February is typically when we are all back in the office and into the swing of the 9-5 work day. However this year things are a little different. COVID-19 has meant that many of us are working from home and our office hours have become more flexible. While having the coffee machine and fridge close by and a non-existent commute are all wonderful upsides to working from the home office, there are days when motivation is seriously lacking. The good news is, that it’s okay to feel unmotivated from time to time, but for those days when you just can’t seem to get inspired we have rounded up a few books that could help. Self-help is a hugely popular genre and we are super happy that there is a continual stream of new titles being released, but it’s these ones below that we think will help you on a rather -ahem- unproductive day at work.
Make yourself a cuppa and settle in for a bit of a read… it’s okay, it’s ‘kind of’ work related.
How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices by Annie Duke
What do you do when you’re faced with a big decision? If you’re like most people, you probably make a pro and con list, spend a lot of time obsessing about decisions that didn’t work out, get caught in analysis paralysis, or endlessly seek other people’s opinions to find just that little bit of extra information that might make you sure. Or, you might take pride in your gut instincts and go with that. What if there was a better way to make quality decisions so you can think clearly, feel more confident, second-guess yourself less, and ultimately be more decisive and be more productive? Making good decisions doesn’t have to be a series of endless guesswork. Rather, it’s a teachable skill that anyone can sharpen. In How to Decide, bestselling author Annie Duke and former professional poker player lays out a series of tools anyone can use to make better decisions.
Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom by James Danckert, John D. Eastwood
No one likes to be bored. We avoid boredom at all costs. It makes us feel restless and agitated. Desperate for something to do, we play games on our phones, retie our shoes, or even count ceiling tiles. And if we escape it this time, eventually it will strike again. But what if we listened to boredom instead of banishing it?
Psychologists James Danckert and John Eastwood contend that boredom isn’t bad for us. It’s just that we do a bad job of heeding its guidance. When we’re bored, our minds are telling us that whatever we are doing isn’t working, we’re failing to satisfy our basic psychological need to be engaged and effective. Too many of us respond poorly. We become prone to accidents, risky activities, loneliness and we waste ever more time on technological distractions. But, Danckert and Eastwood argue, we can let boredom have the opposite effect, motivating the change we need. The latest research suggests that an adaptive approach to boredom will help us avoid its troubling effects and, through its reminder to become aware and involved, might lead us to live fuller lives. Out of My Skull combines scientific findings with everyday observations to explain an experience we’d like to ignore, but from which we have a lot to learn. Boredom evolved to help us. It’s time we gave it a chance.
Be inspired and moved by the words of Malala Yousafzai, Amelia Earhart, Michelle Obama and Banksy in a collection of great and memorable quotations from across the centuries. Thematically-arranged quotes from the most notable minds, orators, celebrities, writers and politicians that ever lived. Struggling to recall those elusive quotes and sayings? With this thematic approach, The Times has the answer with a selection of the best one-liners across multiple topics and including a people index to help you find who and what you are looking for. This is one of our favourites: No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.
The Quokka’s Guide to Happiness by Alex Cearns
Meet the Quokka. Miniature marsupial, tourist attraction and the happiest animal on the planet. Unique to Rottnest Island and small areas of the West Australian coast, these cute little critters have featured in more selfies than the Kardashians – no pouting necessary, just an adorable smile! Featuring stunning photography from award-winning Alex Cearns, and uplifting quotes, The Quokka’s Guide to Happiness is a gorgeous compilation sure to bring a cheeky little grin to anyone’s face and anyone wanting to break away from watching cat videos on Youtube.
How to Thrive at Work: Mindfulness, Motivation and Productivity by Stephen J Mordue
This is an essential read for anyone experiencing low level anxiety or stress, this book pulls together the various individual strands of business logic, scientific research, self-care, spirituality and common sense to provide a one-stop guide to thriving at work. The widespread ‘more for less’ attitude is creating a dramatic rise in work-related stress and a higher ratio of staff sickness. Not only does this create a fiscal impact upon the organisation and the broader economy but it has the potential to create significant long-term mental health issues for employees. You cannot always alter the demands of your professional or personal lives but, by understanding more about how your brain functions and by actively pursuing well-being techniques, you can enhance the skills that help you manage and succeed at the challenges thrown at you and reduce the risks associated with burnout. With a focus on improving mindfulness, motivation and productivity, this book offers sound, practical advice and strategies for self-care whatever your working environment and whatever stage you are at in your career.
The Demotivated Employee: Helping Leaders Solve the Motivation Crisis That Is Plaguing Business by Cathy Bush, Tara Peters
This one is for those of you that have a team to guide. Do you ever wonder why employees are not as motivated and productive as you would like for them to be? Do you find yourself thinking that some employees are just “lazy slackers”? You may be surprised to learn that there are other explanations for employee demotivation that you may not be thinking about when you are leading people. Authors Tara Peters and Cathy Bush have worked with thousands of leaders who are shocked to learn that managers and leaders play a significant role in causing employees to lose motivation. Without even realising it, we take all sorts of actions during the process of leading people and organisations, and many of these actions actually deflate the motivation that people bring with them to work. In The Demotivated Employee, readers will learn what leadership behaviours they are engaging in that might demotivate their employees; how to better communicate with employees so this doesn’t happen; and how to work within the constraints of organisational culture to help employees thrive.