Back in 2013, I wrote about apps that brought me appiness (yes, you read that correctly, happiness from apps = appiness). I associated the idea of being productive with being happy. At the time of writing, I hadn't realized what I was actually saying. I thought I was sharing apps that made my life more productive by saying "hey check out these apps that are making me feel like my life is a bit easier, more productive, and therefore making me feel happy". But I didn't as closely connect the two as how they actually play into my mindset and daily life. Productivity as happiness, who woulda thunk it‽
Apparently, a lot of people. There are a lot of studies out there, like this one from the University of Warwick University of Warwick in the UK and IZA Bonn in Germany, linking happiness with productive workers through experiments where happy video clips or food and drink were provided at specific moments, leading to a 12% increase in productivity.
I am thinking about this. A lot. Everyday. Probably too much. I think I spend a fair amount of time thinking about how productive I want to be, than actually being productive. An example: I've been wanting to install shelves for the longest time in my guest bathroom. And on the weekends, when I wake up and think about how productive I'm going to be that day, I brew up cups of coffee. So I can be more alert and awake when my most productive day ever kicks off. But then I remember, how great it would be to also finish the book for my book club, which luckily is an audio book and I can listen even while my teeny-tiny drill is on. And you know, I should eat breakfast quickly and check my email as the eggs scamble. And to this day, that shelf is not installed. And I used to feel guilty about this. But I'm genuinely trying not to anymore. It's a shelf. It may make my guests' lives easier down the road, but it's a shelf, and its not worth feeling guilty or unproductive over. I also don't want a bathroom for guests to be fogged with guilt or resentment because I put it off for so long.
Sure, it would be great if I put this shelf up, but I'm so very happy doing those other things. They're productive in different ways, and it makes me happy that I finally finished a whole book for book club, for the first time ever. It also made me pretty happy to go through the steps of making that coffee, checking my email (okay, not always), and eat breakfast because I frequently forget to during the week. So maybe my measure of happiness and productivity are wrong. Maybe I'm feeling more productive by doing the other stuff I want to do immediately, instead of the "nice to have" shelf in the bathroom. Maybe I'm happy because of that coffee and audiobook because its what I want to do being, ~~instead~~ too. Maybe, through the act of trying to be productive maybe its my brain's way of prioritizing what would make me happy. Prioritizing is that maybe I can take care of the shelves when I actually have guests which isn't even happening anytime in the near future. At least, until SXSW. And then, I'll totally have a shelf by shelf west pre-party. And probably knock another audio book off my list.