One Friday evening commute (before COVID), I was listening to a TED Talk by Shawn Anchor on positive psychology. In the video, called “The Happy Secret to Better Work”, he talks about the advantages of happiness and the link between happiness and success. When I first watched the video, it truly resonated with me. Tonight, I felt like watching it again.
It’s been over a year and a half, and most of us are still working remotely and spending more time connecting online. A lot has changed. Is Shawn’s message still relevant? How do we take advantage of the power of positivity in today’s environment? Can we harness positivity to be more productive at home and work?
Below, I’ll share some of the things I do to stay positive, as well as takeaways from Shawn Achor’s TedTalk about the power of positivity. If you want to be a better contributor or leader, I recommend watching this video.
Here are some of the things I do to stay positive and productive:
1. Limit The News
The news is almost all negative. “If it bleeds, it leads.” Violence, conflict, division, and devastation are the usual headliners. It’s called the “bad news bias” and it’s all around us. But is the media just giving us what we want? We can’t help but be drawn to the drama. It may be what we want but, it’s not what we need. We end up following the same news stories in a loop all day. It’s one thing to stay current and know what’s important in the news, but it’s another thing to get consumed by it. Limiting negative distractions keeps us focused on the tasks ahead.
2. Hide Posts on Social Media
Do you have that one account on social media that brings up negative feelings? Maybe it’s an old friend whose life is in a constant state of chaos and crisis, an ex-coworker whose views make you angry, or an influencer whose filtered photos leave you feeling sad or jealous. If it’s not important: hide their posts on your newsfeed. This feature is great to avoid the awkwardness of unfriending while also protecting your mental wellness and positivity.
3. Ask Yourself, “Is it Worth It?”
Before I launch into a fruitless argument or debate, I pause and ask myself, “Is it worth it?” Whether it’s holding back from a reply on social media or keeping a negative comment to yourself in a relationship, ask yourself if it’s worth your time. What’s the end game? A simple comment on social media can open a can of worms, ending in a time-consuming comment war, volleying back and forth, and ending in hurt feelings or anger. If it’s not productive, it’s not worth your time and energy.
Don’t wait to celebrate! Whether it’s big or small, it’s worth celebrating. I also love “pre-celebrating” future wins. It’s not always easy to recognize your own success and we often end up holding off until we’ve already succeeded. By the time we get the new promotion or reach our goal, we’re on to the next thing and forget to celebrate at all. That’s a mistake. If you want to keep winning, don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate your hard work. Celebration is tied to success because it’s tied to happiness. Happiness drives you and keeps you feeling positive and motivated to continually succeed.
These tips have helped keep me motivated, happy, and positive. Focusing on the positive instead of the negative can be challenging, especially in the unprecedented times we’re currently living in. But, harnessing the power of positivity to stay productive is a skill that will serve you well in your personal and professional life.
Watch Shawn Anchor’s TED Talk here: https://embed.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work
What are your top tips for staying positive and productive?