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Mindset

What Makes Us Happy Part 3: Productivity and Fun

Happiness is something we are. But sometimes happiness appears because of something we do. We spent an awesome day at an amusement park, we had a fascinating experience visiting another country, we had a very productive day at work, we had a fun afternoon with a bunch of our friends. The activities were great, the people were great, and somehow the day just seemed perfect. Ever experienced that? I bet you have.

So in this article, we will throw a closer look at how activities can bring you happiness and what you can do to bring more happiness to the more mediocre activities of your daily life.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. – Dalai Lama

What activities make us happy vary. We are different people with different interests, and so this article naturally cannot tell you which activities you need to engage in to be happy. You need to figure that out for yourself. However, there are two areas that you can focus on when trying to bring more happy activities into your life: Being productive and having fun.

The Joy of Productivity

Productivity feels awesome! Being totally in a flow and ticking off one to-do after the other raises our motivation and overflows our bodies with pleasure. Because reaching goals activates the hormone dopamine – one of the main hormones for pleasure. Thus, productivity is a biological pathway to the joy that all humans share.

Tips on How to Avoid Procrastination

Although it feels great to be productive, it’s not always easy to motivate yourself to work on your to-do list. It is way too easy to fall for the trap of procrastination. Procrastination feels great at the moment, but soon guilt or irritation with yourself takes its place. So how do you go from procrastinating to being productive? Here are a few tips:

  1. Make the items on your to-do list simple, short and easy to do. So instead of writing: “Finish writing my project paper”, you can write: “Write 1 paragraph of my project paper”.
  2. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and work on that task you don’t want to work on for those 10 minutes. 5 minutes seem easy to do and will help us overcome most temptations to procrastinate. Yet, because the hard thing in being productive is starting, we might trick ourselves into working longer than 5 minutes. Watch this video to learn more.
  3. Share your to-do’s with a friend and turn them into your accountability partner. You can help each other stay committed to your tasks and chores.

If you want to get more tips on how to study effectively, check out our series about How To Improve Your Learning. Many of us have a feeling that we need to be productive all the time. Spending a day just relaxing and being lazy feels like a waste of time or makes us feel guilty. Productivity is awesome and a great way to feel happy, but you need to balance it out and not overwork yourself. Breaks are important to recharge your creativity and energy. So let’s look at another kind of activity that tends to make us happy: Having fun.

The Pleasure of Having Fun

Fun correlates with the words: entertainment, pleasure, amusement. Fun occurs when you’re doing something that doesn’t feel serious but amuses you instead. What exactly you’re doing depends on your personality and interests. Some find it amusing to have a movie night, others to play football. At Moonshot Pirates, we strive to make work both purposeful and fun. Even though our work is serious business, we like to approach our daily tasks with a mindset of play. So fun is something you create and can bring to any task. It’s all a matter of how you approach what you do.

Productivity and Fun

Tips on How to Bring Fun Into Your Life

So the task is to bring fun to what you do. You can do this in the following ways:

  1. Gamify your activities: promise yourself fun rewards after you’ve completed something not so fun.
  2. Create a fun environment: Turn on music when you’re working on your tasks, brew yourself a fancy cup of coffee to sip in between tasks. Find out what small pleasures are important to you and make sure to organize them when you’re missing out on fun.
  3. Spend time with people you like. Almost any task can be fun if you do them with the right kind of people.
  4. And go do things you love! Life doesn’t need to be serious all the time. Take time off for traveling, leisure activities, and lot of laughs!

Here are some more tips from Marie Forleo:

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