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What Does Productivity Have to Do with Happiness?

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There’s a link between productivity and happiness. However, the connection may not always seem to be a positive one. In order to be happy, you may think you need to be less productive and work fewer hours. And when considering what it means to have increased productivity, you may envision yourself tirelessly devoting all your time to work. So how could you possibly be happy?
The truth is, these views aren’t entirely accurate. Productivity can lead to happiness. It’s not a zero-sum game. You don’t have to choose one or the other. You can have both. Let’s look at the ways that productivity can increase your overall sense of wellbeing.

1 Sense of Pride
Most of us experience a sense of pride in a job well done. Being productive gives you a sense of accomplishment. You’ve completed something and can cross an item off your to-do list. It feels good to know that you’ve gotten a task done and that you have something to show for your efforts. Using your time productively instills a feeling of satisfaction.

2 Perception of Contribution
We all want to contribute. This can be to our families, to a cause, to our own livelihood, or to society at large. Being productive allows us to feel that we’ve contributed to something. When we get a job done or achieve a goal, we know we’ve worked to give something of ourselves and that we’ve seen it through to the end. Knowing you’ve made a contribution is important to overall happiness.

3 Increased Confidence
When you’re productive, you gain a sense of capability. You see what you’re able to accomplish in a set amount of time and feel motivated to move forward to complete other tasks. On the other hand, procrastination leads to feelings of guilt and anxiety, which strip you of your self-esteem. Obtaining that feeling of self-worth can be a strong motivator for continued productivity.

4 Feeling of Purpose
Finally, when you’re productive, you can experience a real sense of purpose. The important thing to remember here is that the activities you’re completing should be meaningful. Being productive for the sake of staying busy isn’t enough to contribute to positive feelings. What you take on should be important to you if you want the action to seem purposeful.

These are just some of the ways that productivity can increase your happiness. The two really do go hand in hand.

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