseverance take people further on their journey towards a dream life. She released a book of the same name in 2006 to great acclaim. Don’t overlook the motivational power this talk has in those dark moments in which we doubt ourselves.
#9 Adam Grant - The surprising habits of original thinkers
This might be the most controversial of all TED talks we have discussed here. and it has a lot to do with common knowledge that has never been tested against reality. Adam Grant is a Harvard graduate, and his thesis about how creative people come up with great ideas is revolutionary. He states that embracing failure and having a contemplative mood rather than an over-achiever attitude, provides a much better overview of the whole picture. He also uses the difference between procrastinators and go-getters to bust the myth that those who are always hustling about are more productive than those who generate big ideas from thinking and contemplating. A truly awesome take on a well-known subject that is well worth the fifteen minutes attention span.
As much as we struggle with productivity in our everyday life, we know that on many occasions it is a must. The definitive mountain must be climbed, the final conquest made. The different approaches, topics, and personalities will surely have an effect on you, whether you are a procrastinator, a hugely talented and poorly motivated office worker, or even a creative thinker who is digitally poisoned by today’s media world. There’s definitely some useful information in these videos for you.
Put an end to the everyday struggle with your productivity rates, and take a step forward to living the life you dream of.
Let us know if you felt that this advice was valuable, or if we are missing the one that blew your mind. Leave us your comments below and help us help each other!