How to Define What a Successful Day Looks Like to You

Fab Giovanetti
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

During a job interview, your interviewer might ask a question like, “How do you evaluate success?” or “How do you define success?”

Yet, funnily enough, we do not tend to ask ourselves these questions after we got the job. 

Let me ask you some questions.

Do you ever feel accomplished at the end of one given day? How do you feel when you know that your day has been successful? For so many people, it is hard these days to fully quantify what a successful day means. 

My question to you is, who is really defining success for you? Is it yourself? Is it your clients, your boss? How can you reclaim that definition for yourself? 

Understand what success means to you and how you can shape it in the best way possible.

Once you know how to redefine success, you will be able to create a fail-proof system that allows you to find the best ways and the best questions to ask yourself, to truly recognise success on any given day.

My favourite question to help me out in redefining success on a day to day basis is:

Who have I helped, supported, impacted today?

 If you can figure out at least one way that you have one person throughout the day, you will be able to completely change what success means to you.

Take time to re-evaluate what a successful day looks like. Is it completing your one task of the day? Or maybe completing a daily challenge to improve your workflow (more on this later)?

As a recovering workaholic, I struggled with this myself. Yet, adding this simple question to our company meetings (we hold virtual meetings every working day we are all online) has helped us keep motivated. It’s ingrained in us: to succeed, you have to hustle.

When do you consider your working day done?

With the new normal we reached and how our work culture has forever changed in the past year, our working day has become highly unpredictable. 

Regardless of whether you entirely work remotely, embrace flexible working or have accomplished the Holy Grail of “work-life balance”, you ought to ask yourself the question: “When do I consider my working day done?”

This is where, if you are not happy with your answer, you have to change something. 

I can teach you how to optimise tasks and simplify your workload, but only you can educate yourself when it comes to having a successful day. Once you have answered this first question, it’s time to dig deeper.

When do you feel like you’ve had a “productive day”?

This point is slightly different, as it goes beyond the number of hours you worked. It’s about a feeling. Do you feel accomplished, calm or maybe energised? We all have different emotions when it comes to success at work.

If you’re one of those people who get to five in the afternoon and still feel like you have “accomplished nothing”, writing down what a successful workday looks like to you is essential. This is also where getting clear on your overall goal of the day will help you, a core exercise outlined in Reclaim your Time Off.

Do you have a day full of meetings? Instead of stubbornly trying to fit in 100 tasks, you clear your to-dos and just focus on your meetings.

When you are struggling, bring it back to what you can control.

Celebrate small wins in order to inject success into your day. Today, I encourage you to look back at the past week and ask yourself what you have achieved. What did you improve? What have you learned?

Spend some time outlining all the wins, big or small, worth celebrating from the past week. 

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