4 TED Talks to Help You Save Time and Get More Done at Work
Being at work isn’t always conducive to actually working. Interruptions abound in the office. One after another, they tug you off task, further and further from productivity.
Incessant emails. Pointless meetings. Chatty co-workers. You can easily find yourself drowning in distractions all day, every day. Will you ever have enough time to tackle your mounting tasks? Your boss certainly wants to know, like yesterday.
Make no mistake: To stay on your A-game, you need to be a hyper-focused multitasking machine. To learn how to get more done in less time, take the time (hopefully after you clock out) to watch these four TED Talks from proven productivity pros. They’re laden with efficiency tips that can help give you back more time at work so you can crush your to-do list and keep your eyes on the prize.
1. Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work
Shawn Achor just looks like an irrepressibly happy person. The longtime Harvard psychologist (who got into the prestigious university after applying on a dare) positively beams in his uplifting TED turn.
During his 12-minute pep talk, he argues that simply thinking positively and practicing gratitude daily can measurably boost your overall productivity. Before you go casting his theory aside as new age fluff, consider that Achor really knows what he’s talking about -- and he has the scientific data to prove it.
To cut right to his research-driven secret for happiness and better performance at work, jump to the 9:15 mark. Trust us, you won’t want to miss out on the hilarious build-up to it, though.
2. David Pogue: 10 Top Time-Saving Tech Tips
David Pogue, the prolific founder of Yahoo Tech and former New York Times technology columnist, doesn’t have time to mess around. The busy father of three pens several articles a week for multiple news outlets, regularly appears on radio and TV shows and churns out book after book.
In his rapid-fire TED Talk, he wastes no time sharing killer keyboard shortcuts and tech hacks you’ll kick yourself for not already knowing. You’ll be surprised at just how much time-saving knowledge he drops in five short minutes, Jedi Google tricks included.
3. David Grady: How to Save the World (Or At Least Yourself) From Bad Meetings
Tech writer and cybersecurity sleuth David Grady believes we’re in middle of a global epidemic of a terrible new illness. It’s called Mindless Accept Syndrome. It’s a common malady, he says, principally characterized by the involuntary reflex to blindly accept invites to meetings you’re not even sure why you’re invited to.
In his funny six-minute TED spiel, Grady shares one small behavioral change that can help you take back your calendar and, more important, save you from wasting away in another boring meeting you don’t belong in.
4. Paolo Cardini: Forget Multitasking, Try Monotasking
Is multitasking really a time-saver or a total waste of time? Renowned product designer and professor Paolo Cardini delves into this timely question with humor and humility in three short minutes. To illuminate the inefficient foibles of juggling too much at once, he lays bare the burnt barbeque aftermath of a crispy time when he played too much on his smartphone while manning a grill.
Cardini’s entertaining anecdote, which many of us smartphone addicts can surely relate to, reminds us of the power of fully living in the moment. The moral of his story is simple: To do better work, focus on one task at a time. When you don’t, you might get burned.
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.