4 Awesome Ted Talks That Will Show You How to Get Stuff Done

how to get stuff done

Knowing how to get stuff done has been one of my biggest challenges in life. And the thing is this: is isn’t my skills, my passion, or my belief in what I have to do- it’s my motivation! This sounds crazy though, right?

I want to be productive, energized, and motivated. I’d like to do the things I need for my wellbeing, health and fitness, and for my relationships and family.

I also want to give back to the world, and to work on my career plans and dreams, to be happy and have time to do the things I love.

Theoretically, I could use every single moment of my day wisely- in a way that builds on one of these goals.

But these goals don’t happen automatically. I have to take action- I have to make them happen.

But that’s what life is for, right? After all, we have a limited amount of time. We have to make it count. And going on you crazy Tube spirals in things I’m not even interested in is not on my list of worthwhile activities. I always regret it and honestly, it isn’t even fun!

But when you know how to get the stuff done that you need to do, then you earn your leisure time. It’s well deserved! And you can enjoy it totally guilt free.

Because you’ve earned it, you can do the things you really enjoy- not doing things that serve one single purpose: procrastination

We live in an amazing world with so many opportunities- so why am I not using every moment to chase my goals? There is no reason that I shouldn’t.

So what’s the problem?

how to get stuff done

TED Talks That Focus on How to Get Stuff Done

These TED Talks will help you to tackle procrastination head on and to find the self motivation that you need. These are the best of the best for teaching how to actually get stuff done.

Each looks at productivity and self-motivation with a totally different perspective and will give you the confidence and tools you need to know how to get stuff done in your own life!


Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you don’t know how to get things done? Or how to get what you want in life? This is the TED Talk for you!

Mel says that getting what you want is simple…. but she doesn’t say that it’s easy.

And it is simple, right? We have the time, the information, and the resources to learn what we need about how to get the stuff done that we need to in order to achieve our goals. There are even people who have done it before that we can learn from. And we have access to all of this!

Mel talks about the ‘inner snooze button’– that you will never feel like doing it. In every area of life, when something requires motivation, she points out that the motivation is not coming! She talks about Activation Energy as being the force that’s needed to get you from doing something on autopilot to doing something new.

Ultimately, things will not happen in your head. You need to use Activation Energy to get the things done that will help you to achieve your goals.


Procrastination is undoubtedly one of my biggest blocks to getting things done.

My beautifully designed study timetables would be revised into hastily scrawled scraps of paper chunking topics into hour blocks instead of weeks as originally planned.

Tim Urban’s hilarious talk about procrastination helps you to understand why it isn’t always easy to do what makes sense- and why ‘easy and fun’ provides instant gratification while avoiding things that are hard but necessary. Featuring, ‘the dark playground’, ‘the rational decision maker’, ‘the panic monster’ and the ‘instant gratification monkey’, procrastinators will totally get his analogies!

He points out the difference between short-term and long-term procrastination. Short-term procrastination involves actual deadlines. In the end, the ‘panic monster’ makes sure the work gets done- the consequences of missing the deadline would be too serious otherwise!

But long-term procrastination is different- this is when there isn’t a deadline to bring the procrastination to an end. This kind of procrastination can very easily swallow up your life-goals. There is no deadline to getting fit, working on relationships, writing a book, or starting a business. You have to create the momentum.

This kind of procrastination can lead to incredible frustration, guilt, and regret.

This talk will challenge you to figure out what it is you’re really procrastinating on. Think about the long-term kind- the kind without the deadline. Be honest, is there a dream you haven’t yet started chasing?

This is something we need to be mindful and aware of so we can live an intentional life. Understanding and tackling long-term procrastination will help you on the journey to understand how to get stuff done!


Hugo Kehr shares that heart, hand and head must be involved to reach ‘flow‘ which he sees as the secret to happiness.

The 3C Model that he lays out in this Ted Talk provides a ‘diagnosis of motivation‘. This can show you how to get stuff done through key checks involving head, heart and hand.

For example, to check ‘head’ you would ask yourself why the project is important, and how it aligns with your key goals. To check ‘heart’, you would ask yourself if you really love the project, and what are the most pleasurable parts. To check ‘hand’ you would ask yourself if you have the skills and abilities that are required.

This is a great Ted Talk for when you need to take a step back and look not just at how to get stuff done, but to take stock of the things that you want to achieve.


Mark Adams busts the traditional argument of ‘productivity through sheer willpower’. Tomorrow is a fictional land where all human productivity happens…. but when ‘tomorrow’ comes, it’s the NOW. You’re not a new version of yourself- you’re the same person. The future self that will get things done will not arrive. Moreover, more information does not create change.

He believes that we already know what we need to do– but instead of doing it, we read more- we gather more and more information about how to do it.

The problem comes when we keep building the expectation for who we should be… and then don’t deliver on it. It can lead to a buildup of pressure and anxiety.

His theory is this: we’re constantly maximizing the present moment. However, maximizing in one moment can lead to taking away from the future- and the person you take away from is yourself… the version of yourself that you don’t know yet. The consequences of not doing what you know you must do can detract from the best version of yourself that you could become.

However, using contracts in life provides us with both rewards and consequences. They provide accountability. But hang on, contracts don’t exist just for promises that we make to ourselves… but what if they could?

Have a listen to Mark Adams as he talks about this massive mindset shift in productivity.

Thanks for reading!

These TED Talks have changed my mindset about productivity.

Even one new nugget that can help to show you how to get stuff done can make all the difference in chasing your dreams and achieving your goals.

Comment and let me know what you thought of these talks and please share this post if you enjoyed it!

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You can also check out the latest TED Talks for inspiration and motivation on a whole range of topics!

Freya x

4 Awesome Ted Talks That Will Show You How to Get Stuff Done

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