A Neuroscientist Recommends 5 Books That Will Help You Unstuck at Work

Pop quiz: Polling organization Gallup regularly surveys activists about their level stress at work, When did Gallup’s surveys show our collective stress level at an all-time high? If you said at the peak of the pandemic, when many of us were in lockdown, struggling with childcare issues, risking infection to provide essential services, or worried about losing our jobs If so, it is completely understandable. This is also the wrong answer.

had the highest rate of workplace stress ever recorded by Gallup in June 2022,

Despite the COVID situation being objectively better now, the cumulative stress of the past two years, ongoing disruption and inflation, and a perceived decline in employers’ interest in employee well-being have actually put employees under even greater stress . In short, there are a lot of people who have lost their professional mojo.

What is the treatment? Experts have given almost a million and one exercises and tips. But one neuroscientist has a charmingly simple suggestion: Why not read your way out of your post-pandemic funk?

“We all experience the occasional slump at work when everything seems like a pointless drag. Luckily, there are some books that can give you insight and advice on how to get out of that funk,” Neuroscientist Joe Bithelt writes on Medium Before setting out five titles to help weary pros move through their current aimlessness and brain fog and get unstuck.

1. inspiration myth by Jeff Haden

i was thrilled to see inspiration myth The list is topped by biathlete by my forever insightful Inc.com colleague Jeff Haden. “The main idea of ​​the book is that motivation is not the main driver of productivity and it is not even necessary,” writes Bathelt. Hayden interviews successful athletes, business leaders and creators to discover the true drivers of productivity and gives readers practical advice on how to get their butts into gear even when motivation is lacking.

2. Patience by Angela Duckworth

“Grit has become a hot topic in psychology and education,” writes Bathelt, acknowledging that there has been some pushback against the trendy concept lately. But Bithelt is still a fan of this amazing title on this subject. “For those of us feeling in a bit of a slump, the book can help gain a fresh perspective,” he insisted, “noting that almost everyone hits the odds from time to time. “and it shows that “highly successful” people deal with it.”

3. expert by Roger Kneebone

“This book charts the development of expertise, drawing heavily on the experience of the author who has worked as a surgeon, general practitioner, and academic,” explains Bathelt. expert, What does this have to do with getting out of a recession?

Through interviews with a variety of experts (from a skilled tailor to a prominent hairstylist), the book details the up-and-down process through which true expertise is developed and “shows the hurdles that each step has to overcome.” Progress has to be overcome and sheds light on the reasons why people can get stuck at a particular level.” Batheite reports that after reading this, “I saw my difficulties in a different light … specific to the stage of my growing expertise.”

4. the flow by Mihaly SixzentMihali

Another class in the genre of psychology for a popular audience, the flow One of the foundational texts of the positive psychology movement. “When I was reading books on a variety of topics, including education, game design, and mindfulness, I came across the central concept of flow several times,” Bithelt reports. Reading the original source for the idea “helped to clarify the central concept,” he says, and find flow in his work. “I hope that many readers will find plenty of material to reflect on and potentially integrate into their lives,” he concluded.

5. pleasure by design by Paul Dolan

“While the other books on this list may reinvigorate your resolve to work, this book may force you to rethink your relationship with work,” Bathelt claims. this title, “One of the central messages I get from the book is that we all need some balance between purpose and pleasure. For some people, it’s a lot of purpose and some joy, while others gravitate toward the side. Lean more. If you force yourself to bend toward a balance that doesn’t suit you, you’ll feel miserable.” looking at her continued great resignationI think it’s an idea that a lot of employees could benefit from right now.

Good luck reading your way out of the funk!

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.