You want to be happy at work.
If you agree with this statement, you’re in company with 7.12 billion other people on this planet.
Considering you spend one-third of your lifetime working, or 80,000 hours (40 hours/week * 50 weeks * 40 years = 80,000 hours), analyzing the root of your happiness can be the difference between dreading Mondays or dreading Fridays.
To be a top performer, according to one of the 21st century’s greatest minds, it’s essential you love your job.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it, keep looking. Never settle. ~ Steve Jobs
Thankfully, there is a way to quantify your happiness at work, helping you discover what you really love to do. It takes less than 30 seconds per day, and utilizes a tool that’s been right under your nose – Google Forms.
The premise is simple. Create a 4-question Google Form survey. Then every day after work, fill out the form. After a few weeks (let alone an entire year), you’ll start to recognize patterns in your happiness relative to what you work on, helping identify the tasks that make you feel most fulfilled.
1. Customize Your Happiness Project
Your Happiness Project, as I like to call it, can be created in 8 simple steps. First, here is the preview of the form you’ll be creating. You cannot edit that form, so here are your simple instructions.
Step 1) Log into your Google account
You cannot customize a Google Form unless you’re logged into your Google account.
Step 2) Download the Google Form
Step 3) Confirm email
You’ll immediately get an email asking to confirm your email address. Click Yes, Subscribe me to this list.
Step 4) Click the link in your email
Immediately after you confirm your email address (it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes), you’ll get an email that looks like this:
Click the button that says Go to the Google Form>> to access the form.
Step 5) Make a copy of the spreadsheet
You only have access to view the form. In order to customize it, you’ll need to make a copy. Go to File > Make a Copy, then a box will pop up. Click OK.
If you cannot click on Make a Copy, it’s because you’re not logged into your Google account. Go back to step #1.
Step 6) Go to the form
Now that you have a copy of the results spreadsheet, you’ll need to edit the form. Go to Form > Edit Form, then you’ll be redirected to a new page.
Step 7) Customize the form
The form has four questions:
- What did I primarily work on today?
- What major tasks did I complete?
- How quickly did the day go?
- How happy am I today from what I accomplished?
I suggest limiting it to these four questions and only customizing your multiple choice responses for the first question. If you’re in sales, you’ll have different standard daily tasks than a social media manager, or a financial planner. Adjust accordingly.
And why track time? We’ve all had that experience when we’re caught up in something where minutes turn into hours, then hours turn into “Holy crap, I forgot to have lunch.” Discover what makes you forget to have lunch.
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is men and women who are alive. ~ Howard Thurman
Step 8) View live form
Double check that your customized answers are saved by clicking View Live Form. Once you’re happy with the criteria, you’re done editing the form.
2. Bookmark the Form
Now that you’re viewing the live form, bookmark it in your browser. At the end of each working day, you’ll simply click the bookmark and fill out the form. It should only take about 30 seconds.
3. Analyze Your Happiness
After a few weeks (and months/years), you’ll have enough data to discover trends in your happiness. Of course, the more data you’ve collected, the more accurate your happiness analysis will become.
If you’re already talented with Excel or Google Spreadsheets, you’ll know exactly how to extract and analyze the data. If not, Google Spreadsheets has simple, built-in reporting that easily summarizes responses.
After a few weeks of completing the form, go back to the results spreadsheet (the link in the first Happiness Project email), then click Form > Show summary of responses.
You’ll get a full report that looks something like this:
Another method of happiness analysis is filtering the data. By filtering your happiness rating of 4 or 5, you can work backwards, figuring out what tasks make you happiest. In this example, it looks like writing or talking to leads makes this person happiest:
Similarly, by filtering your happiness rating of 1 or 2, you can work backwards, figuring out what makes you unhappy. In this example, it looks like photo editing and coding makes this person unhappy:
It’s pretty straightforward from here – start doing more of what makes you happy and less of what doesn’t. Simple as that.
4. Share Your Happiness
Inspire others in your quest to be a top performer, by sharing data from your Happiness Project on Twitter using the hashtag #MyHappinessProject. Maybe your results will change someones life.
You’ll never know unless you try.