Productivity Is An Inside Job: Measuring Personal Happiness As A Means To Success

Over more than 25 years of researching, prioritizing, writing, developing objectives, creating evaluation plans, and tangling with logic models, I never spent much time measuring a crucial aspect of work that affects all those tasks and more—my happiness.

I am not saying that I expected every day to be a Disney cartoon of winsome talking animals that burst into song and happy endings. The singing animal thing would be cool, but I digress.  Constantly pushing myself to work harder and longer “doing good” was not the healthiest long-term career path.

Just before the pandemic, or about 1,000 years ago, I took a Scrum project management course in preparation for the certification exam from Agile for Nonprofits through DH Leonard Consulting, a long-term sponsor of the Fundraising HayDay Podcast. Considering a monumental change in my consulting business model, I was ready to learn. I steeled myself for what I assumed would be a plethora of bullet points, inspirational sayings, and rigid protocols.

I was so wrong!

Sure, the expert trainers provided plenty of data, research, and decades of results to back up their methods. But what blew me away was the metric of happiness that is part of every established work period, AKA “sprint.”

One of the happiness metrics presented was a simple Likert scale of 1-5, with  5 being the happiest. The project leader would guide each team member through this basic rating scale to describe their satisfaction with their work, the overall team effort, and the organization.

The big-picture goal? Measure how happy everyone is and use that info to boost team success. Measuring happiness is not an exact science, but regularly asking the question of yourself and your team offers a series of data snapshots to help guide you in the more significant questions of work goals and planning.

Asking myself and my podcast co-host Amanda Day about our happiness with the Fundraising HayDay Podcast has helped guide topics and production goals over the past five years. Have a listen to our Top 10 most favorite podcast episodes here: Top Ten Favorite Moments of Fundraising HayDay! – HayDay Services.

Learning to incorporate simple measures of my happiness has evolved into a powerful tool that helps elevate my productivity, client relations, and keeps those grant writing fires burning bright.

What makes you happy about the work you do?


DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services, LLC is so excited to be season 6 sponsors for Fundraising HayDay, a podcast about grants and such. Catch up on seasons 1 – 5 and stay up to date on the new season here.

Don’t let grants stress you out, check out the helpful grant writing services our team has to offer here.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *