Productivity is not happiness

I must admit that the title is a little absurd. Happiness and productivity are two different words and last time I checked, they weren’t synonyms. Of course happiness would not be equal to productivity. You guys probably know that and I thought I knew that, but here’s something interesting.

Ever since I started my journey to “fixing my mindset”, which actually just means trying to be happier, I’ve been writing down at least 3 things per day that made me happy as well as an overall score for the day. 1 means I wanted to die that day and 10 means that I’d want to live this day for the rest of my life.

 


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As you can see, my average score started increasing around the same time as I started my dopamine detox (May 8th). During the detox, I was even able to log in my first 8 (highest score I’ll probably put during the lock-down).

What’s weird is that when I look into every single entry that has a high score ie either a 7.5 or an 8, I notice a pattern emerging.

All my days with high scores were all ultra productive days for me.

This makes sense though. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I was able to find 3 areas that I wanted to concentrate on to ensure that I have a happier future (coding, badminton and this blog). Consequently, by being productive in 1 of those 3 areas, I’m aligning things that I SHOULD DO with things that I WANT TO DO.

And when we accomplish things that we want to do and that we should do, we get a sense of fulfillment and thus, it makes us happier right?

However, what happens when on a certain day, like today, I am not as productive? Since I’m not as productive, I don’t accomplish as much therefore I feel less fulfilled for that day right? And then, since I am less fulfilled, I can’t possibly have the same score as a day that I was productive and thus felt more fulfilled can I? Doesn’t this mean that happiness is measured by productivity?

That is exactly the train of thought I had today. I was struggling to power through my whole to-do list and started telling myself that I’d have to log in a bad day. I was wrong.

I do believe that it is possible to be happy and have a non-productive day. If I were to hangout with my friends or perhaps explore a different region or maybe go on a hike and enjoy the calming presence of nature or take a day off at the beach. I do believe I could be very happy doing those types of things.

I find it so easy for myself to fall into such pitfalls. Life is full of complex information and ideas that I constantly try to simplify in order to make better sense of them. In this case, I took the complex concept that is Happiness and I tried to dumb it down to a single factor: Productivity. Happiness = Productivity.

But no, happiness is not productivity.

The sooner I understand this, the sooner I’ll be able to have happier days 🙂

PEACE