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8 Powerful TED Talks on Designing a More Productive Life

March 14, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By lye@hubspot.com (Leslie Ye)

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For many of us, achieving peak productivity can seem like a Sisyphean struggle. Every once in a while, we’ll think we’ve got our inboxes or to-do lists up-to-date, triaged, and under control. And then something else comes along that throws a giant wrench in all our grand plans — a tempting off-campus lunch, a last-minute request from your boss’s boss, or a cat GIF storm you can’t help but participate in.

And so we end another day feeling like we’ve failed. While accomplishing tasks is certainly part of the picture, being productive isn’t just about checking items off a list. It’s about creating an environment and state of mind that allow you to produce great work.

And although it’s true that staying focused or having the right tools can help keep you from getting derailed, peak productivity is usually a result of the right circumstances, the right project, and the right person.

These eight TED talks cover every aspect of productivity — from how to literally do the impossible (Tim Ferriss) to how to inject out-of-the-box thinking into your everyday routine (Nilofer Merchant) — and will leave you with a new perspective on what productivity really means.

8 Inspiring TED Talks That Will Change How You Think About Productivity

1) “Try Something New For 30 Days” by Matt Cutts

Too often, we’re unproductive because we get caught in a rut of bad behavior. We come to work every day and follow the same routine, and are surprised when we haven’t seen a dramatic shift in our output. Many of us have fallen victim to bad habits that are so entrenched they seem impossible to break, and so our lack of productivity continues day in and day out.

Matt Cutts, a software engineer and head of the web spam team at Google, argues that a change in behavior isn’t as hard as we might believe. In this TED talk, Cutts suggests that all you have to do to form a good habit — or get rid of a bad one — is to consciously incorporate (or eliminate) it into your routine for 30 days. Using this 30-day challenge model, Cutts wrote a novel, cut out sugar, and laid the foundation to hike Mount Kilimanjaro.

Climbing a mountain may not be on your list of goals, but you can use 30-day challenges to cut unproductive behaviors from your repertoire.

2) “Got a Meeting? Take a Walk” by Nilofer Merchant

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest differences. Nilofer Merchant, an author, speaker, and management consultant who has launched more than 100 products globally, has a message for office workers everywhere: Sitting is killing us.

The average person sits for 9.3 hours a day (compare that to 7.7 hours of sleep!), and this lack of physical activity is directly tied to increased risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

But when are we supposed to find the time to get moving? In …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog

      

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