How to work better

We had a major desk move at work recently. These occur more frequently than you might think so I’ve learnt to travel light and see a desk move as an opportunity for a change of scene. The previous occupant had done a great job of tidying up but had left one small poster behind. Did he forget it or did he leave it on purpose? I’m not sure but I’m glad to have it.

The poster which got left behind - how to work better

How to work better

This list suggests ten ways in which we can work better:

  1. Do one thing at a time
  2. Know the problem
  3. Learn to listen
  4. Learn to ask questions
  5. Distinguish sense from nonsense
  6. Accept change as inevitable
  7. Admit mistakes
  8. Say it simple
  9. Be calm
  10. Smile

Since the move, I’ve looked at this list several times a day. Each time I read it, a different sentence jumps out at me. In the midst of a busy day, it helps me find my focus again. When a particular task seems too complicated to fathom, it encourages me to break it down until I find the first step. If the list does nothing more than encourage me to stop for a moment, it does me good.

This inspiration comes from a list of phrases taken from the handbook of a factory in Thailand and stencilled on the outside of a building in Zürich, printed on the cover of a magazine and left behind in an office move. Impressive.

Today’s pebble for you: what inspires you and why?

I’d love to hear about your inspiration.


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?

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3 Responses to How to work better

  1. I love this, simple yet robust, it echoes some of the themes found in Kouses and Posners Leadership Challenge.

  2. Barbara Rogers says:

    Needed that! My inspiration— a friend who can get six calls a day on her mobile from a person with Down’s and answers each time with love and cheerfulness.

  3. Pingback: Good people bring out the good in people | Turning over pebbles

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