Did you know that being more aware of your natural habits and tendencies can bring you more happiness and productivity in your career?
In service to you, I thought I’d start the year off with some of the best productivity ideas I’ve read recently – simple ways of thinking about how each of us goes about our day that can have a big impact on the pleasure and satisfaction we derive from our activities, both at work and at play. Many of us suffer a bit of let-down in January following the “festive season”, and feeling compelled to create and follow New Year’s Resolutions coupled with the weather can contribute to a lack of energy and enthusiasm. Understanding yourself and giving yourself a bit of a break can help lift your mood and enable you to rise to more challenges, which in turn will make you feel happier.
Many of you have probably read, or taken the quiz, that’s at the root of Gretchen Rubin’s excellent new book The Four Tendencies. Gretchen has identified a new type of self-assessment based on how we respond to expectations, and I found the book a mix of brilliant, fascinating and comforting. Knowing your tendency gives you another framework to understand why you do things the way you do, and provides the added dimension of giving you tools to combat your negative behaviors. It’s empowering to know that, for example, if you respond to outer expectations but have trouble doing things for yourself, you can enlist a partner with the same goal to get you to do what’s good for you – like go to the gym.
If you’d like to know more, try taking the quiz first, and then read the book to learn more about how you can adopt better habits or contend with others’ tendencies more productively.
A second excellent piece I want to share focuses on examining your sleep patterns to design your workday. Our biology largely dictates how we feel at different hours — as our energy rises or flags we feel changes in our mood.
One of the great things about being an adult is that you can make decisions about how and where you work best, based on many criteria including needs, desires and values. If you’re in a job where you’re expected to be at your most productive at 9 am, and you’re someone who routinely goes to bed at 2 am, you may want to consider a change. The important thing is to examine your habits and natural inclinations as a barometer for your ideal career.
Even if you’re not in a position to make wholesale change in your work life, you’ll find some good tips in this article for how to structure your work day – and perhaps make some small changes – for more productivity and satisfaction.
And lastly, I love the blog Wait But Why and heard creator, Tim Urban, interviewed on The Tim Ferris Show. Urban commented that he thinks about happiness as a combination of macro-happiness and micro-happiness. Macro-happiness encompasses life’s big things, like love and relationships, children and career; micro-happiness focuses more on having a great Tuesday. And you can’t have a great Tuesday if you hate your job or you’re in a bad relationship. I see this first-hand in my work with people who feel unhappy because they are unfulfilled in their career or feel anxious because they don’t know how to get their career started.
If you’d like to start the New Year by getting the big things right, I hope you’ll give me a call.