As a business owner, you need to step into the office as a positive leader. The course of your business depends solely on you and while that may seem like a heavy burden, how you approach each day will significantly impact your productivity.
Which would you rather experience: Waking up feeling confident about what needs to get done and attacking your to-do list with positive energy or giving in to your feelings of dread and disgust that eventually lead to diminished confidence and wanting to quit? I’m hoping you choose the feeling confident option.
Research Shows Positivity Impacts Productivity
Barbara Fredrickson is a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina and some of her most-referenced research proves that positive thoughts and reinforcement help improve work outlook and productivity.
Her study consisted of 5 groups of people: 2 groups were shown video clips that were joyful and produced positive feelings; 2 groups were shown video clips that evoked negative emotions, and 1 group was the control group who were not shown any video clips at all.
Each person was then asked to answer a series of questions. The groups who viewed the positive videos were more likely to see solutions to problems than those who viewed the negative videos. In short, the positive group saw more possibilities with their lives. They broadened their minds with positivity and creative thinking rather than narrowing their focus to just the negativity.Did you know that starting your day on a positive note increases your productivity + mood? If your current morning routine leaves you feeling rushed + frustrated, try changing it up with these tips. Click To Tweet
Positive Ways to Start Your Morning
If you want to embrace this positive way of thinking, you first need to analyze your current morning routine and if it offers any benefits. Are you hitting the snooze alarm 4 times before racing through your shower to get out the door? How do you feel as you’re speeding your way to the office? Even if you work at home, if you’re oversleeping or feeling frenetic before a client call, how does that set up the rest of your day?
Every person will have a different, meaningful way to start their morning, but the key is to discover what makes you feel calm, joyful, relaxed, and positive about beginning a brand new day.
- Do you need 15 minutes of quiet to enjoy your coffee or do you need a robust, quick-paced work out?
- Does meditation or yoga help you feel grounded and ready for the day?
- Do you need spiritual reassurance, such as from the Bible or other spiritual book?
- Do you prefer reading your favorite mystery novel while you eat breakfast?
- Have you tried journaling about your goals and/or feelings about your work?
- Do you have a written plan of action each day so you know exactly what you have to accomplish?
No matter how you choose to start your day, be consistent, even during stressful times and on the weekends. When tiny habits are done consistently, they become a part of your everyday routine and you won’t have to think about them again. Embrace positivity: Take notes about any changes you make to your morning routine and how it affects your mood and productivity throughout the day.
Choose Positivity…How to Find the Silver Lining in Every Situation
When you’re faced with adversity, you have two choices: Focus on the negative and wonder why you’re always dealt such a rotten hand in life; or focus on the positive and search for the lesson in every situation. Life is truly about the choices you make and choosing a positive or negative outlook is very much in your control.
Why is Positivity so Important?
Barbara Fredrickson is a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina and her research has proven that positive and negative thoughts each have an effect on our brains. Those with a positive outlook on life are open to more possibilities, look for opportunities to succeed, and are better problem solvers. Those with a negative outlook, however, focus strictly on the negative feelings or thoughts, which can lead to self-doubt, self-esteem issues, or depression. They also see fewer opportunities to escape their negativity.
Build Your Skillset with Positivity
Positive emotions also lead us toward activities that will broaden our skills, which can benefit us for years into the future. Take the example of a young football player. In elementary school, he simply loved to run and play with friends. These joyful and carefree activities drove him to join a team at a young age, where he developed his athleticism, his listening ability, and his team spirit.
Even though the work on the football field increased as he grew older, he developed a sense of accomplishment after practice or big games. He respected his teammates and coaches and learned about teamwork. This football player will carry all these traits with him throughout his life and each one stemmed from those positive emotions of having fun with his friends.
As you can imagine, a negative outlook at a young age can have quite the opposite effect, with the child doubting his abilities and feeling jealous of his friends who are playing while he sits on the sidelines. As this child grows up, there’s a strong possibility that he’ll become insecure and struggle with anxiety, which can lead to difficulties finding a job or a relationship.
How to Find the Silver Lining in Every Situation
Everyday life is not filled with unicorns and rainbows. Life throws you curve balls which are not always easy to recover from. Unexpected occurrences can throw your day off kilter. Anger and frustration are natural emotions which should be acknowledged; however, the key is to put those negative emotions aside and focus on digging yourself out of the hole you fell into.
Step One is to find gratitude in the situation as being grateful naturally pushes you into a positive mindset. If you’re involved in a fender bender car accident, for example, be grateful you can walk away without injury. Or be grateful the damage to your car is limited to just the bumper. Be grateful the kids weren’t in the car with you. No matter how big the situation, find a glimmer of hope in your gratitude.
Step Two is to look for the lesson that is taught. In the car example above, the lesson may be to keep more distance between cars or to be less distracted while driving. Maybe you’ve sent out 10 proposals to new prospects and all 10 have rejected your proposals. Your lesson is to look more closely at your offers and your pricing and make tweaks to attract more people.
Step Three is to practice self-care every day. Five minutes of meditation or a 10-minute walk at lunch time can do wonders to clear your mind, improve your focus, and invite some positive vibes into your mind.
Have no fear: You CAN learn how to become an optimist, even if you’ve spent years stuck in your pessimism. Just treat yourself well and allow yourself time to train your brain to be grateful and to find the lesson in each event.
How to Lead Positively
Think back to when you worked in a traditional job. What was the atmosphere like in the office? Were you excited to go to work or did you dread it? Did your boss contribute to the atmosphere? How do you wish it was different?
Now that you’re leading your own company, think of how YOU impact the atmosphere and morale of your office. Even if you have a home office with a single virtual assistant, YOU have an impact on how well things flow between you. Your attitude directly impacts your VA’s excitement to get your work done and to make suggestions to improve workflow. It all goes back to the lesson we learned as children – treat others as you want to be treated.
How to Show Your Team You Care
No matter how big (or small) your team is, you can always do nice things to show them that you appreciate the work they do for you. From simple words of appreciation to surprise bonuses, small gestures go a long way to show you care. These same small gestures often lead to team loyalty, too.
Show your team members that you care about them as a person outside of the work they do. If they have a new baby, consider sending a bouquet of flowers or a baby gift. Near the holidays, consider sending a gift card to treat themselves to something special. Or if they mention a favorite restaurant or website on social media, send a gift card for those places. Those thoughtful gifts can truly make someone’s day.
Your gifts don’t have to be monetary to be generous. Ask about their opinion about how things could be better with workflow or workload. Write a glowing testimonial for their website; those kind words will make their day better upon reading it! Also provide whatever updated training is necessary for your team members so they feel prepared to deal with any challenges that come up. Knowing you want them prepared instills confidence in your team and shows you care about their performance.
How to Bring Positivity to the Workplace
Know your mission. If your mission is one of positivity and you bring on positive team members, everyone will better serve your clients and customers.
Smile more. Even if you’re not having the best day, smiling can help diminish your negative thoughts. Smiling is also contagious so greet your team members on video calls with a smile that says, “I’m happy to see you!”
Practice gratitude and thankfulness. Express these feelings to your employees or virtual team members. Encourage them to find the silver lining in difficult situations.
Lead by example. Just as toddlers look to their parents to learn how to behave, your team members or employees look to you to be their guide. Your choice of words and your actions will greatly impact your team and their understanding of how you expect them to act.
Positivity takes practice to implement, especially if you have struggled with a negative mindset or pessimistic outlook on life. But when your positive attitude shines through, your team will notice and it will have a positive impact on them as well.
Crappy Desk, Crappy Mind. How to Create a Positive Work Environment
Have you ever given thought to how clutter or disorganization affects your mood and your productivity? Some people argue that their desks may be messy but they know where everything is. So why have a messy desk in the first place?
Clutter leads to distraction and knows no boundaries. Whether it’s your desk or your kitchen with the clutter, notice how you feel when you enter the room. Do you get a warm, fuzzy feeling, like you could stay there all day? Or do you want to enter, get what you need, and then leave quickly?
Psychologists have studied the effects of clutter on our wellbeing and brains so it’s proven that looking at clutter weighs us down by making it difficult to make decisions and/or take action. Not taking care of the clutter or not finding the time to do so can also lead to feelings of depression or lower self-esteem, which in turn can lead to lowered productivity.
So, let’s clean off that messy desk!
Organizing Tips for a Clean Desk
One quick and easy way to clean your desk is to take everything off, put all papers into a pile, and clean the top. Now, only put back the essential items you need. Your next step MUST be to either hire an assistant or schedule time in your calendar to sort through all the papers. You don’t want to throw away important contracts, notes, or bills.
Now you need systems for dealing with the clutter so it doesn’t overwhelm you again. Try an accordian folder for bills or sign up for paperless bills and move everything online. Identify your biggest sources of clutter and find a solution. If your kids contribute to their clutter, move it to their rooms and find a storage solution in there. Your office should not be everyone’s extra storage space.
Add one thing that brings you joy to your desk. It can be a family photo, a diffuser with your favorite essential oils, or even a small vase of fresh flowers. Create a clean environment where you’ll be happy to work.
Once your desk is cleaned off and you have systems in place, take note of how easy it is to turn on the computer and do your work! No more wondering what’s under each pile or demeaning yourself for not finding the time to clean.
Tips for Bringing Positivity to Your Work
Your office space should be reserved for just work so you can enter and immediately feel focused on the day’s tasks. If you need a little more positivity and warmth for this space, consider framing a favorite inspirational quote on your wall or use it as the wallpaper on your computer screen. Frame your vision board prominently in your office so you can spend a few minutes each day remembering WHY you’re in business. Give your office a paint job or add new curtains for an inexpensive pick-me-up. If you don’t have the luxury of a home office, upload your favorite Spotify playlist with music that will inspire you to keep moving forward.
Lastly, remember that you are in control of the noise you let into your life. If your social media feeds are filled with nastiness, consider unfollowing certain people or hiding offensive posts. Maybe your newsfeed isn’t the best place to get your news headlines first thing in the morning.
Choose to acknowledge joyful things and your heart and mind will be calmer and ready to work.
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