The Formula for a Happy, Productive Day

The Formula for a Productive, Happy Day

When Mr. T and I were in London in June, we attended church right near Hyde Park. The speaker mentioned the three things we should be doing every single day and I’ve thought since then about how right he was.

Here is his 3-step formula for a happy, productive day (with my own thoughts added under each one):

  1. Interact with God – For us Christians, God is the center of our universe. Interacting with Him means to center ourselves in the universe. I recognize for others, this is accomplished through meditation or another form of worship. I meditate through a study of scripture and through prayer. The importance of this step is identifying the greater, bigger picture and finding your place in it. Without centering yourself in the universe and without having a bigger picture of the “greater good” (whatever that ends up being for you), you are merely bouncing around tasks with no purpose. Do you set aside time to meditate? The physical and mental health benefits are real. Part of this step is to increase in love. Loving-kindness meditation stems from Buddhist tradition and involves focusing your thoughts on increasing unconditional love for yourself and for others. There are benefits associated with this practice as well. This step requires you to spend mindful time each day away from selfishness and focus on something greater than just you.
  2. Interact with Others – Step one leads to step 2. When we spend time each day to center ourselves in love and the bigger picture, we’re able to step outside of ourselves and look to others. Social isolation is both the precursor to bigger problems and the warning sign for many others. When we isolate ourselves, we miss out on the benefits we receive when we spend time with other people. When we spend time with people we love, we are investing our time in those relationships. Turn off your phone and computer, pull out a board game, and gather your friends and family around. We can also learn so much from other people. Everyone has different talents and skills and together, we can be so much more than we can be on our own.
  3. Interact with Your Dreams – If we truly set aside even fifteen minutes each day toward something we really wanted to do, we would see amazing progress. I am guilty of thinking that if I can’t spend a good, solid chunk of time doing something, I might as well not do it at all. This means I rarely find time to work toward my own dreams. More would be accomplished in fifteen minutes a day than would be in three hours a month! Also, when we find time to interact with our dreams, we maintain hope. We can see that every single day we make another step in the direction of our dream. We are able to rise above the parts of our life where we feel “stuck” and we’re able to focus on how we’re moving out of that place.

At the end of each day, I’ve been asking myself: Have I interacted with God, other people, and my dreams? I find that each day I’ve done all three, I’ve had a happy, productive day.

Do you agree with these steps? In what ways do you fulfill each one of these steps? Is there one you could focus on improving? 

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21 Comments

  1. I love the simplicity of this list. Does the hustle count as interacting with your dreams? I think it should, because working hard to acheive our goals is what makes my days feel productive. Note: I’m not talking about being busy just for the sake of it, but having a specific destination that you’re working towards.

  2. Very good points, all of them. Sometimes the spiritual element gets lost or we are too afraid to talk about it on blogs for fear of sounding “preachy.” We shouldn’t!
    Spirituality/Religion helps us through the tough times in life including the path to FIRE. Thanks for pointing that out and God bless you!

    • MaggieBanks

      Thank you so much. I agree that spirituality is a big part of our lives. If we neglect that aspect, we’ll never have full control of any aspect of our lives since they are all interconnected!

  3. I like this list- it’s simple, easy to remember, and hits the big points. I’m a Buddhist, so meditation is my way of being spiritual. I try to do a few minutes before bed every night. We try to give the kids one on one time every day where we focus solely on them and set aside the multitasking or the need to do something else. Usually that means reading a book, sitting in the driveway watching the people go by, or playing a board game.

    • MaggieBanks

      Awesome! Meditation and distraction-free kid time are so important!

  4. Beautiful, simple steps that definitely bring happiness to me. I am not so great at #3, though.

  5. I get so much happiness and joy from my pets 😀 I’m also trying to take more time out to do simple things like moisturise and stretch which make a big difference.

    • MaggieBanks

      Stretching always feels good when I do it. But I forget that so often!

  6. I think interaction is so important. It’s so easy to be insular in this day and age. If I can be outside, that’s a huge help too!

    • MaggieBanks

      Amen! Although we’re currently staring out the window at the torrential downpour! 🙂

  7. Great list. 1 needs some improvement for me. I also realize I need to focus on single-tasking. I spend too much brain power on too many things at once and I run out of steam.

  8. I so totally love this! Regardless of whether someone is spiritual or religious, there is still huge value in looking beyond our little self-involved realms to see what’s going on in the world, what humanity needs, and to try to contribute to the greater good in some way. Plus, loving-kindness meditation rocks — it’s seriously the best. (I am sending some of that to my crazy commenter — haha!) And the people part is super important, too — though, judging by comments to our recent social interaction post, there are a lot of introverts in this community who would rather enjoy the solitude. And the dreams — love how you put that!

    • MaggieBanks

      I was going to say something about online interactions because I’m not opposed to them for this category. Several introverts are very vocal in our community and the point is, they are intereacting with outhers! Not everyone needs to do this in the exact same way. For me, I need person to person intereactions with others on a daily basis. But I’m also an extrovert. 🙂

      • Absolutely — I think that counts as social interaction. And I know that interacting online gives me *some* of what I need — but I’m like you. I need the in-person stuff, too!

  9. zeejaythorne

    Focusing on making the world better (in small local ways) always adds to my joy. Simple steps to a better self also make the world better.

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