Change your outlook – Change your productivity
Post #1 in a Series: Introduction
Frustrated with the events of a day’s work, I took my disgruntled demeanor to my friend’s office. How nice of me, right?
My dear friend, she’s so polite. She listened to my grumblings and then softly spoke the words I keep on my desk to inspire me, “choose joy, Denise”. I told her she was right.
I have consciously created a workspace with positive affirmations. You can read about it here and download the phrase I designed for my desk. It has been good. My office is pretty and there are inspiring phrases all around me.
Yet there I sat, transferring my negative energy to my friend. She deserves better.
Time to take action!
I remembered my nephew telling me about a video his English teacher showed in class about changing your outlook through chosen behaviors.
It is a TED Talk by Harvard professor, Shawn Achor.
I urge you to watch the video, too.
I know. He talks fast. He and my younger brother could give each other a run for their money. Good thing it’s a video and you can take it back if you need to.
Shawn identified five research-based practices shown to increase happiness and productivity when built into your daily routine.
Creating Lasting Positive Change
- Three Gratitudes
- Random Acts of Kindness
I think it’s pretty well documented that exercise and meditation help to elevate mood, but I am especially intrigued by the notion of acts of kindness and gratitude. Can these actions really make me happier and more productive? I suppose there’s no harm in finding out.
I challenge you to join me in dedicating a couple of minutes each day to establishing a pattern for lasting change.
Should I do the same thing each day? Should I mix it up?
I created a sheet to track my efforts. Actually, I made two. I couldn’t decide if I wanted shades of black and grey or a hint of color. Download a copy for yourself and see how you do.
Maybe you already practice one of these actions every day. Add another and check off both of them!
But how will we know the impact of our actions on our happiness?
The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire is a well-respected survey. It looks simple and includes directions to self-score.
If we take this inventory at the beginning of the challenge and again at the end of 21 days, we should have an idea of how much our “happiness” has been positively impacted.
There is a space on the tracking sheet to record your happiness index before and after.
I created a printable copy of the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire including a scoring interpretation guide. Download a copy for yourself. It’s much prettier than the one on the website. Don’t you agree?
How will the challenge work?
- Watch Shawn Achor’s Ted Talk, linked above
- Download the Tracking Sheet
- Download the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire
- Take the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire and record your calculated index on the tracking sheet
- Check the box each day indicating your intentional actions towards changing your outlook.
- Miss a day? Start your 21 days over. There’s no harm done. You’re still capable of creating positive change in your life.
There will be five more posts in this series, each one featuring one of Shawn Achor’s elements proven to change your outlook and your productivity. Look for a post on gratitude next. Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter. You will not want to miss a post in this series.
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