5 TED Talks on How to Improve Time Management

Time is the most valuable asset, no matter what your job is. Sometimes when we’re not too busy, then it seems that the day will never end. On the other hand, when we’re too busy, we would like to have more hours in a day. This is a simple example of bad time management.

We’ve collected 5 speeches from TED conferences that could help you understand how we perceive time; why there is more time than it seems; and what should we do in order not to waste it.

Laura Vanderkam: How to gain control of your free time

This is an interesting lecture on how to evaluate your free time, not to waste it, and prioritize.

As Laura Vanderkam says: “There are 168 hours in a week. Twenty-four times seven is 168 hours. That is a lot of time. If you’re working a full-time job, so 40 hours a week, sleeping eight hours a night, so 56 hours a week – that leaves 72 hours for other things. That is a lot of time. You say you’re working 50 hours a week, maybe a main job and a side hustle. Well, that leaves 62 hours for other things…”. Vanderkam proves that we have more free time that it seems at first sight.

Philip Zimbardo: The psychology of time

The psychologist Philip Zimbardo says that our individual time orientation depends on the way we orient toward the past, present, and future. He suggests to us to calibrate our outlook on time in order to improve our lives.

…The optimal temporal mix is what you get from the past – past-positive gives you roots. You connect your family, identity and yourself. What you get from the future is wings to soar to new destinations, new challenges. What you get from the present hedonism is the energy, the energy to explore yourself, places, people, sensuality…”, says Zimbardo.

Tim Urban: Inside the mind of a master procrastination


Procrastination, aka a habit of postponing things for later, eats up a lot of time. The blogger Tim Urban talks about his experience of missed deadlines, postponing tasks for later, getting acquainted with a “monster of panic”, asking us to think on how we spend our time.

…I want to show you one last thing. I call this a Life Calendar. That’s one box for every week of a 90-year life. That’s not that many boxes, especially since we’ve already used a bunch of those… We need to think about what we’re really procrastinating on, because everyone is procrastinating on something in life…”, states Urban.

Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk


During a short lecture, the business-expert Nilofer Merchant suggests a simple idea that might have a big impact on your life and health: next time you have a meeting, make it a “walking meeting” – and let ideas flow while you’re walking and talking.

…I used to think about it as, you could take care of your health, or you could take care of obligations, and one always come at the cost of the other. So now, several hundred of these walking meetings later, I’ve learned a few things…”, says Merchant.

Andy Puddincombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes


A mindfulness expert Andy Puddincombe believes that meditation and the ability to focus should be an essential part of every person’s life. He thinks that we need only 10 minutes per day for this.

“...We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it. That’s the potential of meditation, of mindfulness… All you need to do is to take 10 minutes out a day to step back, to familiarize yourself with the present moment so that you get to experience a greater sense of focus, calm and clarity in your life…”, believes Puddincombe.

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