You don’t need to read a stack of instructional books to learn a thing or two about how to maximize your efficiency at work. We’ve trawled through Youtube to create this round-up of great videos about office productivity tools, from in-depth Ted Talks exploring the science behind motivation to a collection of quick, fun tips if you want to pick up something new, fast.
1. BuzzFeed: Seven Brain Hacks to Improve Your Productivity
Sometimes the tiniest changes can make a difference. In this brief video, the team over at BuzzFeed suggest a few simple behavioural adjustments that can dramatically alter your work day. At just under two-and-a-half minutes, it’s the easiest guide out there.
2. Kathleen Eisenhardt: Effective people think simply
Stanford University professor Kathleen Eisenhardt gives this short presentation on why it’s important to take a simple, clear-headed approach to your work. It’s all about balance – her fascinating research shows that product development teams will quickly derail if they are forced to operate according to complicated rules, but teams with no rules at all will never get started, either. The secret is somewhere in the middle.
3. Wellcast: How to manage your time better
Unfortunately, we can’t squeeze more than 24 hours into a day. But getting things done isn’t necessarily about having more time, it’s about learning how to manage your time effectively. This quirky, animated clip from Wellcast offers up some handy tips for good time management.
4. Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk.
There’s never been a better argument for leaving your desk in the name of productivity. This short Ted Talk clip makes a quick case for turning one-on-one meetings into “walking meetings” that let ideas flow while you talk – making your work day a happier and healthier one.
If you have time to dig deep into the science behind office productivity tools, Ted Talks offer detailed, in-depth presentations from experts about what keeps us motivated and efficient. Here are our top recommendations:
1. Paolo Cardini: Monotasking, not multitasking.
Paolo Cardini, a designer, busts the myth that multitasking people are the most highly productive people. In this funny, lively talk, he talks about the advantages of focusing on one task at a time. Monotasking, he says, will mean you get the job done more efficiently, because you’re not tiring out your brain by taking on multiple activities at once.
2. Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation
Career analyst Dan Pink breaks down the science behind motivation in his Ted Talk The Puzzle of Motivation. According to Pink, traditional carrot-and-stick approaches such as cash incentives and threats don’t actually get people to perform at peak efficiency. Instead, he proposes a new operating system centered on “autonomy, mastery and purpose” – the drive to do things for their own sake, because the purpose matters to you. Pink says that this is the best way to motivate people to get creative about solving complex problems. It’s a fascinating watch, prompting you to think about new ways of motivating a team.
3. Simon Sinek: How good leaders inspire action
Why are some leaders able to inspire people to action, while others are not? In this talk, leadership expert Simon Sinek draws on examples of renowned leaders and innovators such as Martin Luther King and the Wright Brothers to present a model for inspirational leadership. He suggests leaders ask themselves “why” – why do you get out of bed in the morning? Getting people to follow your example, he says, is all about believing firmly in what you do and passing that enthusiasm on to others.
4. The art of stress-free productivity
If there’s anyone who knows about productivity, it’s probably the author of a book called “Getting Things Done”. The secret to effective Microsoft Office productivity tools, according to David Allen, is to cultivate a clear mind. The author argues that high levels of stress hinder efficiency and in this talk he offers realistic guidance for creating a stress-free approach to your work.