This week I’m introducing a new series here at Productivityist. 3 Things is a weekly series posted every Sunday that highlights three things you can do to overcome a challenge, enhance your productivity, and improve other aspects of your work and life. Each of the things also offers an app or product recommendation that can help you take action and move forward. Once you’re done reading, I’d love to hear feedback in the comments section.
Happiness isn’t that hard to find if you take the time to really look for it. The problem is we don’t do that. Instead, we fill our days with “busyness” and before we know it another day has flown by.
Here are 3 things you can do to find happiness every day:
1. Don’t over-schedule yourself.
Calendars aren’t meant for holding your to-do lists. Task management apps are far more suitable for that. When you only put date-specific appointments (as recommended by David Allen of GTD fame) on your calendar, you’ll notice how much lighter the day appears. Sure, you’ve still got things on your plate but
they won’t seem as overwhelming when placed inside a task manager than they do on a calendar.
One of the pleasant side effects of using your calendar as an appointment keeper instead of a to=do list is that you free yourself up to find more happiness in your day. You don’t feel as if you need to keep running on all cylinders. In addition, you aren’t worried so much about due dates because as soon as you take on a task every day becomes a “due” date.
App suggestion: Mynd Calendar. I really like the layout and the integrations (Evernote, for one) that it features. There’s a lot of information displayed on the screen at any given time (weather, distance traveled, etc.) and yet the layout is as such that it doesn’t seem overwhelming. One of the newest features is Mynd Scheduler, which allows you to propose multiple meeting times to several contacts at once right from within the app. (iOS – Free)
2. Take a pause.
The saying “stop and smell the roses” really means to slow down, relax, and take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of life. But how many of us actually do it on a regular basis? In order for us to keep moving at a decent speed, we need to stop every once in a while. We’re not machines, and taking a pause actually gives us some perspective on what we’re doing all of our stuff for in the first place.
Heck, even science says we should stop and smell the roses every once in a while.
App suggestion: Calm is what I use to take a deliberate break during the day. The app offers guided meditation for beginners and more experienced people, and provides me more than just a simple pause, but a productive pause. (Web, iOS – Free)
3. Reflect regularly.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates
Just like we need to pause now and again, we need to look back and reflect on our lives regularly. Doing this allows us to look back on the days, weeks, months, and even years beforehand and find happy moments from our past that we can use as fuel to move forward along the right path. The other benefit of regular reflection is that we can learn from our past and put ourselves in a better position to find happiness in the present.
App suggestion: While I’ve got Day One for my regular journaling, 5 Minute Journal is a great way to chronicle the day ahead and set up the day to come in a quick, yet meaningful, way. (iOS — $1.99)
The topic of this week’s Mikes on Mics is happiness, so check it out to get a deeper sense of how both Michael Schechter and I try to find happiness every single day.
Photo credit: ba1969 via FreeImages