Category Archives: Worklife Journal

BBC Worklife 09-15-Jan-2021: Why Self-Compassion – Not Self-Esteem – Leads To Success

Worklifefeed_BBC Worklife 09-15-JAN-2021 Why self-compassion – not self-esteem – leads to success

Episode: BBC Worklife 09-15-JAN-2021

Topic 1: Why self-compassion – not self-esteem – leads to success.

Extract: A wealth of research shows that self-criticism often backfires – badly. Besides increasing our unhappiness and stress levels, it can increase procrastination and makes us even less able to achieve our goals in the future.

Instead of chastising ourselves, we should practice self-compassion. That is, we should give greater forgiveness for our mistakes, and make a deliberate effort to take care of ourselves throughout times of disappointment or embarrassment. 

“Self-esteem is contingent on success and people liking you, so it is not very stable. You could have it on a good day but lose it on a bad day.”

Kristin Neff
Image credit: Alamy

Measure how much you are cultivating self-compassion. On a scale of 1 (almost never) to 5 (almost always), rate yourself on the statements below:

  • I try to be loving toward myself when I’m feeling emotional pain
  • I try to see my failings as part of the human condition
  • When something painful happens, I try to take a balanced view of the situation


  • I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies
  • When I think about my inadequacies, it tends to make me feel more separate and cut off from the rest of the world
  • When I’m feeling down, I tend to obsess and fixate on everything that’s wrong

The more you agree with the first set of statements, and the less you agree with the second set of statements, the higher your self-compassion.

For many of us, the struggles of isolation, remote working and caring for the people we love have provided the perfect breeding ground for self-criticism and doubt. While we cannot eliminate those stresses, we can at least change the ways we view ourselves, giving us the resilience to face the challenges head on.

Topic 2: Why living with and tending plants is good for you

Extract: Both Millennials and Gen Z grew up in a landscape that was increasingly obsessed with living online. This then continued into adulthood. “We took jobs that were increasingly online, and expected instant gratification from apps on our phones: dating, takeaways, cabs, handymen – everything could be gleaned swiftly.” 

credit: Hilton Carter/ CICO Books

And the antidote to that fast and furious digital life? Tending houseplants and gardening. “With gardening, nothing is instant. Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing can be tapped on a phone. It is a slow, physical, and patience-testing activity. All of which I personally find hugely relaxing when the rest of my life is so rapidly paced.”

“In a sense, having plants is like having pets – they bring you joy, but they also need love and attention. And having this living thing in your home, makes you focus on the daily caring for something that you’re now bonded to. There’s something in the caring process that’s therapeutic. You can use it to meditate or escape. And for two hours once a week, completely zone out.”

“Plants are like people, they need your help. Without you they don’t live.”

Sue Stuart-Smith

For younger generations, the lack of gardens and high-rise living in cities has led to a “disconnection” with nature. Houseplants are a way to re-connect with nature, and emotionally, they are helpful to mental wellbeing. 

Being in the presence of indoor plants – or looking at scenes of nature – have prompted people to make decisions that showed higher levels of generosity and trust, and had a sociability effect.

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Welcome to Worklife Feed articles and site-files indexing and adaptation series. BBC Worklife 09-15-JAN-2021

BBC Worklife 01-08-JAN-2021: Why Our Pursuit of Happiness is Flawed

Episode: BBC Worklife 01-08-JAN-2021

Topic 1: Why our pursuit of happiness may be flawed.

Extract: What do you want from life? You’ve probably had the opportunity and the cause to ask yourself that question recently. Perhaps you want to spend more time with your family, or get a more fulfilling and secure job, or improve your health. But why do you want those things?

Chances are that your answer will come down to one thing: happiness.

“Happiness is not an emotional state so much as it is the excellence of the relations we cultivate with other people.”

worklifefeed_BBC Worklife 01-08-JAN-2021
credit: Mike Kemp/ Getty Images

A life with loving attachments has been shown to be linked to happiness but it can also cause us great pain.”

Like the two quotes above, is life too a bed of contradictions?

Topic 2: How ’15-minute cities’ will change the way we socialise.

Extract: When the pandemic shuttered city centres, he says, it showed how important social links are – but through a different prism. “Many people never visited shops close to their homes before because they were busy. They didn’t know their neighbours or the parks nearby. The pandemic made us discover this. We have rediscovered locality, and this has improved quality of life.”

credit: City of Paris

The two-month lockdown that began confined her to a 1km radius of her home gave her a nuanced, enriching view of her neighbourhood. “I discovered it’s possible to feel like you’re in a small village in Paris,” she says.

“To get to know your neighbours, to maintain good links with shopkeepers, to favour local craftsmen and shops over large supermarkets. I even joined a citizens’ movement where people prepare food baskets for homeless people. I thought I would have a hard time living the lockdown, but I was perfectly at home, in a quiet place.”

“We know sometimes large cities can be tiring and can create a sense of anonymity,”

 “Unexpectedly, this experience strengthened the bonds I had with some people. It led me to criss-cross the small streets of my district more than usual and thus to discover magnificent places just a stone’s throw from my home.”

The ‘15-minute city. The concept is to improve the quality of life by creating cities where everything a resident needs can be reached within a quarter of an hour by foot or bike. The 15-minute city requires minimal travel among housing, offices, restaurants, parks, hospitals, and cultural venues. Each neighbourhood should fulfil six social functions: living, working, supplying, caring, learning, and enjoying.

Topic 3: The saboteurs you can hire to end your relationship

credit: Alamy

Extract: In Japan, you can pay private agents called ‘wakaresaseya’ to seduce your spouse or their partner.

Hiring a wakaresaseya helps you avoid confrontation. It’s a way in the short term of resolving a difficult situation without conflict. There’s a market for everything in Japan. This includes a variety of relationship-based services like renting faux family members. There are additional services offered by wakaresaseya firms, such as assistance with romantic reconciliation, separating a child from an unsuitable girlfriend or boyfriend, or preventing revenge porn.

The continuing existence of the wakaresaseya industry suggests that money and deception may be uncomfortably threaded into relationships more often than people recognise.

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Welcome to Worklife Feed articles and site-files indexing and adaptation series. BBC Worklife 01-08-JAN-2021

Productivity Is About Your Systems, Not Your People

Productivity Is About Your Systems, Not Your People

Click to read: Productivity Is About Your Systems, Not Your People

Source: Harvard Business Review

Snippets: The pursuit of individual productivity is healthy and worthwhile. However, unless you work independently outside of an organization, the benefits of most “tricks” will be limited. To make a real impact on performance, you have to work at the system level.

“Complex organizations are defined by inter-dependencies among people, and it’s often these inter-dependencies that have the greatest effect on personal productivity.”

Make work visible in the systems, productivity is about your systems. Most of the work in an office environment is invisible, they are buried in people’s computers or their heads. As a result, it’s difficult to know what people are working on or whether they’re overloaded and unable to take on more tasks. Physical or virtual task boards (such as Trello, Asana, Airtable, Zenkit, etc.), can be used. There, every task can be represented by a card specifying who is handling it and its status. This enables a more equitable distribution of work. It also eliminates both countless status check emails and the need to cover that topic in meetings.

“Companies can make work easier for people if they specified channels for urgent and non-urgent issues.”

Align responsibility with authority. Too often workers are made responsible for tasks but aren’t given the authority to deliver results. This misalignment leads to frustration, stress, and overburden. The rule is simple: if an employee is responsible for an outcome, they should have the authority to make the necessary decisions. And they should be able to do this, without being forced into an endless string of emails, meetings, or presentations.

Also, employees should be allowed to make “above the waterline” (i.e., low-risk) decisions on their own. And only requiring approvals for “below the waterline” (high-risk) decisions.

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What To Do If Your Main Squeeze Puts Work Before Your Relationship

What To Do If Your Main Squeeze Puts Work Before Your Relationship

It is not about infidelity, but it is lonely when the one you love most puts work before your relationship. If you are considering what to do if your main squeeze is putting work before your relationship, take a deep breath. In this article, you will be presented with suggestive steps that you can take.

Your main squeeze could have failed to appear at family gatherings too many times because of work. At other times, she may have promised to spend more time with you and not delivered because work comes first.

But has he said, “I’ll quit tomorrow,” but tomorrow never comes? Or has she stood you up or kept you waiting because of work? If you answered yes to these questions, your partner may be suffering from work addiction.

What To Do If Your Main Squeeze Is Wedded To Work

Kate’s work obsession became like a weekend lover.

She lied to her family so she could rendezvous with work at the office: “I’d tell my family I was going shopping on a Saturday and I’d end up in my office working. Or I’d tell them I was going to my girlfriend’s house. After calling my girlfriend’s and not finding me, they’d call the office and say, ‘I thought you were going to Dottie’s.’ I felt like I’d been caught with my hand in the cookie jar.”

Recommended: Work Infidelity Sabotages Careers And Love Relationship

If you’re the mate of a workaholic, like Jena, you probably feel alone as a partner and parent, as if you’ve been left with the responsibility of holding the family together.

You feel unimportant and minimized, even innately defective, because you get so little attention from your partner. You might even harbor feelings of anger, resentment, sadness, and guilt.

Or you may live under a distinct set of unwritten and unspoken rules. Rules dictated by your mate’s work habits: Handle everything at home. Don’t expect anything from me, because I have enough on my plate at work. Put me at the center of your life and plan the household and family and social life around my work schedule. I’m depending on you to do your best, be perfect, and not let me down.

Click to read: What To Do If Your Main Squeeze Puts Work Before Your Relationship

Source: Forbes

Want Worklife Balance? Give Yourself This Permission

Work-life Balance_Want Worklife Balance. Give Yourself This Permission

Click to read: Want Worklife Balance? Give Yourself This Permission

Source: Harvard Business Review (HBR)

Snippets: I have now decided enough is enough. There must be at least one thing that I can do. One simple idea that will bury this nagging guilt and bring some semblance of fun into my family life.

I have been running around for years trying to achieve success in the most critical areas of my life and I constantly felt stressed. I have no clear boundaries between work and personal time, and I rarely stopped working without feeling guilty.

Although I enjoyed my work and was compensated well for it, but the constant stress of overwork prevented me from feeling like a real success.

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5 People Skills Employees Wish Managers Had

Work-Life Journal_5 People Skills Employees Wish Managers Had

Click to read: 5 People Skills Employees Wish Managers Had

Source: Fast Company

Snippets: People don’t quit jobs; they quit managers. Often the problem stems from a leader’s poor people skills. While many companies today are recruiting for strong soft skills, that doesn’t solve the problem.

There are managers already in the workplace who lack these attributes. And developing these 5 people skills in managers is everyone’s responsibility. HR members at an organization are typically the ones who recognize it’s needed. This is because they hear the complaints or see the issues arise when someone doesn’t have good people skills,” he says.

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You Cannot Buy Me Love: Social Consequences Of Financially Contingent Self-Worth


Click to read: You Cannot Buy Me Love: Social Consequences Of Financially Contingent Self-Worth

Source: SAGE Journals

Snippets: Although people may think that money improves one’s relationships, research suggests otherwise. Focusing on money is associated with spending less time maintaining relationships and less desire to rely on others for help. But why does focusing on money relate to worse social outcomes?

We propose that when people base their self-esteem on financial success—that is, have financially contingent self-worth—they are likely to feel pressured to pursue success in this domain. Which may come at the expense of spending time with close others.

Basing one’s self-worth on financial success is associated with greater feelings of loneliness and social disconnection. And this may be related to experiencing less autonomy and spending less time with family and friends. So, you cannot buy me love, time spent together is priceless.

Note: Access to the journal requires subscription.

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16 Ways To Make Tough Workplace Conversations More Constructive


Click to read: 16 Ways To Make Tough Workplace Conversations More Constructive

Source: Forbes

Snippets: Whether you’re a department head or the CEO of a company, your role as a leader occasionally involves having tough conversations with employees, clients and other stakeholders. How you handle those discussions will impact how the rest of the organization sees you. The key is to make these talks as productive and mutually beneficial as possible, which can be challenging if you don’t approach them the right way.

What is the best way for a business leader to approach a discussion about a sensitive topic? Sixteen members of Forbes Coaches Council provide valuable suggestions and advice to help you make those difficult conversations less intimidating and more constructive.

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Dozens Of Scientific Journals Have Vanished From The Internet

Worklife Journal_Dozens of scientific journals have vanished from the internet

Click to read: Dozens of scientific journals have vanished from the internet, and no one preserved them

Source: Science Mag

Snippets: Eighty-four online-only, open-access (OA) journals in the sciences, and nearly 100 more in the social sciences and humanities, have disappeared from the internet over the past 2 decades as publishers stopped maintaining them, potentially depriving scholars of useful research findings, a study has found.

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Why We Need To Practice Self-Compassion

Worklife Journal_Why We Need to Practice Self-Compassion

Click to read: Why We Need to Practice Self-Compassion

Source: Mindful

Snippet: In the frantic pace of life, it can be difficult to keep up. Sometimes when we make mistakes or we feel we don’t work hard enough, we leave ourselves in the dust by thinking things like, “you’re not good enough.” If we’re not careful, a few harsh words here and there can evolve into excessive self-criticism.

This five-minute video animation from the London School of Life suggests another way to approach those negative storylines we jog through our minds. It also offers an easy self-compassion practice for moments when we’re feeling critical of ourselves.

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