6 TED Talks about Productivity I found inspiring

We all want to save time and improve our productivity management. But with the rise of technologies, it’s getting more and more complicated.

If you feel a bit overwhelmed, take some time to watch these 6 TED Talks from inspiring people and see how you could gain productivity (you might wonder why 6? Well, no reasons. Why not after all ūüôā )

1. “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes” – Andy Puddicombe

“When did you last take 10 minutes to do nothing, really nothing?” Try to answer this question and you will see that it might have been a while! Andy Puddicombe is a meditation and mindfulness expert and a former Buddhist monk.

In this video, he explains how meditation can help to step back and see things from a different perspective. No need to be a meditation expert or light incense: 10 minutes out a day to step back and focus on the present moment is enough. Let’s try it! You can even ask Julie to set up a daily reminder for your 10min breaks ūüėČ

2. “How too many rules at work keep you from getting things done” – Yves Morieux

This Ted Talks starts with a great quote from Nobel Prize Paul Krugman: “Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything”! Productivity is a big deal but ¬†– bad news, our productivity decreases! Why? We focus on the wrong things when we talk about¬†efficiency: clarity, measurement and accountability.¬†

When business was simple, it was ok to make decision based on clarity, measurement and accountability. But now, with business getting more and more complicated, the more we rely on those three indicators, the more we create structures, processes, systems that keep us aways from the key ingredient for success: collaboration!

In this video, Yves Morieux, director for The Boston Consulting Group’s Institute for Organization and expert in corporate transformation, uses a relay race as an example to illustrate how runners would make bad performance if they were only acting according to clarity, measurement and accountability.

I love this talk, done with a very sexy French accent (cocorico ??)

3. “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator” – Tim Urban

I couldn’t avoid to include this TED Talk: indeed,¬†I do suffer from procrastination! Well, we all do according to Tim Urban.

Tim Urban, co-founder of the blog Wait but Why (which I hardly¬†recommend you follow), explains in a very funny way how procrastinators brains work, and why, even if each and every time we say “it’s the last time I do it last minute”, we end up rushing to meet the deadlines. But actually, the worst is when we don’t have those deadlines to put pressure on us. That’s when we need to be proactive¬†and think about all the things we have never even started chasing. If not, we might end up with a long term unhappiness.

Tim Urban is an amazing speaker and this TED video really makes you react as a procrastinator. So if “I’ll do it later” rings a bell, take 15min of to watch this video!

4. “How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings” – David Grady

Ok Ok, it’s¬†a very famous¬†one! The video David Grady made about how meetings can be unproductive has been seen millions of time (if you haven’t, here you go)! So we might think most people are now aware of how ridiculous meetings can be¬†and put an end to it?¬†¬†Hmm, not quite sure…!! Invitations for a meeting we know nothing about, no meeting goals or outputs, tons and tons of participants invited are still common practices in a¬†lot of companies, aren’t they?¬†¬†David Grady probably still have¬†content to create an even funnier second video!

So let’s back to basic and watch this talks on how to avoid unproductive meetings. And after that, let’s all¬†commit to stop organizing and/or participating in unproductive meetings, ok? #BeTheChangeYouWishToSee ūüôā

5. “How to make Work-Life balance work” – Nigel Marsh

In this TED Talks, you will learn what is the ideal balanced day for Nigel Marsh: wake up after a great night of sleep, walk the dog, have breakfast with his wife and children, drive kids to school, work for 3h, do sport during lunch time, work for 3h, have some drinks, get back home and have dinner, a bit of meditation, walk the dog and go to bed (with several sex breaks between all these activities ?). An ideal day for sure, but a totally unrealistic one!

We all want to have a balanced life but we usually associate it with unrealistic objectives, that end to demotivate us and we never achieve our goal. Nigel Marsh is an expert on interactions between personal and business life and he explains in this video that small things can make a huge difference for your balance.

6. “How to succeed? Get more sleep” – Arianna Huffington

A short but sweet talk to end this article! We can see lots of articles explaining how some great and inspiring leaders wake up super early, or stay up until late, because they just need 4h maximum of sleep at night. That’s great. But we are not all the same and trying to reduce our sleep because we think that way we will be able to maximize our activities¬†is not the right solution to be more productive. If you don’t respect your body and the sleep you need, you won’t be able to focus and be efficient.

So don’t feel bad if you are part of the sleepy ones and listen¬†to Arianna Huffington: get your¬†sleep ūüôā

So, what do you think? Feel free to continue this selection and share your best videos about productivity with us!