Even if you’re lucky enough to like your job, after you’ve been there a while, the days kind of start to blur together. The months fly, because a Wednesday in June doesn’t seem much different from a Wednesday in January, and it can also make it hard to know off-hand whether you’re actually making any progress on anything.
In a recent post for Wired, Daniel Pink took a look at some recent research that can lead to happier workdays, and one suggestion will also help with the aforementioned problem. Keep track of your growth and accomplishments at work, he writes, and your days will start to improve. Pink says:
Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile and her husband, psychologist Steven Kramer, collected nearly 12,000 daily diary entries from 238 employees at seven companies to try to discover what constitutes a great day on the job. Their surprise finding? The single greatest day-to-day motivator — by far — was making “progress in meaningful work.” On days when people made headway — whether on fixing up Buicks or stitching up bodies — their motivation and performance soared.
Take a minute to recognize how far you’ve come on a project, or how much better you are at some skill that used to reliably trip you up. And then, might I suggest, take a deep breath. If you’re making progress, you’re doing okay. It’s allll okay.