The ups and ups of Mondays

Clair e-mailed me a note about how wonderful it is to watch me grow (and she’s known me for quite a while!). I told her that it’s almost all W-‘s fault, and that one can do a lot of things when one laughs every day and lives well every day. ;) But it’s so true. Whatever gives you happiness–a great relationship, a great vision, a great environment–makes a huge difference in your productivity.

Monday! If you can rock Mondays, you can rock any day of the week.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being awesome, I typically start the morning at a happiness level of 7 or 8. If it’s warm and sunny, that might even be a 9. =)

Breakfast and a good morning of creative work–brainstorming, developing software, finishing tasks, learning something new–get me to a 9 or 10. My energy dips a little at 10 or 11, which makes it a good time for a snack (apples, bananas, whatever we have handy). I can usually do that without breaking my concentration. I do my best work in the mornings.

Lunch interrupts my flow, bringing me down to about a 7 or 8 again. I sometimes delay it a little to stay in flow for as long as I can. I save the afternoon for routine tasks and things I don’t enjoy doing, and work through the rest of the afternoon at a happiness level of about 5 or 6.

If I’m frustrated or I need to work on things I actively dislike doing, I may go all the way down to a 4. If I’m anxious or stressed out about something (permanent residency paperwork, critical bug), I may get all the way down to a 3. The good thing is that within twenty minutes or so, I usually bounce back to a 6 or 7. If I’m very worried or frustrated or distraught, it may take twenty minutes and a good hug. I don’t really know why that is–maybe my defense mechanisms kick in almost automatically?–but it is.

Dinner time with W- usually brings me me up to the 7 – 9 range. Riding on my bicycle, playing the piano, helping J- with her homework, playing catch, getting stuff ready for the next day, fiddling around with sewing… lots of little things help me increase my happiness level even further, and I often end the day at a happiness level of 10 (or even 11!).

So yes, a day when I’m frustrated with word processing can still be an awesome days–and it keeps getting better all the time. =)

There might be a useful tip in here: Pick a good default happiness level (or gradually grow into it), then get better at tweaking where you are and how you manage your energy. =)