5 TED Talks that’ll change how you think about work-life balance

Busting myths and tackling pertinent issues, these talks will give you a fresh perspective on your personal and professional life. By Satyaki Sarkar

When it comes to achieving the perfect work-life balance, the debates and opinions around it are innumerable. While countless professionals argue that balancing your career and personal life is of the utmost importance towards overall happiness, others swear that there is no such thing and the very idea of work-life balance is impractical and a fool’s dream. However, there is a lot that one can learn from the tonnes of research and science done to develop deeper insights into this topic. Watch these informative TED Talks to know the depth of the impact it has on your life, towards happiness and success, and even on how it affects the way companies operate.


1. Dan Thurmon: “Off-Balance On Purpose: The Future of Engagement and Work-Life Balance”
Meet Dan Thurmon, a world-renown Hall of Fame keynote speaker, who is also an author, entrepreneur, fitness advocate, acrobat, unicyclist, and drummer—all at 40! In this TED talk, Dan tells us that work-life balance is a theory that, as intriguing as it is, is completely unrealistic. He goes on to say that the idea of work-life balance is so alluring that we devote our entire lives to achieving it, thinking that if we work harder or smarter, and keep trying, maybe someday, we will achieve it, and all will be okay. However, the reality is that perfect balance is sadly, just a myth and a wild goose chase, and that instead of making your life easier, it can have an incredibly detrimental effect on both your personal and professional life.
Watch it here


2. Nigel Marsh: “How to Make Work-Life Balance Work”
Contrary to Dan, renowned author and marketer Nigel March has a completely different view. He feels that not only is it a reality and an achievable possibility, but it is up to the employee to make it work for him. Dan tells us that if we do not take control and design our life the way we want, someone else will do it for us, and the results might not be something we would appreciate. While it is too important a thing to leave to our employer, it doesn’t mean that you need to completely transform your life, personal or professional. All you need to do is invest in little ways in the correct places, and you can transform your quality of life, and even achieve the fabled ‘ideal day’ that everyone is running towards.
Watch it here


3. Michelle Ryan: “Work-Life Balance: Balancing Time or Balancing Identity?”
Dealing with a very important topic, Michelle Ryan, Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology and Dean of Postgraduate Research at the University of Exeter, UK, and Professor of Diversity at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, speaks about women’s pursuit of work-life balance. Many believe that women are selective about the career they choose due to the long work hours and sacrifices that it might demand, making it seem like women are less ambitious and more inclined towards achieving work-life balance than men. However, using scientific research and comparative studies on both genders on ambition and work-life balance, Michelle talks about the complexities of these decisions, and dispels the confusion, once and for all.
Watch it here


4. Stefan Sagmeister: “The Power of Time Off”
Renowned New York-based graphic designer and typographer, Stefan Sagmeister is also the co-founder of the prestigious design firm Sagmeister & Walsh Inc. In this TED Talk, Stefan speaks about how, every seven years, he shuts down his studio, giving all his employees an entire yearlong sabbatical. However, he doesn’t just do this because it’s fun. Stephan’s motive is to allow himself and his team to refresh their creative outlook so that they do not get stuck in a rut and their work doesn’t lose its creative essence. He also speaks about how he came about this idea, emphasising the immense importance of taking time off for yourself.
Watch it here


5. Shawn Anchor: “The Happy Secret to Better Work”
Shawn Anchor is a renowned American author and speaker, widely known for endorsing positive psychology, but most importantly, he is a researcher of happiness. As such, there are probably very few other people in the world who have as much insight and knowledge on the subject. In this TED Talk, Shawn speaks about how he has discovered that the popular belief that we need to work hard in order to be happy is the complete opposite of the reality. Long-term happiness is not predicted by the outside world, but rather, by the way our brains perceive and process the world. As such, if we can change the way we look at our life, we can not only change our happiness, but even affect how successful we are at our work and in our personal lives. Full of funny anecdotes and witty one-liners, this riveting TED talk will teach you how happiness can inspire one to become more productive.
Watch it here  

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


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