The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: David Allen at TEDxClaremontColleges

  • Published on Oct 31, 2012
  • Productivity guru and coach David Allen talks about "Stress Free Productivity" at TEDxClaremontColleges.
    About TEDx:
    In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized
    Editor -- Jacqueline Legazcue
    Camera crew -- Jacqueline Legazcue, Sam Jones, and Ted Neckar

Comments • 612

  • Dave
    Dave 21 day ago

    This man has got some serious charisma

  • Hayan Almamsany
    Hayan Almamsany Month ago

    I've tried all of these and i still cannot focus 😭

  • Johan Greene
    Johan Greene Month ago

    The visuals on this presentation are awesome.

  • Zahid H Khan
    Zahid H Khan Month ago


  • nachtegael W
    nachtegael W Month ago

    As a person who battles anxiety, this is great advice.
    As a person who struggles to manage ADHD, it is SO HARD to block things out of my mind, ie focus, ie engage. It’s easier when I’m in a quiet room alone than when I’m at work with everyone talking and arguing in an open office plan.
    Also, just want to point out that not everyone has had an experience of peaceful engagement in a crisis, which this speaker didn’t acknowledge.
    I took a course in crisis management taught by a professor who retired from working in the UN and Red Cross, and for the course we read a book by Gisli Olafsson called “Crisis Leader”. Gisli writes that your ability to function calmly in a moment of crisis can be increased by having a plan, staying healthy, staying centered with your values, etc., but ultimately it comes down to personality. Some people freeze up and feel paralyzed in crisis, others feel calm and clear headed and can hold off the emotions and stress until later, and deal with them once the crisis is averted.
    Not everyone is cut out to be an ER doctor or a search and rescue leader, and that’s okay. And people may have some weaknesses that make engagement difficult, but it is something I’ve tried to get better at as part of coping strategies for anxiety and ADHD, and I’ve improved at least somewhat.

  • FiscalRangersFlorida

    I have his books, but found this to be very fluffy and most likely a low priority excuse to procrastinate.

  • HindEnLigne
    HindEnLigne 2 months ago

    I didnt understand a thing.

  • Richard Koenigsberg
    Richard Koenigsberg 2 months ago

    Brilliant man!

  • ana noud
    ana noud 3 months ago

    I summarise this as live every day and moment as it comes

  • Alex K
    Alex K 3 months ago

    I've taken more thorough notes on this than I have in my classes all year...

  • Eun Young Choi
    Eun Young Choi 3 months ago +1

    He seems to have pearls of wisdom, but unfortunately is a TERRIBLE speaker

  • Matthew Smith
    Matthew Smith 3 months ago

    Still one of the best advice and speeches I have ever heard.

  • H Edward Rodriguez
    H Edward Rodriguez 4 months ago

    You lost me at the story of being stuck on your yacht in bad weather. Most of us can’t relate.

  • Meniu Pariani
    Meniu Pariani 4 months ago

    Difficult to understand by David Allan Coe by David Allen

  • M K
    M K 4 months ago

    another BS talk from another elitist Ted talk speaker that has no real value for everyday people

  • rajath bhat
    rajath bhat 4 months ago +3

    If you are reading this while watching the video. You are not present !
    Go see the video!
    And then Come back. Cheers!

  • Mr. Blue Balls
    Mr. Blue Balls 5 months ago

    that karate punch lmaooo

  • Ammush rizvi
    Ammush rizvi 5 months ago

    i want to participate in coming event. can you assist me?

  • andthenifellinlove
    andthenifellinlove 5 months ago

    Nice video. 🤗

  • Landon Morgan
    Landon Morgan 5 months ago

    There isn't a such thing as stress-free productivity. Give me a break.

  • Cihan Baltepe
    Cihan Baltepe 5 months ago

    Brief Summary:
    - Getting things done is is about appropriately engaging with what is going on.
    - Crisis forces you to be in Crisis
    - You don’t necessarily need time, but you need space to …a. think b. create c. be crazy d. make mistake e. be chaotic
    and so forth
    - You need freedom to make a mess
    - Give appropriate due between tasks/actions

    - Make a list the things in your mind & Then decide what is the very next action about this topic (what is the project) & Create a right guide for the topic/projects (so you can see a clear picture)

  • Bee Good
    Bee Good 5 months ago

    This guy doesn't cook, clean do laundry and answer to 3 bosses. I to busy doing, doing, doing. I don't think about it, I just do it. My bosses love me. My cats love me, and at the end of the day as I practice yoga and breathe deep I say thank G-d.

  • Paul Aiello
    Paul Aiello 6 months ago

    He lost me after the story about the boat. Not a great TT

  • Sephora Terzakis
    Sephora Terzakis 6 months ago

    I will give you a TED talk in one sentence: People will pay more attention to what you say and believe more in what you say when you are wearing well ironed clothes. Do not fly with the same jacket you are wearing at the presentation.

  • mucella cetin
    mucella cetin 7 months ago

    I get stressed when you say it

  • Sebastian A. Stancu
    Sebastian A. Stancu 7 months ago

    He forgot to put on his list "iron sports jacket."

  • do nguyen le ho
    do nguyen le ho 7 months ago


  • Doc J
    Doc J 7 months ago

    The wrinkled jacket is a distraction. Look like he procrastinated getting it to the cleaners. As a sailor I'm a little leery, he's not using the right terms.

  • Thiago Lucas
    Thiago Lucas 7 months ago

    Started following it by today's afternoon. It's midnight here and I've been more productive today than I had all week, and I spent most of the afternoon just organizing stuff in order to begin, which I didn't label as productivity.

  • Terry Byrd
    Terry Byrd 7 months ago +2

    Rhetoric: Language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect, yet lacking meaningful content.

  • Dos
    Dos 7 months ago

    I’m going try it out I’ll give y’all update

  • MrKshesho
    MrKshesho 8 months ago +35

    Another HUGE tip I have to add on to what he was saying (all great advice, by the way): Don't focus on the end-goal. If you want to achieve something great, you're most likely not going to do it in a day. So after you have your plan, focus on a single task every day. Day after day, it will get easier. Of course you'll have your bumps, but of you're chasing something that really means a lot to you then you'll keep going. And eventually you WILL reach your goal.
    I learned this with coding. I never thought I was that smart and learning to code was very difficult for me. I used to focus on being a master game developer and thinking about how intimidating it is that I have to learn so much. But now I just put all my effort and focus on one lesson every day. And I feel like I can accomplish anything that way.
    It doesn't take you 1 step to learn how to walk. But eventually you learn how to sprint.

  • Kai Zhang
    Kai Zhang 8 months ago

    I am reading his book. It works folks! but you gotta really feel the need to be organized. Otherwise you wont appreciate GTD

  • PowerMad
    PowerMad 8 months ago +1

    Good thing Mother Teresa only had 24 hours in a day to spread her misery.

  • Colin Maharaj
    Colin Maharaj 9 months ago +1

    Are you appropriately engaged with your iron and ironing board.

  • Myra J
    Myra J 9 months ago +1

    This is so on point. I got work to do!

  • Andrew Pain
    Andrew Pain 9 months ago +2

    A few comments below, indicate that the main point from the talk, is to write stuff down. Although that is sort of true, there is more to this talk than just write stuff down. He talks about not blending issues, but focusing on things one at a time, because on an average day, you can move from taking the bins out, to helping kids, to business negotiation very quickly. He talks about therefore investing appropriate attention to each thing. He also talks about not accumulating things in our heads by writing them down, so there is space in our minds to remain creative. I liked his analogy that if your kitchen is a mess, how will you find the space to create an experimental meal for friends, something which in itself, will be a messy process? Thus keep things tidy - so you have space to handle challenges and be creative. I zoned in and out of the talk and feel it could probably have been whittled down to half the length - but there is much more to it than just 'write things down'!

  • Mr. Moua
    Mr. Moua 9 months ago

    the secret is, go fishing.

  • J. S.
    J. S. 9 months ago

    Note he said “every executive I coach”. This is the usual sermon that many highly respected people, with control over their careers, CONTINUOUSLY preach. What’s always left out is that he and those he advises are EXPECTED to manage their own time. When people have the LUXURY of managing their OWN time, wonderful things can happen. NONE of the famous individuals he names had to RARELY, if ever, spend time being micromanaged by “inefficient bosses”
    Problem is most people REPORT to people whom are not good at managing their time, let alone the tasks they assign to the individuals reporting them. There is NO ZONE, when the boss gets an idea about micromanaging and demanding something last second, due to that bosses low IQ, lack of experience or just plan old cruel personality. Until that issue is mitigated for MILLIONS of workers, increase productivity based on an individuals ability to manage time effectively is nothing more than a THEORY and sadly a pipe dream

  • julie fitzgerald-frangos

    I bet this guy knows so much about what hes talking about, but the talk just never got there for me. If you are looking for actual tools here, skip to 22 mins. Even at that point , the conversation seemed rather circular. I'm sure hes an expert , but the delivery was just not direct

  • Gumby The Green
    Gumby The Green 10 months ago

    Great ideas but they were hard to follow - too many words and not enough structure. And why didn't he show an example of a "map"? And why did he wait until the end to mention that his gf became his wife as though it was some big plot twist? I don't see what that had to do with anything.

    • Sebastian A. Stancu
      Sebastian A. Stancu 7 months ago

      This where you have to buy the book or get it from the library to find out.

  • Sanjay Yadav
    Sanjay Yadav 10 months ago

    17:30 where the point is made.

  • KB
    KB 10 months ago

    How rude, you don't have to call me out like that 😋

  • manicsurfing
    manicsurfing 10 months ago

    do what works for you

  • Jason M
    Jason M 10 months ago

    This moron is a fraud. He is too easy to break down. Here's what he's doing: he talks fast, too fast, and then he jumps from topic to topic within seconds. Speak Fast, spend five seconds on a single "point" then jump to the next subject in a simple schematic manner. Your brain can not process his word vomiting fast enough to keep up. You have to match what he's saying against your own experiences and codes and laws by which you govern your own life. Then, you need to find experiences in your past that are similar to what he's saying so you can own it, and apply it to your own life in a positive way. --- But, fuq head moron here is charlatan who knows how to sound like a big shot with all the answers, but you cant recall what he said 10 seconds ago because he's already gone through three bullet points in an uncreative schematic process. He says a lot of words but he actually says nothing at all. Much like how India people write web content. 400 words and they do not communicate one thing of value.

  • R Jay
    R Jay 11 months ago +1

    22 minutes of waffle just to say. 'Write a to do list" knob end

  • wapabidou tchoupitchou
    wapabidou tchoupitchou 11 months ago

    Cowabunga !
    (Thanks for the sharing)

  • Tricia Lewis
    Tricia Lewis Year ago

    This seems irrelevant. I am, and believe most of us are, appropriately engaged with work--however, the work never stops coming. There are never free days. I can never stop. Free time comes when I give up sleep. My so-called psychological downtime is when I emotionally freak out from computer issues or an extra project getting dumped on me. Then, all else stops while I calm myself down so I can get back to work. Of course my issue is time.

  • Jaroslav Blagojevic


  • Rishabh Dwivedi
    Rishabh Dwivedi Year ago

    I was about to skip this, glad I didn't. Thank you Mr. Allen

  • Paula Felix
    Paula Felix Year ago

    Very good! Indeed.

  • Annie Blogger
    Annie Blogger Year ago +157

    I have a huge respect for David Allen and his work. I'd like to add that if you're a procrastinator, like i was, then before even implementing any system you'd need to look at the root causes of procrastination first. The Procrastination Elimination Method by John Isaac has been life-changing for me in this regards. NOW i can use systems like GTD with more efficiency.

    • Max Headroom
      Max Headroom 11 months ago +1

      That's entirely possible. Doesn't change the fact that it's marketed terribly and will put off anyone thinking critically.

    • Annie Blogger
      Annie Blogger 11 months ago

      i beg to differ... i bought this book and it's been really helpful to me

    • Max Headroom
      Max Headroom Year ago +3

      Maybe that "Procrastination Elimination Method" is useful... but if I've ever seen a website that looks like a scam (trying to lure you in with time-constrained discounts and whatnot), it's John's website.

  • Maggie Tomaszewski
    Maggie Tomaszewski Year ago +1

    Bach didn't have 20 kids. His Wife did, dude.

  • Nicholas C.
    Nicholas C. Year ago

    i didnt really get it but nice work sha

  • Miriam Mydlová
    Miriam Mydlová Year ago

    This is such a great speaker. And amazing presentation, as well as content. ♥

  • Eileen Fuentes
    Eileen Fuentes Year ago

    I just put this video on my "watch later" Playlist. FML

  • Takaya in Action
    Takaya in Action Year ago

    really good video

  • jsun Proter
    jsun Proter Year ago

    I've been using a hybrid of his system for 10 years now. Its a great system. I fuse it with Steven coveys 4 quadrants. I don;t like his 3 minute rule for things to do.

  • Half-Blind
    Half-Blind Year ago

    The last step about Maps is a little vague. Can anyone elaborate on that?

  • X.C. XVII
    X.C. XVII Year ago

    Thank you, great talk.
    Someone that suffers from depression isn't appropriately engaged with life.

  • Lisa Gibson
    Lisa Gibson Year ago

    Cliff's Notes: You're disorganized and busy. So, write things down instead of trying to remember. Map out your priorities so you don't get in the weeds and waste your time. Reassess regularly. Saved you 22 minutes! You're welcome!
    A lot of these TED talks are 16 minutes telling stories about how we're doing it wrong, and then a 2 minute elevator pitch for at the end about how we need to get organized by focusing on the right things. Cool. Thanks.

  • Michele Thomas
    Michele Thomas Year ago

    I have listened 3 times. Will listen 3 more AT LEAST!!!. My best use of time today. THANK YOU!

  • Brett Price
    Brett Price Year ago +2

    This title & description box is missing a VERY important piece of CONTEXT here. David Allen is the author of a book called "Getting things done" the subtitle is -the art of stress free productivity-. If folks don't have the book or aren't using the GTD system this video doesn't offer nearly as much value. Personally, as a GTD practitioner, I found the video to be one of the more streamlined and effective talks that David has done.

    • Tesartmania
      Tesartmania Year ago

      Brett Price Thank You... 4 that reference, i paused the video i was that taken by his words, i need 2 find this guy & pop ur reply gave me the perfect solution. Ask & thou shall receive. 🤓

  • Fatima H
    Fatima H Year ago

    Bullet journal guys: simple😏

  • David Groemping
    David Groemping Year ago

    You won't hear much advice on Productivity these days that doesn't incorporate David Allen's content in some shape or form. Great to hear it from the source.

  • Abhishek Roy
    Abhishek Roy Year ago

    so much technical detail about boat and what not - I drop off

  • DDrummer
    DDrummer Year ago +1

    I need to stay productive and just DO it.

  • Chris Cox
    Chris Cox Year ago

    I have read David Allen's book, "Getting Things Done". I implemented his system of handling tasks and projects. I found that it increased my productivity and my organization a great deal. Even though it did not get me promoted to a corner office or C-level job, it made me much more effective and valuable. Clearing my mind of the hundreds of tasks that were ahead of me, I could focus on completing the next one completely and correctly. As Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters sings, "done, done, onto the next one, done, done, onto the next one"... Thank you, David Allen for helping the rest of us with your video and book.

  • Andrew Vu
    Andrew Vu Year ago

    try to be smart when using advanced english words, I literally watched over 10 ted talks and this is is the hardest event though is not science topic

  • Andrew Vu
    Andrew Vu Year ago

    wtf is he saying ??? my god can not understand his english,