Feel motivated at work – the quick how to guide

What is it:

Dan Arley’s engaging talk unpacks what motivates us to labour, to work. Dan demonstrates work without end, with repitition and no purpose is the most de-motivating.  At the other end of the spectrum, work which has meaning (not the highest paid), is the most motivating.

How is it different:

This is one of the longer Ted talks at 20 minutes. That said it is well worth it. To illustrate his work, Dan provides engaging and charming examples. 

How it can help:

Dan’s very practical talk provides interesting food for thought about motivation in the workplace. Below are the stand out ideas for me:

  • It can be helpful for us to think about our work as something meaningfull.  Such as creating something, overcoming a challenge or as part of our identity for example.
  • Effort that leads to an outcome has more of a driving effect than money – think of the furniture you have self assembled that you love!
  • Morph your effort when things go wrong – even when things don’t go to plan, morph it to another meaning to keep your motivation up.



Get Walking – Get Productive

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75 days ago, I set a 60 day challenge to walk 10,000 steps a day to boost my happiness levels and wellbeing and in turn improve outcomes at work.  The photos above are from my daily walks. I fit them in wherever I can – which is really great.

How is this different

I wanted to test the theories in the the Ted talks and see for myself and report back, rather than just curate what others have said. I wanted to answer the question, does being healthier really make a big difference at work.

How can it help

Well as you know this challenge was originally 60 days and I extended it to 90 days because I was so pleased with the impact. So what have been the benefits at work:

  • Greater levels of focus – helps with doing complex taks
  • Deeper sleep – great for early start sand getting more done in the day
  • Great way to mange change – in a work environment which has lots of change walking keeps me in a constructive mood.

Plus there are loads of other benefits:

  • its free-enough said on that one
  • its social – at the weekend I go on walks with my partner – its a fun way to catch up
  • its thinking time – its great to get out and think through things in a fresh way, a lot like Nilofer’s talk I highlighted in the last post but one.

Let me know how your doing. Not long till the 90 days are up!

Spend on your colleagues to be more productive

So you have been boosting your wellbeing at work, you are more productive and now you’ve been promoted. So what do you do with the extra cash? This talk may have the answer. Michael’s research show a clear link between spending money on others and increasing your happiness. This was found to be true in both wealthy and less well off countries. The amount is not significant, the link is still there if its a small or big spend.

Why it is different

Michael challenges the notion that money can’t bye you happiness. He suggest that money can make you happy – if you spend it right. It is an interesting look at  a new concept of pro social spending.

How it can help

Pro social teams are more productive according to Micahel. Teams that spend money on each other (rather themselves) are more productive and dominate there sector.  Also spending on others  like family, friends and your community will make you happier. He suggest a great website to sponsor resources in schools, check out http://www.donorschoose.org/.  Its an online charity that provides a platform to donate directly to projects at public schools.

Happy (social) spending.

Got a meeting, take a walk

Nilofer’s talk is about our sedentarily lifestyle. She reminds us that on average people are sitting 9 hours a day – this can have a negative impact on our health.

Why is different

This video is different in there ways.  First Nilofer doesn’t dwell on the negative. Second, she  gets to the point in 3.5 minutes (refreshingly short!). Finally, she asks us to challenge the choice between taking care of our health or, taking care of our obligations.

How it can help

Nilofer provides us  with an elegant solution that combines well-being and work: Got a meeting, take a walk. The benefits she has experinced are:

  • Getting out of the box (the office)- leads to getting out of the box thinking
  • Walking and talk – is  doable, sustainable and viable
  • Walk the talk – fresh air drives fresh thinking among people at the walk and talk meeting


Hope your 90 day step challenge is going well. Next posts I’ll update you on my progress! Happy walking and talking!