Home Thinking Aloud 4 TED Talks On Productivity

4 TED Talks On Productivity


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by Seyran Dalipovski, Social Media and Content Manager at Simpliday

TED Talks touch on a large amount of topics and we decided – why not add our favorite productivity talks for you?

TED which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design was started back in the 80s as a private nonprofit organization. They had a simple message and that is “Ideas Worth Spreading”. Over time and with the smartphone boom it has changed how we consume these TED Talks. They started to add the videos to their website back in 2006 and as of March 2016 have 2,400 talks to watch for free.

Here are a handful of those talks focusing on issues with being productive and how you can overcome them.

1. Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend.

Can changing how you think about stress change your body’s relationship with stress? When life is difficult, stress wants you to surround yourself with friends and family. Over Kelly’s career, she noticed that something she was taught about stress could be wrong. She says she has changed her mind on stress due to a study. In this study it showed that those with less stress in their lives ended up worrying more about stress itself and had a shorter life expectancy versus those who just had stress.

“Carrying created resilience” and “Biology of courage” are two sentiments we like that she brought up.

2. Tim Urban: Inside The Mind of a Master Procrastinator.

Tim Urban has never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. We have all been there at some point in our lives. The deadline is tomorrow and you end up pulling an all-nighter. We are all procrastinators in Tim’s eyes, but he wants to be clear on the two types of procrastinators. He has a great way of comically describing his own insecurities with procrastination.

He touches on two prominent types of procrastination.

  1. Those with a deadline — a project, report or speech
  2. Those without deadlines — mowing the lawn, going to visit your parents or going to visit your in-laws

Longtime procrastination makes you a spectator in their own lives. He has an interesting calendar he mentions in the talk as well. He calls it a “life calendar.” This calendar has one box for every week of a 90-year lifetime. He mentions how we have already used most of these boxes and this life calendar doesn’t have that many boxes. “We need to all take a long hard look at that calendar—we need to think about what we’re really procrastinating on. This is that first step in solving your procrastination problem.

3. Carlin Daharsh: Too Busy for Productivity.

Carlin Daharsh’s TEDxYouth talk is about being busy versus being productive. “We wear the ‘I’m so busy and overworked badge’ like it’s a gold medal.” She explains that, “Somewhere we got confused and started thinking that busy is impressive — when busy doesn’t mean squat.”

Skipping meals, not knowing when your next break is, over-committing is not impressive at all — this is just stressful. When society makes it seem that being busy is productive we push aside the actual productive side of a task.

As a freshman at University — when she did this talk — it’s interesting to see a view from a younger generation on how to truly be productive vs being busy. Managing priorities and reaching out to those who can help us reach our goals is being productive.

4. David Allen: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

David Allen is a productivity guru of sorts. One of our go to’s during the day are writing things down. This helps to make things clearer for your day. “If you do no pay attention to what has your attention you will give it more attention than it deserves.” This is the way for David to give the example of focus. He sums all of this up to in three keys to the art of stress.

  • Capture your thinking – take notes daily for tasks.
  • Make outcome/ action decisions – for these notes and tasks.
  • Use the right maps – map it all out and then decide on the course you will go on.



Seyran Dalipovski is a Social Media and Content Manager at Simpliday – Meetings, Reminders & Email in One, a new iPhone/iPad calendar app allowing users to achieve an organized overview of their day including customizability and a perfectly designed UX. Dalipovski is an expert within the field of social marketing, with many years of experience in tech. For more information about Dalipovski and Simpliday, visit Simpliday.