TED talks are a valuable source of inspiration for every aspect of life. You can always refer to these short talks especially when you need practical advice and ideas to upgrade something in your personal and work life. TEDsters are the ones who you can trust their unconventional and innovational ways of thinking and practicing.
If you think that peak productivity comes from continuous hard work, long meetings and reducing sleep and exercise, you’re definitely wrong, according to TEDsters. Surprisingly if you search about productivity on TED, you see that boosting productivity as an individual or a team depends on the most important aspects of life such as happiness, health and personal growth. Soon you find that it needs more than talent, skill and the right tools.
So let’s see what TEDsters say about improving productivity. TED talks trigger some brand-new signals for improving productivity that you should care and think about.
Care about your health: Walk and sleep enough
As an entrepreneur, you probably sit more than you sleep and you are also proud of sleep deprivation and late night work. If so, you have to change your lifestyle because sitting is the new smoking! Coined by Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic. He believes that sitting is more dangerous than smoking and kills more people than HIV. Sitting for long hours also increases the risk of heart attack. What about sleep? Lack of sleep stresses you out, kills your health and reduces your productivity and efficiency. According to studies at the Harvard Medical School, in the short term insufficient sleep can affect your judgment and ability to learn and in the long term may lead to serious diseases. Researchers compare the danger of sleep deprivation to drinking alcohol. Another study from Harvard Medical School reveals that lack of sleep costs the American economy $63 billion in lost productivity. Following TEDsters guide us to a more healthy and productive lifestyle.
Nilofer Merchant, Silicon Valley based CEO, strategist, and author has a new idea to turn risk of sitting for too long into a healthy and productive lifestyle. In her short talk she shares her experience of how she accidentally learned to turn regular sort conference room meetings or coffee meetings into walking meetings. “Getting out of the box leads to out-of-the-box thinking, you will be surprised at how fresh air drives fresh thinking and new ideas”, she says. You can take care of health and also your obligations, no one needs to be sacrificed. So walk to be healthy and also productive.
Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, believes that getting enough sleep can unlock billions of big ideas. New ideas and smart decisions are essential components of your journey to success. In her short talk Arianna shares this small idea that in every success journey the way to be more productive, more inspired and make smarter decisions is getting enough sleep.
Time to re-think yourself
You probably heard about Google’s famous ‘20% time’ policy. According to Fortune magazine, Google is the No. 1 place to work for the seventh time in 10 years. Google’s employees can spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google. Gmail, and even AdSense actually came out from this time. So why we do not invest such a time in ourselves. Time to follow our passion or just make small changes. Sometimes small changes have deep impacts. Time to escape from routine and bored habits and develop new habits. According to Harvard Business Review, recent research on neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain to change even in adulthood—reveals that as you develop new habits, you rewire the brain. These inspiration times give us new chances to rethink or recreate our business model canvas to be more productive and joyful. Following TEDsters have great ideas to share.
If you feel like you are stuck in a rut and are unproductive, Matt Cutts, an engineer at Google has a suggestion for you: Try something new for 30 days. He tried it. He tried biking to work, daily 15 minute walks with his wife and even hiking Mount Kilimanjaro. Small or big, it does not matter. He believes that it turns out 30 days is just about the right amount of time to add a new good habit or subtract a bad one. It makes you more self-confident, helps you to grow and be more productive.
Stefan Sagmeister, a graphic designer, thinks in a slightly different way about his inspiration time. Every seven years Stefan closes his New York studio to pursue new experiments and empower himself for making some difference in his future projects and also whole design society. It is just a simple and fantastic plan to postpone his retirement for just five years and cut off these five years of his retirement years and intersperse them in between his working years. In his talk he explains how his yearlong sabbatical happened and how successful it was.
Happiness for productivity, not backward
Entrepreneurs always experience a sinuous feeling in their way of growing their ideas. They encounter a variety of feelings from anxiety to hope in short periods of time. They are commonly looking for ways to keep their productivity up in their external world. Long work hours, more employees and more tools. In the following talks, TEDsters argue that the key to high productivity is less dependent to your external world but to the way your brain views the world. This key is happiness and it is achievable simply by writing down three things you’re grateful for every day or seeing a comedy clip. Following TEDsters share their research results about happiness.
Happiness, productivity or success, which one comes first? Should entrepreneurs be happy just when they succeed to achieve their goals? Shawn Achor, psychologist, and CEO of Good Think Inc. thinks it is time to reverse that formula. His findings indicate that being more successful is not a prerequisite of being happier and it actually needs to be reversed. Because success is a moving target and your brain always expects more and better successes and then you never really feel happy. But with a positive mindset your brain performs significantly better. His research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves. In a funny talk, he argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist, talks about the ultimate state of happiness that results to great things in art, play and business. He called this state the “flow”, a state of deep focus and immersion in what you are doing. He explains it’s not about money and everyone is able to experience such a state. He found that there are two common factors in all who experienced the flow. The amount of challenge they encountered and how highly skilled they were at that moment. He believes that to feel the flow you need to go beyond of your comfort zone and learn as you can to develop your skills. In his talk he shares his findings of 40 years of research on happiness and explains how creative people and entrepreneurs experience it to be productive and successful.