When it comes to being inspired in your career you need a balanced life, but for many, work-life balance feels elusive. Because a happy, balanced life is something that everyone wants, this topic is often tackled in TED Talks, a set of global conferences on big ideas. There are so many videos it can be hard to know where to begin, so we’ve assembled the top five TED Talks to boost career inspiration and help you learn how to balance your life, so that you can come out on top.
“If you don't design your life, someone else will design it for you, and you may not like their idea of balance,” he says.
- The happy secret to better work. Most of us think that if we work hard enough, we’ll be happy in the long-run, because we’ll be able to afford all the material things we desire and have all the stability that that entails, right? Wrong! Well, according to psychologist and happiness researcher Shawn Anchor. In his talk he suggests that if we have a more positive outlook we will be more inspired, and therefore more productive, and this will make us more successful in life and work.
- How to make work-life balance work. Author and marketer Nigel Marsh makes the valid point that it’s up to us as individuals to take responsibility for the type of lives we want to lead. “If you don’t design your life, someone else will design it for you, and you may not like their idea of balance,” he says. It’s a simple matter of setting and enforcing boundaries for how you want to live. Marsh advises starting small, because “being more balanced doesn’t mean dramatic upheaval in your life.”
- Work-life balance: Balancing time or balancing identity? In this thought-provoking talk, psychology professor Michelle Ryan raises the complexities that women have to weigh up when trying to achieve work-life balance. She says the gender divide and sacrifices that certain roles require affect the way that women perceive themselves and their potential. In order to remedy the situation, Ryan says, “We need to look at the circumstances and the context under which women make these decisions.”
- How to succeed? Get more sleep. Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington gives “sleeping your way to the top” a whole new meaning in her hilarious talk. She suffered a broken cheekbone and received five stitches after falling asleep at her desk due to exhaustion. But after talking to doctors, Huffington found that the solution for balancing career and lifestyle is right in front of us. She says, “The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep.” It seems simple, but it’s true.
- The power of time off. Every seven years graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister shuts down his design studio for a year. He suggests that up to 25 years of our lives are spent learning and 40 are spent working, which leaves 15 for retirement. “I thought it might be helpful to cut off five of those retirement years, and intersperse them in between those working years,” Sagmeister says. He argues that giving himself time to recharge benefits him personally and results in stronger work that benefits society, rather than a grandchild or two.