My Top Reads of the Past Week: Happiness, Focus and Untouchable Days

On Wednesday, the world celebrated the United Nation's International Happiness Day. With the first quarter of 2018 coming to an end, it is a good time to look back to your expectations at the beginning of the year. Are you still on track? Did you make that change? Have you increased your happiness at work? According to the 2018 Hays Asia Salary Guide, almost half of Singapore's employees plan to change jobs within the year.

While the salary and benefit package remains the key factor for changing jobs, although decreased to 61% from 71% in 2017, a notable shift to non-financial benefits is visible. The UN's International Happiness Day website states: "A profound shift in attitudes is underway all over the world. People are now recognising that 'progress' should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just growing the economy. March 20 has been established as the annual International Day of Happiness and all 193 United Nations member states have adopted a resolution calling for happiness to be given greater priority."

I hope you‘ll feel inspired to focus on your happiness in life and at work by the articles I selected.

1. Why you need an untouchable day every week

Untouchable Days have become my secret weapon to getting back on track. They’re how I complete my most creative and rewarding work. To share a rough comparison, on a day when I write between meetings, I’ll produce maybe 500 words a day. On an Untouchable Day, it’s not unusual for me to write 5,000 words. On these days, I’m 10 times more productive.

2. To Control Your Life, Control What You Pay Attention To

Your attention determines the experiences you have, and the experiences you have determine the life you live. Or said another way: you must control your attention to control your life. Today, in a world where so many experiences are blended together — where we can work from home (or a train or a plane or a beach), watch our kids on a nanny-cam from work, and distraction is always just a thumb-swipe away —has that ever been more true?

3. 5 Ways to Counteract Your Smartphone Addiction

Short of going off the grid, how can we build better habits around technology—preserving its benefits while minimizing the negative effects? Here are a few research-backed strategies I recommend you implement at work and at home.

4. Why We Don't Let Coworkers Help Us, Even When We Need It

When colleagues display helpful and cooperative “citizenship behaviors,” research has shown, they tend to develop high-quality social connections, which can improve individual and team performance through enhanced coordination, communication, and shared understanding within organizations. But there’s an obstacle to reaping those benefits — social psychologists have also found that people often react negatively to being helped. As you can imagine, such views increase the risk of burnout. Some respondents were hesitant to accept help even when they felt they were drowning in work.

BONUS: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness.

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it's fame and money, you're not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you're mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.

About Timeo-Performance

We were founded with a vision to improve the world of work for everyone

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Through recruitment, training and consulting, Timeo-Performance provides solutions for increased performance of companies, teams, and individuals. As our clients are in the center of global business and often serve the APAC region, our solutions need to be sustainable in a multicultural and remote context.

Our joint venture with Akteos, the European leader in intercultural training, and partnership with digital learning solutions provider CrossKnowledge have therefore been organic and logical additions to our service. Timeo-Performance has been helping companies in APAC increase business performance since 2008 with offices in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

We love what we do, feel the Timeo-Performance experience!

As busy professionals, our schedules are often filled to the brim with meetings and tasks to complete. We can get so caught up with work that we might even forget our all-important lunch and power through dinner as well. Alas, we can only do so much given the 24 hours we have in a day. While time management is vital, being productive is another matter in its entirety.Enter time batching.


Isabelle Larche

Managing Director, Recruitment & Executive Search at Timeo-Performance

Isabelle is a Human Performance expert, with over 10 years of professional recruitment experience, and 15 years of Business Management Consulting experience. Isabelle is the Vice President of the French Chamber of Commerce and Trade Counsellor (Singapore Chapter) to the French Embassy.

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