Connect with us


#BeInspired Mondays: When Work Done Equals Zero

Avatar photo



Hey Guys! IK Nwosu here! This column, as the name goes is meant to inspire and encourage you to strive towards achieving your personal goals everyday. I just want to share pearls picked up in the journey of life.


So, I was with a former client the other day. No, not a client, a consumer; his dad was my client. This consumer of mine was in Basic 8 and I was helping him with school work (call it augmenting what he’s being taught in school). Then he said; “Uncle, my teacher gave us an assignment and I cannot solve it; I don’t understand it and he has not taught us”. You see their favorite excuse? “Our teacher has not taught us”.

The most annoying part of it is that they put it in such a way that it sounds like; “Our teacher does not know it very well, so he skipped it, and now I don’t understand it. It’s not my fault.” Stop laughing, I’m telling you about some workplace “hazards” teachers face.

Where was I?…. Then I asked for the assignment, he flipped his note to the last page and I saw about five questions, first one reading, “If I lift a box of 10kg through a height of 5m, what is the work done, if acceleration due to gravity is 10m/s2?”

Formula for calculating Work done is Work = Force X Distance.

As you can see, in our question, there’s no value for force, so we have to calculate it first.

Force= Mass X Acceleration. That is = 10 X 10 = 100Newtons (Force is measured in Newtons). Since you are lifting the box up- defying gravity, the acceleration due to gravity is 10m/s2 – always 10m/s2.

So, back to our calculations, Work = 100 X 5 = 500Joules (Work/Workdone is measured in Joules).

You get it now right? Here, the Work done is 500Joules. Joules is the unit of energy.

For me, there is something missing. You see, sometimes, Work done is = 0 even after you exerted a force, and moved through a distance. Physics did not put a value – one I think is essential – and that is ACHIEVEMENT/RESULT.

Inasmuch as one is dispensing energy, when that does not translate to meaningful achievement, then that person has done no work.

Why did I lift a 10kg box through a 5m height? What do I aim to achieve? Why is it through a height and not on a plane surface or inclined plane?

Beating the air does not make you a boxer; driving your car into the river does not make it a boat. Activity is never the same as achievement.

This year, do not just get into numerous activities/programmes because people are doing them or because they are trending. Each and every of our move should be deliberate – a product of documented goal(s) and careful planning. Such actions should be taken with the “endgame” in mind.

Why enroll for a programme when you know you do not need it? Why not go for the other ‘not so popular’ programme that you need? Why attend events that do not fit into your “job/business description” and allow important ones (to you) suffer. Hey, don’t get it wrong, remember one man’s meat is another man’s kpomo poison?

Activities that do not fit into your unique goals should be at the lower end of your Scale of Importance list (or not). Don’t waste time on frivolities!

Therefore, my own formula will be Work = Results ÷ Force X Distance. This sounds funny to me even as I write it. So, when result is 0, work done is 0, irrespective of how much energy is dispensed.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime