8 Ted Talks On Work-Life Balance You Need To Hear

Rachel Ritlop, Under 30

Work-life balance is something people are taught to want in life, however, what it looks like in reality and how to achieve it remains a mystery to most. One thing most people can agree on is that work-life balance is rooted in many concepts like time management, success, and of course, happiness to name a few. However the actual definition of work-life balance varies from person to person. These Ted Talks will help you get closer to your own definition of work-life balance and give you some practical tools to begin working towards it:

8 Ted Talks On Work-Life Balance:

How To Make Work-Life Balance Work

Nigel Marsh teaches listeners how to take work-life balance back into their own hands. In his relatable, no-nonsense, and thought provoking talk, he shares the culmination of seven years of research on work-life balance. Marsh points out, that people cannot rely on their employers to create policies that encourage it, but it’s up to the individual to look at the various aspects that make up work-life balance (intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and physical) then create their ideal schedules that tend to each of those.

Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead Of Your Goals

Stress is on the rise in America, and in this talk, Tim Ferriss teaches people a “fear-setting” exercise to help them thrive in high-stress environments. The exercise looks at the cost of inaction across all areas of one’s life, which can serve as a powerful motivator for many in taking control of their work-life balance and time.

The Happy Secret To Better Work

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, shares what he believes is the secret to success in any area of one’s life. In his engaging and humorous talk, rooted in positive psychology, Achor showcases the importance of how the brain processes the world. How changing one’s internal world can impact how successful a person is in any are of his or her life. As well as acton steps to retrain the brain to scan the world for the positive.

How To Gain Control Of Your Free Time

Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert, studied how busy women spend their time. Through her studies, she realized time is highly elastic, and while we can’t make more time, we can accommodate priorities in the time we have. She shares practical strategies to “build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.”

Off-Balance On Purpose: The Future of Engagement and Work-Life Balance

Using a compelling visual example, Dan Thurmon showcases how work-life balance is unrealistic. Thurmon argues that people should let go of guilt derived from trying to achieve the unattainable, and instead live life “off-balance, on purpose.” By embracing and choosing to be “off-balance on purpose”, people have the opportunity to let go of guilt, and spend time learning, growing, serving, and improving one’s self in a meaningful way.

Can We All “Have It All”?

Anne-Marie Slaughter, public policy expert, explains why work culture, social mores, and public policy need to shift to create equality for everyone. “In the workplace, real equality means valuing family just as much as work, and understanding that the two reinforce each other,” says Slaughter.

Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work

This biggest question that Jason Fried, co-founder of Basecamp, has asked people for over 10 years now, “where do you go when you really need to get something done?” What he’s found is that most people say they are the most productive somewhere other than the office. Fried suggests how employers can actually encourage work-life balance with his suggestions for improving the workplace so employees don’t need to take work home with them.

What Makes A Good Life? Lessons From The Longest Study On Happiness

Robert Waldinger, psychiatrist and director of a 75-year-long study on adult development, concludes what truly makes satisfactory and happy lives. What he found, is quite different than a study he references at the opening of his talk, which found 80 percent of millennials major life goal is to be rich. Instead he found happiness and satisfaction in life can all be traced back to the quality of relationships a person has.