Four Tips for a More Positive Mindset to Improve Your Productivity
Are you looking for ways to boost your productivity?
There’s a very good reason for the countless studies conducted by professors, psychologists, and even gurus and monks regarding the impact a positive mindset has on our lives.
It’s because positive thinking really does work!
But there’s a paradox that makes a positive mindset less accessible than we would like to think. Although the voice inside our head seems so simple to control, changing one’s mindset is, in fact, a difficult process.
It’s not that it’s complex, but it’s difficult – it takes consistency, creativity, and determination to achieve. However, a positive mindset can have a profound impact on the quality of your life, relationships, and work.
The Importance of a Positive Mindset for Your Productivity at Work
This isn’t some fluffy mumbo jumbo. The impact of positive thinking has been studied extensively; it’s been proven to have an effect on the brain and the body.
For example, Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, made some interesting discoveries during her research. Her study involved five groups of participants. The first two groups were shown clips that produced positive emotions, such as joy and contentment. Group three was a control group that did not view any clips. The last two groups were shown clips that produced negative emotions such as fear and anger.
All of the participants were then asked to imagine themselves in situations similar to those shown in the clips. When answering questions, participants in the first two groups provided significantly more solutions than participants in the last two groups. In other words, those who were influenced to feel positive feelings saw more possibilities for their lives, evidence that positive thinking opens your mind to more options.
Another example is from Jessica Pryce-Jones, the author of Happiness at Work and CEO of iOpener. She conducted research with over 3,000 respondents in 79 countries on the impact of happiness on productivity. The participants who claimed to be happy were 180% more energized at work, 108% more engaged, 50% more motivated, and 50% more productive.
In other words, positive thinking indirectly affects your productivity by improving factors such as mindset, motivation, concentration, and energy.
Tips on How to Find Your Positive Mindset
As mentioned earlier, the key to changing your mindset is consistency, creativity, and determination. You need consistency in practicing every day. And creativity contributes to flexibility and adaptability in your daily routines. Determination is what gets you through to your end goal. Here are four tips on how to implement positive thinking in your life for increased productivity:
1. List three things you’re thankful for before opening your eyes
These days, we’re likely to grab our phones as soon as we open our eyes in the morning. But emails, text messages, and social media posts tend to add anxiety and stress to our days. That’s how we set ourselves up for a day riddled with those feelings.
Make a change by replacing the phone grab with three positive thoughts about what you’re thankful for, or what you’re looking forward to that day. This way, you start the day with feelings such as joy, contentment, and peacefulness. To go the extra mile, delay the start of your social media day – don’t grab your phone until you’ve had breakfast or you’ve arrived at work.
Meditating can help your conscious mind lose the habit of picking up your phone first thing in the morning. Check out this guided meditation by The Honest Guys to help you let go of old habits.
2. Meditate on your negative inner voices
When you work the practice of meditation into your routine, you will become aware of the negative thought patterns that you possess. And then, through practice and determination, you will begin to replace those negative voices with more benevolent ones. The replacement of these voices results in a more positive mindset.
For example, if you’re worried about a deadline, your inner voice might sound very negative: “You’re not going to be able to finish on time.” After meditating and observing this voice, you might replace it with a more benign message: “I’m worried about this deadline, but if I work hard and try my best, I’m going to make it on time.”
This video from The School of Life is really helpful for understanding where these negative voices come from and how you can replace them.
3. Make a list just so you can cross items off
List making is an excellent practice for feeling better about yourself on a day-to-day basis. Every time you cross off a “to-do” from your list, you get a sense of accomplishment and victory that will make your self-image shine a little brighter.
You can include small, easy tasks, such as “wake up,” “eat breakfast,” “go for a walk,” and “brush teeth,” just for the pleasure of crossing them off the list once they’ve been completed.
Of course, you also need to include bigger tasks, such as “finish project,” “call the client,” or “do taxes.” But having tasks clearly laid out will reduce your stress, allowing your mind to focus on the task at hand and leaving the big picture stuff on the paper.
4. Find people you can call for support
Sometimes we just can’t get out of our heads, and we need a bit of help getting through a rough patch. It’s important to know who’s on your support team.
Who always has a positive outlook on life, a ‘glass-half-full’ kind of person? If you surround yourself with people like that, not only are you more likely to pick up some of their attitude and energy, but you can rely on them to help you stay positive!
Where Will You Find Your Positive Mindset?
Determination. Consistency. Creativity.
Be aware that not all of these tips are going to work for every brain. This is where your determination and ability to be consistent and creative will come in handy. You need to find what works for you and keep on moving forward, even when you think it’s not working.
According to Barbara Fredrickson, a positive mindset gives you the freedom to express the best of who you are. This journey, like any other, will have its ups and downs, but few journeys are as meaningful as the one that brings you home to yourself.