Summer is here (well, almost).

It's a time of year many of us associate with fun, happy times--drinks on the patio, neighborhood barbecues, weekend beach trips. But what happens when this change in seasons doesn't actually put you in a better mood?

It's a well-known fact that happiness is fleeting when you rely on external factors. Real happiness needs to come from within. This is true in regards to work performance, too.

You may think a raise, great review, or promotion will make you love your job. After all, you worked really hard for it, and being rewarded feels good. But these rewards are external. If your job satisfaction depends on them, it won't last long. Soon, you'll likely revert back to feeling unmotivated and wishing you were anywhere but at work.

If you're ready to truly love the work you do (and thus increase your productivity), then it's time for a simple mindset shift.

It's as simple as focusing on the process rather than on the outcome. And can be easily applied to your current job.

Here's an experiment to test out now. Ask yourself these questions every day for a week:

  1. Are you enjoying the thinking or problem-solving that you're doing?

  2. What thinking or problem-solving provides the most positive challenge for you?

  3. How many goals did you achieve?

  4. Did the achievement of those goals feel more exciting than the work required to achieve them?

Take note of your responses. If you realize that you're not getting enjoyment out of the process, then it's a sign you may need to tweak your job or actively pursue work that is better aligned with who you are. The only thing that will improve your productivity and happiness is actually enjoying what you do day in and day out.

Take this new mindset and apply it to your entire day. Start to notice how often you are actively enjoying the process of your work and life versus just the outcomes. The more you practice this, the more your happiness and success will soar.

Published on: Jun 5, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.