Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Secret to Happiness + Productivity

I was scanning Neatorama recently and happened upon an entry called "The Secret to Happiness and Productivity at Work." This is the kind of headline you just can't ignore. So I followed the links and discovered the secret. It's "tracking small wins" that makes you happier and more productive, according to Harvard Business School Professor Teresa Amabile.
Dr. Amabile — who has analyzed literally thousands of daily diary entries from more than 200 professionals — says that taking just five minutes every day to document your "challenges, successes, and other experiences enhance[s] creativity and motivation."

Here, from the professor, are some tips for getting started:
  • Don't make a big commitment to journaling; tell yourself you'll do it for just one month.
  • Limit your time to 5 to 10 minutes a day, focusing on just one project or issue that you want to work on.
  • Pick a time in the day when you're likely to have about 10 minutes uninterrupted. It's a good idea if it can be the same time every day.
  • Find a medium that you know you're going to enjoy using. It could be a physical book, an online application of some kind or a Word document — anything that you think will be easy for you to keep.
  • At the beginning of your journaling period, give yourself one or two minutes just to refresh yourself, relax and clear your mind. And then reflect on the day and see what issues and experiences stand out.
Now, if I could just find those extra 5 to 10 minutes ...

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