By REMI DAIRO
Africa’s Leading Expert on Productivity
Speaker | Author | Productivity Coach
There is no gainsaying it: our moods affect our work performance. There have been days when nothing seems to be going as we expect. It could be a sleepless night, or an argument with one’s spouse. And when we eventually show up at the office, we try to put these issues away- but somehow, they never really disappear. As a result we struggle to get things done at work. This definitely affects our productivity. And if care is not taken, sometimes, we end up making some costly mistakes.
The fact is, as human beings, our emotions influence our work, whether we want them to or not.
Positive emotions result in good performance and increased productivity. On the other hand, negative emotions/ bad moods leads to poor performance. For instance, when a worker is in a bad mood, he is prone to procrastinate. Obviously such a worker cannot be productive at such times.
An interesting study of telephone customer-service representatives was carried out in 2011 at Ohio University. It was found that workers who were happy at the beginning of their shift were more likely to stay that way throughout the day. They also felt positively after helping customers, which contributed to better service on ensuing calls. On the other hand, representatives who started their day in a negative mood were more likely to feel worse after speaking to customers, and showed a 10% decrease in productivity due to breaks between calls.
Management typically expect employees to deal with negative emotions themselves, but that approach is hardly adequate. The result from the study above clearly indicated that negativity must be openly acknowledged and there must be institutionalized efforts to replace such negative moods with a positive mindset. If this is done, it is found that productivity increases.
So, how do I improve my mood at work?
If you are caught in a bad mood, do not despair. There are ways to take control of your moods and end up on the positive side of life. These methods have the capacity to take you through the day feeling good. Below are two powerful tips that can transform your productive life:
Life is whatever you make of it. You need to learn the art of faking it so that you can make it. To fake something is to make a replica of it. To switch from a bad mood to a good one, you need to apply your imaginations.
First you must acknowledge that you are in a bad mood. You must also acknowledge that you need to switch over to a good mood. Finally, you must realize that you may need to switch deliberately, as nothing may happen that will automatically switch your moods.
A proven method for effecting such a switch is a five letter word: SMILE.
So, if and when you find yourself in a bad mood, try to smile. At first, it may seem to be fake, but keep it on. After a while, I can assure you—you will start to feel better. And don’t just smile, try smiling by saying a long e, like the sound in the word “cheese”. It has been proven to bring about a shift in brain temperature that reflects a happier mood.
Most of the time, negative emotions are largely as a result of focusing on one’s need for too long. And one way to lose that focus is to try and focus on other people, and their needs. Doing something ( no matter how little) for others can defuse negativity by shifting focus from your troubles to the happiness of those around you.
You cannot desire to make others happy truly without being infected with happiness yourself.
Taking the time to collect yourself and improve your mindset will help you be more productive and create a positive atmosphere that your team will benefit from.