person working hard
Hero Images/Getty Images

We all have looming to-do lists to tackle, scary goals to fill, and distractions we have to avoid today. But before we jump into all that, I think you might want to watch some of these TED Talks on productivity.

How does this not fall under the “distractions to avoid” category? Because unlike that Reddit hole you were about to fall into, these videos will actually teach you about efficiency, time management, procrastination, and all the awesome science and knowledge between them.

And, let’s be real, you’d much rather watch these than start your actual work.

1. Are You a Giver or a Taker by Adam Grant

What are the benefits of being generous at work? What are the downsides? Grant, a bestselling author, professor, and psychologist, studied people in the workplace that identified as “givers,” “takers,” or in between, called “matchers,” and his talk will walk you through what you need to know to help yourself—and your team—be productive.

2. How to Gain Control of Your Free Time by Laura Vanderkam

We all love a good productivity hack—but is that really the solution to our time woes? Author and time management expert Laura Vanderkam argues that “time is elastic,” meaning we can decide when we want to find time to do something. We just have to make it our priority.

Skeptical? You won’t be after watching this.

3. Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator by Tim Urban

As the creator of Wait But Why and a self-pronounced procrastinator, Urban was fascinated with his inability to focus on a regular basis. So, he decided to delve into the brain of a procrastinator and see what it’s like—and what hilariously accurate things we can learn about ourselves.

4. How Too Many Rules at Work Keep You From Getting Things Done by Yves Morieux

In his research, business consultant Yves Morieux has discovered that our productivity worldwide has decreased dramatically since the 1950s. But why? Because we have too many systems in place to get stuff done, which leads us to waste time on things that don’t matter. So, the key to fixing this is—drumroll, please—cooperation. If you’re confused, watch this talk.

5. How to Stay Calm When You Know You’ll Be Stressed by Daniel Levitin

As a neuroscientist, Levitin knows that sometimes, his brain fails him under stress. Which is why he’s a big supporter of “pre-mortem,” or predicting what might go wrong when you’re stressed so that you can prevent it beforehand—and be productive and proactive in even the most overwhelming of situations.