100 incredible things I learned watching 70 hours of TED talks last week | A Year Of Productivity
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 last week!
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!
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 inspire 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 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.
8. When you create an environment for your employees that makes them truly happy(instead of just rich), more profits will 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 on 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, great ideas, 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 it’s 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 they 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 itself).
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. Great exercise, and it speeds up the meeting.
22. Stress by itself doesn’t affect your health. How you think about stress does.
23, 24, 25. Limits are bullshit. Some people choose to not be pushed 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 with 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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