Tracking My Happiness – Final Report

Several posts ago I gave an initial update on my commitment to join a happiness survey that was discussed in a recent Harvard Business Review article.  Here it the link to that post.

I have completed it after 50 entries and 17 days.  Here is what the data says:

  • Top activities for happiness:  restaurants, exercising, being with customers, vacation, parties.
  • Bottom activities for happiness: balancing checkbook, meetings, taking care of children, working alone, watching television.
  • I am 2x as happy on Saturdays vs Sunday.
  • Thursday is my top day of the week – 25% higher than Friday. (today is Thursday – so I am happy about that)
  • I am 4x happier doing activities I don’t have to do but want to do vs doing things I don’t want to do but have to do.
  • There is a direct correlation for me between high focus and high happiness.
  • There is a direct correlation for me between happiness and productivity.

Many things make me smile when I review these results – mainly because they tell a story.  For example, as a parent much of my attention (and this is MY choice) in the last 3 weeks hast focused on homework, transportation, and getting children to bed and up in the morning.  My takeaway – I need to work on my attitude – and create some fun moments for us (good timing – spring break is next week).  I can only imagine what their happiness report would say about me. 🙂  I am okay with not liking the checkbook, meetings, and working alone.  I also think I need a bigger television. 🙂

I mentioned in my first post that this would be a great activity for any company to do with high potentials or leaders.  For smaller companies it is nice because it is free (it works with straight email, but requires an iPhone for easy data collection when walking around).  I still think it is best done by groups of 3 people, and then having a general report out to the whole group.

Talent management is based on self awareness that feeds into a great conversation.  This activity has the potential to provide for both.

I will post next week on how our talent management processes (one on ones, performance conversations, etc.) actually create some of these reflective/conversation moments if done well.

If you tried this, what was your experience?  What questions would you ask me after seeing some of my results?  Here is your chance to coach me.