Are you a taker, a giver, or a matcher?

Some people only help when it benefits themselves, others foster transactional relationships, while yet others are generous with their time and energy, without asking for anything in return. Whether in their personal or professional relationships, takers, givers, and matchers achieve different outcomes. Surprisingly, givers display the most radically distinctive results. Are you a taker, a …

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The three types of burnout

Burnout has been traditionally defined as a combination of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficiency. When we are burned out, we don’t have the emotional energy to invest ourselves into work, we distance ourselves from colleagues and customers, and we may feel incompetent as a result.  While the dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism and inefficiency give us a …

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The mindful productivity audit: 10 questions to improve your well-being at work

A virtually infinite number of productivity books have been published, each with their own frameworks, strategies, and sometimes magical formulas to be more productive and more creative. Very few of these books combine productivity, creativity, and mental health. How do you get started if you want to achieve more, but don’t want to burn out …

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The educational and economic necessity of lifelong learning

Not so long ago, your career may have looked something like this: study a specific skill at a traditional institution, get a job corresponding to your profile at a company, and grow your knowledge at that company over the course of your career. Sometimes, an expected change may have happened and you might have switched …

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The problem with work-life balance

The concept of work-life balance implies that work is bad and life is good; it suggests that work and life are two dichotomous entities that need to be strictly separated and kept at an equilibrium; for some, it even insinuates that less work equals more happiness. In its most neutral definition, work is generally seen …

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The ambidextrous mindset: how to balance exploration and exploitation

People who can both innovate and optimize are an extremely rare breed. Innovating requires a taste for risk taking and experimentation; optimizing calls for an altogether different skill set, mostly reliant on refinement and efficiency. That’s known as the exploration-exploitation dilemma. Great innovators are not always great managers. This is a common story: a founder …

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Creative burnout: when the creativity tap runs dry

Creativity is fragile: it needs to be fed enough inspiration, but not too much, for consuming an excessive amount of information may destroy its delicate balance. It needs space to grow, but should not be forced, for mechanical work may lead to lifeless output. Despite all our care, sometimes, it seems to be gone: the …

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Activation energy: the chemistry of getting started

In chemistry, activation energy is the energy that must be provided to result in a chemical reaction. The more energy is needed, the harder it is to start the chemical reaction. In work and life as well, we sometimes need to get over the initial hump of getting started. For instance, it can be hard …

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The benefits of laziness: why being a lazy person can be good for you

Sloth is one of the seven capital sins. While it’s hard to define it exactly, most will agree it has to do with laziness: the disinclination to use energy. Whether or not you believe in such moral vices, most cultures see laziness as a negative trait. However, being lazy can have advantages—and many of them …

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High-leverage activities: how to identify your energy multipliers

We all have an absolute limit on time. If you add up the number of hours you are breathing during a given week, the total will be the same for every single living human being on the planet, whatever their occupation or personal situation: 168 hours per week. Remove the weekends, and that’s 120 hours. …

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