Three weeks into the new year, you’d be forgiven if any hopeful resolutions have ground to a halt. Once the novelty of a fresh year has worn off and it’s back to business as usual, it can be easy to forget any post-holiday plans to work on boosting your productivity in the months ahead.

In fact, even with the best of intentions, motivation is likely to dwindle come January’s return to routine. Between grey days and post-holiday blues, employees are more likely to search for a new role than at any other time of the year – and for many organisations, that’ll mean stagnating productivity as priorities shift.

ted talk tablet working

Thankfully, the internet is filled with practical productivity advice to get those gears turning once again. And, as with building resilience or tackling inclusivity, TED talks make for a fantastic place to start.

So, if you’re looking to lead by example when it comes to boosting your productivity, here are five of our top TED talks on the matter to lend a helping hand..

1. The Art of Stress-Free Productivity | David Allen

When it comes to getting things done, says productivity coach David Allen, the issue is rarely a lack of time. Rather, it’s our engagement with a task – and the mental bandwidth we’re able to offer it – that dictates our focus on the job at hand.

With that said, Allen offers his own approach to freeing up mental space, making room for creative energy, and bringing our full attention to one task at a time.

2. How to Multiply Your Time | Rory Vaden

The traditional approach to prioritisation – that is, picking our the most urgent or important tasks and completing them first – may not be as effective as we’ve been led to believe.

In fact, Rory Vaden claims that the most important component of productivity is long-term thinking. What can we do today, he asks, that will free up time tomorrow? And, how can we use a process of elimination, automation, and delegation to create a more sustainable approach to productivity? Just watch the video to find out!

3. A More Human Approach to Productivity | Chris Bailey

When he started The Productivity Project, Chris Bailey set out to explore how we can make optimum use of our time, to dedicate more of it to the things that matter most.

From practising extended isolation to cutting down on screen time, Bailey tested out every trick in the productivity book – only to find the most success in an approach that favoured personal wellbeing above all else.

In this upbeat TED talk, he breaks down his five key rules to boosting your productivity, deliberateness, and stress control, and how exactly we can begin to implement them in our own day-to-day lives.

4. Productive Companies Don’t Use Productivity Hacks | Mike Michalowicz


What can beekeeping teach us about prioritisation?

In this talk, entrepreneur Mike Michaelowicz breaks down the importance of laying a clear-set foundation for productivity. How can we identify the core function of our business or role (the ‘queen bee’ equivalent), and what can this do to support our organisational approach?

5. How Pilot Checklists Increase your Productivity | Joe Diebolder


It’s perhaps no secret that an effective ‘to-do’ list can make all the difference to productivity – but what’s the best way to create one?

Captain Joe Diebolder introduces the Pilot Checklist – a structured response to aircraft emergencies – and how the same principles can be put to use in day-to-day life; from morning routines, to work tasks, to even keeping in touch with friends and family.

In five steps, he breaks down exactly how to make the most of a ‘to-do’ list, and how visualisation, self-care and victory rituals all have an important role to play in getting things done.

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