Insight and advice


Identifying and tackling sources of stress at work

27th September

Surveys repeatedly find that many people report feeling stress as a result of their work.

I have written before about the fact that stress is not something that simply happens to you. You can take steps to deal with the emotional impact of problematic situations.

However, the best way to reduce stress is often to tackle the particular problem that is bothering you such as an individual colleague, a … Read more


How to cope with stress

30th August

Whenever I run a workshop (or give a lecture on Zoom) about stress, I usually start off by explaining that stress is not something that has to happen to you. Yes, certain events such as redundancy, relationship break-ups and illness tend to be difficult for many people. But some people help themselves to cope better.

In stressful circumstances, I’m sure you have heard that some people engage in a coping … Read more


3 research-based facts about happiness in work and life

2nd August

Ask people what they want in life and they often say that they want to “be happy”. But why does happiness matter? And how can you achieve happiness?

1. Being happy may help you to be better at your job
Some people dismiss happiness as inconsequential. For example, I’ve heard a few managers say that they don’t really care whether their employees are happy so long as they are performing … Read more


4 ways to ‘self-nudge’ yourself into achieving your goals

5th July

What are your goals right now? I currently have a variety of professional and personal goals about staying in touch with clients, my eating and exercise habits, reading non-fiction books, improving my Cantonese language skills, staying in touch with friends and family, and so on.

A recent research paper in the journal Behavioural Public Policy by social scientists Samuli Reijula at the University of Helsinki and Ralph Hertwig of the … Read more


Maintaining mental well-being during the coronavirus

7th June

How are you doing during the pandemic? A few months ago, I wrote about some behaviours that I have personally found useful in terms of maintaining my productivity and psychological well-being.

Here are some other things that I am personally finding helpful in terms of maintaining my mental well-being:

Work while standing up
Prior to the pandemic, I used to spend about an hour or couple of hours travelling – … Read more


Why and how does cynicism hurt us?

10th May

How cynical are you? Let’s try to estimate your level of cynicism by considering the extent to which you agree with three statements:

  • Generally speaking, you can’t be too careful when dealing with other people.
  • Most people would try to take advantage of you if they got the chance.
  • People are mostly just looking out for themselves.

The more you agree with those statements, the higher your level of cynicism. … Read more


Staying well and productive under the coronavirus

15th April

The UK – like many other countries around the world – is currently in lockdown. As a psychologist, I’m used to working mainly face-to-face with people – coaching people one-on-one, running workshops for a dozen or so people, or giving conference presentations to hundreds of people at a time. Clearly, none of that is possible.

Here are some personal methods that I have found useful for staying productive and managing … Read more


How to be 10% Better

15th March

Here’s a quick quiz for you. Please answer “yes” or “no” to the following eight questions:

1. Would you like to feel less stressed?
2. Would you like to boost your motivation and get better at achieving your work and life goals?
3. Would you like to lose weight or get physically healthier?
4. Would you like to make better decisions either at work or in life?
5. Would you … Read more


5 big job hunting errors

16th February

I coach quite a few people who want to find new jobs. I’ve been doing a lot of this recently and it made me think of some of the commonest mistakes I’ve been seeing people make when job hunting.

1. Sending the same CV out to multiple employers
Do you have considerable, directly-relevant experience on your CV? If the answer to that question is ‘yes’, then by all means just … Read more


Instant change: super fast techniques for feeling better and boosting your performance

15th January

Want to change your mood or boost your performance?

There’s increasing evidence that the body and mind are tightly connected. Of course we all know that our minds can direct our bodies. But the opposite is also true to a degree: what we do with our bodies can affect our minds – how we feel, how we think and how we perform.

I’ve written before on this body-mind connection, specifically … Read more


Have you set your PINT goals?

24th November

What are your goals in life?

New research suggests that most human goals may fall into four broad categories. Researchers led by Benjamin Wilkowski at the University of Wyoming used what’s known as a lexical approach to investigate the structure of goal-related words in the English language.

The researchers initially identified more than 140,000 English nouns; they then asked hundreds of people to rate the extent to which the nouns … Read more


Eat your way to happiness

27th October

Do you ever feel anxious, moody or depressed? Well, a growing body of evidence suggests that what we eat may have very real effects on our mental health.

A group of scientists recently published the results of a major study in which they monitored the physical and mental health of 15,546 adults over a 10-year period. A team led by Almudena Sanchez-Villegas found that higher levels of added sugars and … Read more


Here’s a tip to help you achieve your goals

29th September

Want to boost your commitment to your goals and achieve more?

Silly question, really. Because I’m sure your answer is “yes”.

Perhaps your biggest goal at the moment is to do with your work – getting a promotion, finding a new job, securing a pay rise, or reducing your stress levels, for instance. Or maybe your main goal is to do with your personal life – finding someone to date, … Read more


How to do a quick career checkup

1st September

It’s worth doing a quick checkup on your career every now and again. Perhaps you have just had a long holiday and a relatively quiet period at work. Or maybe you have had the opposite – a very busy or even stressful period at work. Whenever you feel as if you have either fallen into a rut or need to check how things are going, here are a few quick … Read more


OUTSTANDING: featuring me, Rob Yeung

4th August

Lots of magazines have question and answer sections in which the magazine asks the same set of questions every issue of different people.

So I thought I would set up my own simple set of questions based around the theme of things that are OUTSTANDING. Then, I will occasionally get interesting people to share some of their insights, too. But in this first instance, I’m going to answer my own … Read more


More networking tips for introverts

7th July

You know that networking matters. You don’t need me to tell you that again.

I have previously written networking tips for introverts on this site. However, a new journalist recently asked me some different questions about networking, so I thought I would post my answers to her questions in full:

‘Why do so many people hate networking?’
Introverts in particular find it emotionally draining when they have to engage with … Read more