Got a lot of work to do?
Your instinct might be to put your head to the grindstone and work for the next 12 hours — little pleasures be damned!
But ditching your littles pleasures can actually hurt your productivity.
In one study, Nicole Mead Ph.D. “recruited 122 participants to complete an experience-sampling study over the course of six days. Every morning, our participants told us what goals they wanted to work on that day. Then, at five points during each day, we beeped them on their phones and asked them whether they were experiencing a simple pleasure, a small annoyance, or neither. (Small annoyances are simply daily hassles.) Finally, participants completed a ‘nightly diary’ each night of the study. They told us how happy they were with their day and whether they made more or less progress on their goals than they’d hoped for that morning.”
Their results confirmed their hunch: “Simple pleasures are essential for making progress on daily life goals. On days when people experienced very few simple pleasures, the minor irritations that characterize everyday life ate away at their goal progress. In contrast, on days when people experienced a high number of simple pleasures, they stuck to their goals, progressing on the tasks they had set out for themselves during that morning.”
It’s the little pleasures that will keep you grounded and productive on even your worst days.
Don’t have enough simple little pleasures built into your daily routine? Here are some ideas…
- That first sip of coffee in the morning
- Taking a bath
- The sunset
- The smell of an aromatic candle
- A hot shower
- Climbing into a bed with fresh sheets
- That feeling after finishing a tough workout
- Enjoying a home-cooked meal with your family
- Reading a book that resonates with you
- Having a good laugh
- Holding hands with a loved one
- Checking an item off your to-do list