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You Can Easily Learn 100 TED Talks Lessons In 5 Minutes Which Most People Need 70 Hours For

You Can Easily Learn 100 TED Talks Lessons In 5 Minutes Which Most People Need 70 Hours For

The other week I watched 70 hours of TED talks; short, 18-minute talks given by inspirational leaders in the fields of Technology,Entertainment, and Design (TED). I watched 296 talks in total, and I recently went through the list of what I watched, weeded out the crappy and boring talks, and created a list of the 100 best things I learned !

This article isn’t entirely about productivity, but I guarantee you’ll learn a thing or two. Here are 100 incredible things I learned watching 70 hours of TED talks last week!

productivity

    Productivity

    1. Studies have shown that what motivates a person the most (in non-factory-type work) is how much autonomy, mastery, and purpose they have, not how much money they make.

    2. Playing video games can actually make you more productive because video games give you more physical, mental, emotional, and social resilience.

    3. A lot of people aspire to be productive so they can become happier, but happiness has been shown to lead to productivity, not the other way around.

    4. You don’t have as much attention to give to the world around you as you think. You can’t recall memories while processing new data, you can only process so much information at once, and your attention is easily manipulated (like by magicians).

    5. Innovative thinking is often a slow and gradual process, not a moment of instant, lightbulb-like inspiration.

    6. If you want people to remember you, sweat the small stuff. Most companies (and people) do the big stuff right, so sweating the small stuff (like getting the user interfaces on your products right) can really set you apart.

    7. You have three brain systems for love: lust, romantic love, and attachment. To develop more intimate relationships with your significant other, it’s important to invest in all three.

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      8. When you create an environment for your employees that makes them truly happy(instead of just rich), more profits may follow.

      9. Your office is actually a pretty crappy environment to get work done. In fact, when Jason Fried asked folks where their favorite place to get work done was, almost no one said “in the office”.

      10. Taking time off can make you a lot more productive, because time away from your work lets you explore, reflect, and come up with better ideas.

      11. The greatest leaders and companies constantly reflect on why they do what they do, instead of simply doing it.

      12. Success isn’t a destination, it’s a continuous journey that’s made up of eight parts: passion, hard work, focus, pushing yourself and others, having great ideas, making constant improvements, serving others, and persistence.

      13. The key to becoming more productive and successful may be to fail faster and smarter, especially if you do creative work.

      14. We don’t feel fear because of a potential loss of income or status, we feel fear because we’re afraid of being judged and ridiculed. Any vision of success has to admit what the definition doesn’t include, and what you may be missing out on.

      15. IQ isn’t the only thing that dictates whether someone will be successful or unsuccessful; grit does too.

      16. If you want to make better long-term decisions, imagine how your decisions will affect your future-self.

      17. All you have to do to learn practically anything is jump in and ask yourself, “what’s the worst that could happen?”

      18. People tend to avoid conflict (it’s in our nature), even though a moderate level of conflict may be the key to better relationships, research, and businesses.

      19. Mass media is pretty much dead, so the key to making big changes is through tribes. As time goes on, more and more people are investing their time and attention in their tribes (like TED!)

      20. The best way to help someone is often to shut up and listen to them.

      21. A great way to kill two birds with one stone: have walking meetings, where you walk and talk to someone at the same time. It’s great exercise, and it speeds up the meeting.

      22. Stress by itself doesn’t affect your healthHow you think about stress does.

      Here are three other productivity experiments I’ve done recently: Meditating for 35 hours over 7 daysusing my smartphone for only an hour a day for three monthsliving in total reclusion for 10 days.

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        Becoming a better human

        23, 24, 25. Limits are bullshit. Some people choose to not be set back by limits, and at the end of the day, they’re the ones who end up giving TED talks. Like Neil Harbisson, who was born without the ability to see color, so he hacked together a device to hear color. Or Caroline Casey, who didn’t learn until she was 17 that she was legally blind. Or David Blaine, who pushed his body and mind to hold his breath for 17 straight minutes underwater.

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          26. Don’t worry – texting isn’t ruining your understanding of the English language.

          27. You’re not as rational as you think you are. One example: do you supersize your meal at McDonald’s even when you’re not hungry?

          28. Three keys to success from Elon Musk: Work very hard, pay attention to negative feedback (especially when it comes from friends), and study physics to learn how to reason from first principles (instead of by analogy).

          29. If you’re arguing with someone to win the argument, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.You should be arguing to learn.

          30. Like it or not, your body language affects how other people think of you.

          31. Great, committed sex combines two thingsyour need for security, and your need for surprise.

          32. Being introverted isn’t a bad thing; it’s quite the opposite! Even though society often seems to value extraverts more, introverts should be celebrated just as much.

          33. To save more money, commit to saving more money, tomorrow.

          34. Living an awesome life means having a great attitude (seeing the good in things), seeing the wonder in the world around you, and being authentic.

          35, 36, 37, 38, 39. 40, 41. There isn’t one secret to happiness, but there are a lot of small secrets that will move you in the right direction. Stay in the moment, and be mindfulSpend money on other people, rather than on yourselfSlow down. Take time to appreciate and see the good in what you haveLive a life that’s full of meaning in the short-and long-term. And change how you look at the past, present, and future.

          42. Your memory is a lot faultier than you think. You frequently remember things that didn’t happen, and remember things differently than they actually happened. Plus, your memories can be manipulated.

          People

          43. When it comes to classical music, no one is tone-deaf, and almost anyone can be calmed or inspired by classical music.

          44. The people who design book covers actually put a ton of thought (and art) into their designs.

          45. The biggest killer in America isn’t cancer, it’s obesity. 66% of the U.S. is obese, including a lot of children and teens, and 1 in 4 people in America dies of a preventable, food-related disease.

          46. Schools kill creativity, and the education model we teach kids by is significantly outdated. School should nurture, not undermine creativity, which Ken Robinson argues that it does.

          47. Students learn best when you make them stop and think, and bring classroom problems down to earth.

          48. There is a large difference between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance, and just because you are loved doesn’t mean you are accepted.

          49. People are powerful. They stand up to soldiers, show compassion when it seems impossible, and expose their vulnerability when it’s the most difficult.

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            50. Monkeys make the same stupid mistakes with money that people do, so our irrationality may just be rooted in our evolutionary history.

            51. Depression (and other diseases) can strike anyone, anytime. Including a comic who has basically everything going for him.

            52. North Korea is one of the most terrible and gruesome places to grow up. Citizens of the country frequently starve to death, are victim to military violence, and are shot if they try to escape.

            53. Violence against women isn’t a “women’s issue”, it’s a man’s issue that’s rooted in the way men view women.

            54. One of the most effective ways to cure poverty in developing countries isn’t food, cattle, or anything else – it’s giving away cellphones.

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              55. Every day, homeless people are completely ignored, abused, and made to feel invisible.Take it from someone who used to be homeless.

              56. According to data, women “systematically underestimate their own abilities”, particularly at work. According to Cheryl Sandberg, women need to sit at the table, make their partner a real partner, and not “leave before they leave” (step back from opportunities because of their family life).

              57. Some of the best designs not only look great, but also accommodate your other four senses. They should also feel great, sound great, smell great, and even taste great.

              58. We live in the one of the most peaceful times of humanity’s existence, even though it might not seem that way. This talk has the fascinating stats to back that up.

              59, 60. Good design has the potential to make people incredibly happy. And some of the best designs are the ones that tell stories.

              61. A little danger is good for both kids and grown-ups, and it makes you into a more versatile, well-rounded person.

              62. If you want to help people in developing countries, you better have a deep understanding of the values of who you’re helping. Take it from a condom saleswoman in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

              63. There may be another way to run a successful, modern economythe Chinese way. Even if you disagree, this talk is fascinating (it’s given from a Chinese perspective).

              64. The language you speak affects your ability to save money. Studies have shown that languages that are more future-oriented motivate people to save more money.

              65. Hard work is sometimes degraded in society, but unjustifiably so. According to Mike Rowe (the host of Dirty Jobs), hard work is worth it.

              66. The way we think about charity is dead-wrong. We reward charities for how little money they spend, instead of for the difference they actually make.

              67. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change”, and it’s one of the most powerful qualities you have.

              68. 4 a.m. is the most mysterious hour of the day.

              69. 30 is not the new 20. Some people see their 20′s as a throwaway decade, even though it’s one of the most formative decades of a person’s life.

              70, 71. Additional choice can make people either happier or less happy. Choice can make someone happy when the choices legitimately suit their needs better, and it can make someone less happy when it makes them more paralyzed (which happens a lot more than you think).

              A Year of Productivity is my full-time job for a whole year, and I have no ads on the site. If you find what I make valuable, please pitch in a few bucks! You don’t have to any means, and I hate asking for money, but it truly helps me build my site up and pay the bills. Here are 8 awesome reasons to pitch in!

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                Technology

                72. It turns out you can use two slices of pizza as a slide clicker, make music with ketchup, and make a piano keyboard with a banana!

                73. If your medical data could anonymously be used by any researcher seeking a hypothesis, there would be a “wave of healthcare innovation”.

                74. Since more and more websites are trying to tailor their content to you, you may get caught up in a digital “filter bubble” and not get “exposed to information that could challenge or broaden [your] worldview”.

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                  75. There is a camera that shoots video at a trillion frames a second, and the results are incredible.

                  76. Google is working on a car that drives itself, and it actually works very well.

                  77. A trend to watch: 3D printing. The ability for you to be able to print 3D items at home isn’t that far away.

                  78. Incredible things happen when you create an open encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Here’s the story behind Wikipedia.

                  79. There are a lot of videos about cats and twerking, but web video is also an incredible tool for learning and global innovation.

                  80. Everywhere you go online, you’re tracked; a lot more than you might suspect. Web tracking isn’t 100% evil, but websites certainly track you a ton, so it’s worth informing yourself what they use that information for.

                  81. Every electronic device you own is incredibly complex, with parts sourced from all around the world, so rebuilding anything you own from scratch is nearly impossible, as one guy found out.

                  82. You might put in orders on Amazon without much thought, but after you place an order, an incredibly intricate, hidden world of box-packing churns away to deliver your order.

                  83. Computers keep getting smarter; so fast that they often seem to be approaching (and exceeding) how smart humans are. But although they may be getting faster, they’re not as clever or creative as humans are.

                  84. Electrical sockets used to be shaped like lightbulb holders, because that used to be the only thing we plugged in.

                  85, 86. You can make plastic out of mushrooms, and the process is very good for the environment. This is great, because plastic has huge, surprising consequences for the environment.

                  87. It’s possible to stream wireless data from a light bulb (though it requires a line-of-sight between your device and the light).

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                    Earth (and beyond)

                    88. Fish are delicious, but the way we’re farming them is unsustainable, not to mention bad for Nemo. Luckily, there’s a revolutionary (and fascinating) fish farming system in Spain that solves this.

                    89. Some fish and other ocean critters are positively enchanting. Want to see what I mean? Here is 5.5 minutes of footage of fascinating underwater creatures, including fish that change colors, creatures that camouflage to fit their environment, and fish that light up in the black of the ocean.

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                      90. 80-90% of undersea creatures light up.

                      91. In my opinion (after watching this TED talk), one of the most interesting underwater creatures is the octopus.

                      92. Bees have been around for 50 million years, but they recently started dying en masse because of “parasitic mites, viral and bacterial diseases, and exposure to pesticides and herbicides”.

                      93. Flowers play beautiful tricks to attract insects to spread their pollen.

                      94. How a fly flies is fascinating, and according to Michael Dickinson, “perhaps one of the greatest feats of evolution“.

                      95. An asteroid 6 miles wide could end civilization on Earth in an instant.

                      96. The scientific odds are not against, but incredibly in favor of alien life.

                      97. One of Saturn’s moons has a giant volcano that shoots out ice instead of lava. And that’s just one cool part about the planet.

                      98. You can run a program on your computer that helps the University of California, Berkeley analyze radio telescope data for aliens.

                      99. Curiosity-driven science pays for itself, and drives incredible innovation for years to come.

                      100. Embrace the mystery that exists in the world. J.J. Ahrams has a mystery box that he hasn’t opened in 35 years, because the potentialof what’s inside the box is unlimited. which is worth way more than what’s actually in the box.

                      More by this author

                      The Top 10 Things I Learned about Productivity Living in Total Isolation for 10 Days The top 10 lessons I learned using my smartphone for only 60 minutes a day The Top 10 Things I Learned Meditating for 35 Hours over One Week 10 one-minute time hacks that will make you more productive You Can Easily Learn 100 TED Talks Lessons In 5 Minutes Which Most People Need 70 Hours For

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                      Last Updated on February 18, 2019

                      How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

                      How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

                      These days, in a world with cognitive, AI, and extraordinary advances, we have failed at the most basic stimulus: motivation. Why do I say so? Just take a look at these statistics:

                      58 percent of managers said they didn’t receive any management training as per a CareerBuilder.com survey. Only 12% of employees leave their jobs because of more money. Research indicates that around 80% of employees leave their jobs due to “lack of appreciation”. Due to fear of failing, more than half of American workers don’t take their paid vacations. 53% of Americans are unhappy at work (not engaged). And 1 in 3 are working in a field they don’t like.[1]

                      Archaic people management and HR structures are the root cause.

                      “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

                      So how to motivate employees and boost team productivity?

                      Here are 3 key things that you can do to motivate your employees and boost team productivity:

                      1. Run Your Team/Group/Company like a Lean Startup

                      The Lean Startup phenomena by Eric Ries has been socialized across millions all over the globe. In a nutshell, it is a methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.[2]

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                      Encourage Your Employees

                      When you empower your employees (or family members) to do what they deem to be best for a particular roadblock, idea, or improvement, you create magic. You create genuine trust. You enable innovation. The result is happy, inspired employees who feel they have a say in the grand cosmic stage at work.

                      Note that increasing the competency level of employees and coaching and mentoring them along the way is key. You yourself, need to do the same. Nourish your brain – and get a mentor that will keep you at the edge of your game.

                      Offer Rewards

                      Motivation is also intrinsic. The startups I have worked at offered instant rewards — not just fat checks or equity increments, but Oscar-style nominations.

                      The non-monetary rewards were actually more coveted, and grandiose: lunch with the CEO, tickets to an Obama fund-raiser, horse-back riding with a world-class equestrian.

                      Compare this to a dodgy, corporate, white-cubicle dinosaur that had a “yearly performance review” where both parties dread the conversation. In a world of instant WhatsApp messages, having a conversation about performance, likes and dislikes cannot just happen annually in 60 minutes. Employees need to be rooted in the belief that their manager genuinely cares about them.

                      Give Autonomy

                      Another key attribute is autonomy. Most employees start brushing their resumes and cruising LinkedIn when their hands are tied in their current positions: approval forms, long meetings, escalations, and more meetings. In the world of agile and scrum masters, deliberating for the sake of deliberating is poison. You will choke the very employees that giddily accepted the job initially to “change the world”.

                      Within a reasonable realm of assessment and deep-dives, trust your employees to do the heavy lifting. Give them access to the knowledge, people and resources that help them directly make the choices that will shape the future of your team, and your company.

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                      Eliminate yourself as the bottleneck – and interject yourself as a benevolent, servant leader that is the symbol of high-performing organizations.

                      2. Apply the 90/90/1 Rule

                      I recently saw a video by Deepak Sharma (a leadership adviser) about productivity and this principle stuck with me. Here’s what it’s about:

                      Devote the First 90 Minutes of Your Day to Important Project

                      For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your day to your most important project—nothing else. Do this for yourself and your employees.

                      We usually get sucked into the most wasteful, operational activities in the morning which robs our focus, and steers us into an unwanted rabbit hole. So mute your notifications, avoid the temptation to check your exploding inbox, and scroll your Instagram feed later. Instead, focus on that ONE thing that will provide real value to you, your team, or your business/company/home.

                      Apply this rule to yourself – and your team. Your team will thank you. Note: If you’re feeling really stretched for time, you can always hack the rule by testing out a “45/45/1” version.

                      A To Do Scheduling System

                      Another version of this is to use the Kanban concept, developed by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota. Kanban is a scheduling system employing boards and cards.

                      The most basic version is a canvas with “To-do”, “Doing”, and “Done” boards (or columns). Each activity or task is a “card” that moves from one column to the other. I use Trello (a Kanban-inspired app) that is a key system for my personal and professional life. It allows me to understand my workload, their priority, and due dates.

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                      I use importance and effort metrics (scores) for each task to understand what is truly necessary in my life to work on. It negates the FIFO (first-in, first out) paradox that has plagued millions of people. Instead, it allows me to take stock of what is on my plate, and then bite on what truly will move the needle for me, my team, my life, and my company.

                      With a limited appetite (at least for some), would you eat the veggies, fries, mashed potatoes and leave the sizzling steak? No, you wouldn’t (unless you are a vegan and ended up in the wrong restaurant).

                      Approach your work with a weighted vengeance – and encourage your team to do the same.

                      3. Align Passion and Skills to Purpose

                      The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, and gives you a sense of meaning, joy and passion.

                      “The most fortunate people on earth are those who have found a calling that’s bigger than they are—that moves them and fills their lives with constant passion, aliveness, and growth.” — Richard Leider

                      An ace team-member once told me that while she enjoys working for the company we both used to work at, she really hated anything to do with technology. She was more of a “people” person, and did not want to sit behind a desk sifting through lines of code.

                      What struck me was that she was in that role for more than a decade and had just spoken up. The good thing is she spoke up. She expressed her desire and interests. And it allowed her to get into a role of her liking within 30 days.

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                      Ask If They like What They’re Doing

                      If you, or a team member is frustrated, demotivated, or not performing at their best – one of the questions you should ask is whether they like what they are doing. Then genuinely try to help them get to the role they should be in (whether in the same team/company or not).

                      There’s a reason why 53% of Americans (and perhaps more or same across the globe) are unhappy at work. A butcher cannot be an ace salad maker. Pursue your passion – and help pave the way for your team. Unlock your potential and theirs. You will command and lead a supercharged team.

                      “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

                      The Bottom Line

                      Sometimes, passion has to be ignited. It is dormant, clouded by busy-ness, buried by wrong career choices, and plagued by non-supportive eco-systems. Some will climb out of it, but we as society — and in the case of business teams — incumbent upon the manager/CEO/leader to foster, grow, and nurture the employee.

                      Teach her the ropes. Show her the path. Advise him as you would yourself. Let them lead, and make mistakes. Do not fear them, rather make them the leader you would want to become.

                      For your not-so-great team members, understand that it is not personal, it is just not a good fit. Help them move on to the pastures they would be fit to graze on. Hence, hire slow (and fire fast).

                      Your team is a reflection of you. Boosting their confidence and helping them achieve the impossible is motivation. Focus on that, and you will have a productive team that you and your company will be proud of.

                      More Resources About Team Management

                      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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