Friday, April 26, 2013
I signed up for the happiness survey that KALIGIRL blogged about, and am now 58% complete, with 29 samples. I don't have screen prints for y'all, having some technology issues here at home, but the partial results have been instructive.
One thing I have observed that they don't ask about is "How irritated are you that I interrupted to ask just now?" I found THAT happening particularly when I was truly in the middle of stuff. I also found that even the act of making me THINK about whether I was happy could affect my happiness, either as a positive or a negative!
That said, some interesting bits: the most unhappy I got was about 50% (i.e. neutral), and that was on a hurried break, getting coffee before a work meeting I was feeling anxious about. Apparently when I feel anxious I don't consider myself happy.
As for happiness and "what are you doing?" That showed that I reported less than 100% during mostly working activities, reporting specific ones that it irritated me I was being asked right now, but some were genuine I wasn't feeling wonderful doing what I was doing. "In a meeting" was one of my lower ones... but even my lower ones were more than 75% towards extremely happy.
Interesting observation on the samples: I dipped to my least happy (about 75%) on Wednesdays, Thursday (82%) and Friday (80%)... showing I was getting worn down as a work week progressed. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were 100% days!
The times they asked whether I have to, want to, or both have to and want to do whatever it is I'm doing? Interestingly, I'm happiest when I both have to and want to... can we say "responsible adult"?
Level of focus or where I was (home, work, in a car, somewhere else)... didn't seem to have an impact. I was pretty happy focussed or not, and the two lower ratings of happiness, I was 100% focused.
I was 100% happy outside... every time! Alone or with people, didn't seem to matter, came out about the same. Size of number of people interacting with... slightly happier with just one, but pretty happy both. As for WHO talking with... my lowest ones (about 90%) were work folks (boss or coworkers).
Productivity was VERY interesting: my lowest ratings of happiness were when I was NEUTRAL level of productivity, neither completely unproductive (I was 100% happy then, nor highly productive (I was much happier then).
I told Becky last weekend I didn't think I'd find any surprises in this survey... but now, I'm not so sure.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Tomorrow is a holiday that is often the butt of jokes in the wider world. Well, it is what passes for it since the State of Nebraska decided to move it off its traditional April 22nd (J. Sterling Morton's birthday), to make it a "4th Friday of April" deal. I speak of Arbor Day, the celebration of planting trees.
The weather this year doesn't seem to coincide with the way it normally is this time of year, but I get a day off work anyway. Rather than trees this year, I shall have seed put down on my lawn, since I managed to kill it rather thoroughly through not watering during last year's drought. At all. Almost seems an exercise in futility, doesn't it?
Still, it will make the neighbors a little happier and me feel a little less guilty about my yard being a "blight" on the suburban landscape.
And now, for today's little pep talk:
1. You can declare victory for surviving your high-anxiety day of meetings keeping you away from finishing your NUTs (Nagging Unfinished Task, for someone who trips over the blog without having read yesterday's). Feel good and reward yourself in a healthy way.
2. Drink your water.
3. Eat what's in the bag, it's why you packed it.
4. Remember to take those breaks. Even if not at the normal time. Walk.
5. And, as always, remember that the cookie at the coffee stand and the candy bar in the machine... will not make it better in the long run! Maybe not even in the short run.
Spark a healthy day, my friends, because LIFE is good. Live it well!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I read an article once that talked about the things that leads to the most stress in life. It used the acronym NUTs. What drives one crazy, it said, are the Nagging Unfinished Tasks. So it is no wonder that I'm waking up this morning feeling anxious and stressed and wanting to go back to sleep.
At work I have hanging several such things. I will start in on a "thing" (multi-part) that needs to be completed, just a part of the big project I've mentioned. Or maybe it's something independent of the project, just something else among my responsibilities. And I'll get interrupted in the process, by something else that requires "urgent" attention, or is given to me as a higher priority, or sometimes just to help someone out.
Normally, I consider myself an "interrupt driven" processor (IT folks will understand that term). I grab the highest priority task, give it the attention it needs, and move on to the next. However, if I get to the end of my work day, and I never got back to the first thing I was doing to complete it? It remains a Nagging Unfinished Task. I can handle SOME of this, force myself to leave, live my life, saying I'll get back to it tomorrow.
But tomorrow is TODAY now, and I have meetings all over my calendar. The NUTs will remain NUTs... and this is how big holes can end up in work product.
The plan to deal: remember that the PROCESSOR (me) needs to be given priorities. One of those priorities is self-maintenance. So...
1) Drink that water
2) Remember that the cookie at the coffee kiosk and the candy bar in the vending machine won't help in the long run
3) TAKE THOSE BREAK WALKS EVEN IF IT MEANS LEAVING THE NUTS AS NUTS FOR A WHILE.
4) Remember that your value as a producer is worthless if you kill yourself doing the producing!
YOU are worth it. Once in a while close your eyes and remember to breathe!
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I have deliberately started to schedule my consultations at the JC center for after work on Monday. This is to force myself to leave work!
Once again, I've been blessed by an observant comment by an angel wearing skin... this time my JC consultant. I'd had a great week, in terms of healthy behaviors... and she asked about it. I mentioned how the events at the Boston Marathon kind of whupped me upside the head back out of self doubt and worry, and to the need of LIVING and appreciating each moment of life.
What she said: "You seem to do better in the face of stressful things you know you cannot control. The problems arise when you believe you can control what's stressing you!" Whoa! Another meaty mind-meal!
Seriously... I think it's a little step further: I tend to fall apart on the healthy coping when I believe I am EXPECTED to control things and I will be judged when I cannot. I may be perfectly aware they are out of control. This could be an element of the people pleaser in me.
So, once again, insight to the rescue! Another little tool for the belt.
Today: remember the water, stay hydrated. Eat what's in the bag, that's why you packed it. Do what you can. Make each decision independently.
And LIVE, because LIFE is good! Spark On!
Monday, April 22, 2013
It's funny, but attitude is everything, right? The weekend was productive AND fun. I slept really well. I feel energized and ready to take that energy to work. Reminders to self:
* Do the best you can. Neither immediately judge a task impossible, nor blame yourself if it doesn't all get done today.
* If you start to get anxious, remember that the cookie at the coffee kiosk and the candy bar in the vending machine will NOT make it better in the long run.
* TAKE those walking breaks, even if they don't happen at the "normal" time.
* Leave on time! That's why you made that appointment for after work on Monday!
LIFE is good, and we are worth it! Spark on.
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