Tips For Time-Pressed Workers Who Want To Read More

Challenge contributor Daphne Goh, a procurement officer from the Ministry of Education, shares how reading has made an impact on her and tips for time-pressed officers looking to read more regularly.
tips for time-pressed officers looking to read more regularly.

Walk into any bookstore or browse book catalogues online and you’ll see many different kinds of books available. Before you start on a book to read, you may want to look deep into what you want to achieve and what subjects inspire you.

It may help to have a subject in mind when you browse the online catalogue. Then, choose books whose content speaks to you. If what you read sticks with you, it could be an indication that the book is worth finishing.

Some of us may feel that we have no time to read, as our days are spent tending to work and personal responsibilities. Here’s how I overcome that feeling:

  1. Read while travelling on a bus, the MRT or even on a plane.
  2. Set a schedule for reading. For example, you can set aside half an hour before bedtime to read. Even during breaks at work or lunch time, you can dedicate 30 minutes for reading.
  3. Instead of browsing an e-commerce or shopping app, which may lead to unnecessary purchases, use the time to read a book.
  4. Listen to audiobooks instead. There are many titles available on NLB’s Libby app, for example.
  5. Read with friends to motivate yourself to make time for reading.

Learning new skills is never a one-time or one-day agenda. As a procurement officer, I guide project officers on the procurement process. With advanced technology and a volatile economy, policies and processes will keep changing. I need to adapt to the changes and keep learning so that I have the latest skills to guide my colleagues and deliver impact to their work.

Here are a few books that have inspired and changed me.

a few books that could inspired and change you.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

It is not enough for leaders to know what they are doing – it is even more important to know why they are doing it. Simply following your gut feelings or a set of instructions without knowing the “why” behind them can lead to negative outcomes. But by understanding the purpose of your work, and the reasons behind your decisions and actions, you will be able to commit to them wholeheartedly and lead transformation.

Agile Leadership Toolkit by Peter Koning

Learning to Thrive with Self-Managing Teams

These past few years have shown us how important it is to be able to respond swiftly to change. This task falls not just to managers, but whole teams as well. In this book, you will find an Agile Leadership Toolkit to help self-managing teams thrive. Though written for a business context, the book’s insights are applicable to the Public Service and can help officers adapt to citizens’ changing needs.

Uplifting Service by Ron Kaufman

The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues and Everyone Else You Meet

In the Public Service, our “customers” are not just citizens, but our colleagues within and outside our agency. This book explains how organisations can elevate service by redefining what it means to serve. On an individual level, we can also start by having more empathy for our customers, keeping them updated and exercising more patience and understanding with them.

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    Sep 13, 2022
    Daphne Goh
    Liew Xinyi
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