Have you ever thought about how your mood affects your productivity? We are all complex creatures, who are prone to changes in mood. Our state of mood in turn can influence our productivity, both positively and negatively. When our mood is in a negative state, we can struggle to focus and produce sub-standard work.
So, what can we do, when we’re feeling unhappy/angry/upset to change our mood and focus again?
Working or living in a cluttered environment can make us unhappy and it can also clutter our minds, meaning that we struggle to focus. By tidying up our work and living areas, we are creating a calm area to work in. We are also making it easier to find files and important documents, thus we impact our productivity by making our work less stressful our mood better.
If we have issues bothering us in our personal lives, it can sometimes leak into our working lives. However, if we learn to compartmentalise these issues, we can focus on our work without our personal problems distracting us. Try to envisage each problem and in your mind’s eye see yourself putting each issue into a separate box and lifting the box onto a shelf. This signifies your mind shelving the problems for the time being, allowing you to focus on your work.
Although breathing generally is a subconscious, automatic action. When we’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it can help to take slow, deep breaths. This can help us to feel calmer and more focussed. Closing our eyes whilst doing it can also help us to switch off from our bad mood. When we re-open our eyes we should feel refreshed, calmer and ready to focus on our work again.
When we’re in a bad mood, we sometimes find it difficult to move on from what is bothering us, replaying scenarios and arguments in our heads, which obstructs our focus. Taking a few minutes to stretch our muscles and promote blood circulation throughout our body, can also help to refresh us mentally. If you’ve ever attended a yoga class, use some of the techniques to stretch, empty your mind, relax and breathe deeply. It only takes a few minutes but the benefits can boost your productivity for the whole day.
Going for a run/swim/cycle ride/walk can do wonders for our moods. The combination of being outside, surrounded by nature, the repetitive nature of the exercise and the ability to think things through, can really help us to adjust our mindset and focus when we start work. Also, the adrenaline rush of endorphins is an excellent natural mood enhancer, so it can be an excellent way to start every day.
Whilst some events in our lives can make it hard to lift ourselves out of our unpleasant state or mood, a lot of the time, the way we think can have a big impact on our productivity. If we allow ourselves to plunge into negative thinking, it is likely that our work will suffer. However, programming our minds to think positively, can have the opposite effect. For example, if we keep telling ourselves that we can do a good job or that we’re going to achieve those goals we have set for ourselves, our motivation to make this happen will increase and we will feel more energised.
Hopefully, these tips can help you to move out of the negative moods that we sometimes find ourselves in, ensuring our productivity isn’t disrupted for the whole day.
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor