There is nothing like that great feeling at the end of a good work day. We are happy, grateful, relaxed, pain-free, and gladly ready for our choice of activity in the evening. Very simply, here are my observations of things that lead to such a wonderful feeling.
1. Don’t use the wrong muscles!
In other words, be comfortable. After all, what do the trapezius and rhomboids have to do with the product you are developing? There is no point giving chores to muscles that have nothing to do with the work at hand! But that is exactly what happens if you are seated or situated uncomfortably while working. Make a deal with those muscles to not cause mutual pain. A proper posture is easy to remember to start out with, but as the mind wanders into soaking the badness of stress, the deal is broken. Pay attention regularly, and before you know it, good posture becomes automatic. Also, remembering to move brings attention back to uncomfortable and suffering parts of the body.
2. Connect equally with people and work.
What works for me is to identify one big and a few small goals for the day. As an agile team, we start the day with a quick chat on what we intend to do, where we need help, where we can offer help, and what everyone’s day is expected to look like. However, throughout the day, on great work days, we connect, offer help, and if possible, take breaks together. We inject positive energy, appreciate the progress by others, and count our blessings — not everyone gets to work on meaningful things with great people. On the days we foolishly choose not to do that, that great feeling at the end of the day eludes me.
What we do is hard, as is any meaningful endeavor most folks undertake. The lazy and easy thing to do is to get dragged down when results fall short and progress is slower than desired. It typically is, especially for ambitious teams driven to do meaningful things. So it is just plain silly, unwise and unhelpful to get negative and not appreciate all the things that are proceeding well. It is the job of the others to lift up the early victim, and supply the necessary oxygen. A positive, happy and appreciative state of being never made anyone perform less effectively. In fact, it is the one thing that leaves us strong to fight another day. And remember to breathe — real oxygen is very important too!
I wish everyone that great feeling at the end of each work day!