3 TED talks to watch for a productive reading week

It’s half-way through reading week already here at Warwick. It’s meant to be a week for humanities students to get on track with their readings for the rest of term — but how much of that time is spent actually working? If your reading week so far has been a downward spiral of procrastination, here’s 3 TED talks to watch to get you back on track.

Reading week can look this productive / Image: Unsplash

1. Inside the mind of a master procrastinator | Tim Urban

In this famed TED talk, Tim Urban explores the difference in brain chemistry between procrastinators and non-procrastinators. He compares a ‘scan’ of his brain with one of a proven non-procrastinator. What did he find? Both non-procrastinators and procrastinators have a rational-decision-making-element in their brain. So what’s the deal? In a groundbreaking revelation, Tim reveals procrastinators also have a ‘Irrational Gratification Monkey’ in their brains. This surely must be what sends us down deep Wikipedia rabbit holes and forces us to watch dog videos on YouTube at 3am. Save yourself a few hours and listen to Tim’s suggestions to get your life back on track. Or you know, procrastinate some more by watching this video — what more harm could it do?

2. How books can open your mind | Lisa Bu

Let’s face it, you’re procrastinating already by reading this blog post. But you know you need help, and you need it fast. In just over six minutes Lisa Bu breaks down why reading changed her perspective. From dreaming of being an opera singer to being exposed to a whole new world of books across language borders, Lisa’s talk will inspire you to pick up your books and get reading.

3. The happy secret to better work | Shawn Achor

Energetic and refreshing, Shawn Anchor reveals the secret behind better and more efficient work. Underlying increased productivity is what Shawn calls the ‘happiness advantage’. You may feel that getting that essay done will make you feel happy and relieved, and yes, maybe that’s true. But in this talk, Shawn outlines why placing our happiness on the other side of success is not always the key to better work. We tend to believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards?