Single-tasking: the power of focusing on one task at a time

We are all juggling multiple obligations, roles, and responsibilities across our personal and professional lives. Multitasking seems like it should be the perfect solution when faced with multiple demands and limited time. Doing two things at the same time is faster than doing them one after the other… Right? I’m a freelance medical copywriter. When … Read More

Everything is aiming: forget the target and focus on your aim

We live in a world obsessed with outcomes. At school, we’re encouraged to climb an artificial leaderboard that reflects our test scores. At work, performance is based on reaching specific targets, sometimes known as OKRs for “Objectives and Key Results.” In this goal-based society, success is defined by how our peers evaluate our track record. … Read More

Habit trackers: does tracking your habits actually work?

We rarely lack good intentions. We want to drink more water, exercise regularly, or meditate every morning. Establishing habits, however, can feel like a struggle, and there’s often a gap between intention and execution. This is why habit trackers are such popular tools to help us stick to our goals. But do they work, and … Read More

The psychology of unfinished tasks

Unfinished tasks can feel overwhelming, leading to procrastination and slowing your progress. On the other hand, the annoyance of having all of these unfinished tasks on your to-do list may motivate you to tackle them at the next opportunity. These contradictory experiences are due to two effects: the Zeigarnik effect and the Ovsiankina effect. A … Read More

Temptation bundling: how to stop procrastinating by boosting your willpower

You know you should be working on that presentation, but you’ve been procrastinating. To make things worse, the latest season of your favourite show has just dropped on Netflix. Luckily, making progress on your work and indulging in activities you enjoy is not only compatible, it can make you more productive. That’s called temptation building. … Read More

Servant leadership: why being a servant leader is worth the work

Servant leadership may sound antithetic. Isn’t the role of a leader to guide and manage, rather than follow and serve? However, being a leader and being of service are not only compatible, their combination can lead to better outcomes than the sum of their parts. Instead of blindly following organisational goals, servant leaders prioritise the … Read More

Productivity addiction: when we become obsessed with productivity

The business and productivity app market is worth billions of dollars. Every day, there is a new productivity tool popping up, a book about productivity being published, and millions of people reading and sharing content related to personal productivity. It started as a measure of efficiency for the production of goods and services. Somehow, along … Read More

Using the goal gradient hypothesis to help people cross the finish line

Our perception of progress can impact our overall drive to reach a goal. The goal gradient hypothesis posits that our efforts increase as we get closer to achieving a goal: when the reward is in sight, we feel incentivised to reach the finish line. Designers and decision-makers can effectively use goal gradients as a motivational … Read More