I don’t know if I had a good day anymore

February 7, 2018

Just over a month ago I started a new job. After over a decade as a programmer, I’m now managing programmers at Bugaboo.

And now I don’t know if I had a good day anymore.

I first verbalized this in a discussion last week with my wife.

Me: How was your day? Her: Busy, but I made progress with [something related to opening a new South American bank account]. Her: How was your day? Me: ... I don't know.

I used to gauge my day by my productivity. “I fixed three bugs” or “I wrote a new logging module.” Or some other quasi-tangible measure of productivity.

Now my job is talking to people, and thinking.

Any output I produce happens on the scale of weeks or months (“I re-organized the department to improve efficiency”), not hours or days.

The transition is a challenge for me. That’s not to say a negative one, but it’s one I hadn’t thought of before starting the position.

It makes me wonder how others gauge productivity on a day-to-day basis. How do writers, doctors, or teachers know if they had a productive day? And if productivity isn’t objective (perhaps in the case of a university professor), or clearly positive (perhaps a failed experiment), how does one determine if they had a “good” day, objective productivity not withstanding?

How do you know if you had a good day in your work? I’d love to read your comments.


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