Focus on Positivity over Productivity


Do you find yourself stressed at work? If so, you’re not alone.

Here’s a scary statistic: 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress. Deadlines, budgets, coworker interactions, and poor communication can all create worry and anxiety in the workplace.

However, times of uncertainty only compound that stress. With the coronavirus pandemic dramatically upending both personal and professional routines, many employees find themselves coping with additional stress and anxiety.

If you are adjusting to a new normal, keep in mind that sometimes not doing something is the right thing to do. Stress can even lead you to being less productive, so forcing yourself to push through in times of intense stress can be unhelpful. It can lead to you spinning your wheels and feeling more frustrated, and create a negative space for you and your coworkers.

When you’re worried about outside forces, personal health, family finances, and more, it can be difficult to get anything done. That’s perfectly understandable—and also totally fine. Because when we find ourselves responding to problems that are bigger than ourselves, it’s important to take a step back.

Instead of focusing on being your most productive self, focus on being your most positive self. You may find that small acts of kindness help propel you through your day and create a better environment for yourself and your coworkers.

One way you can help yourself navigate through stressful times is to set a daily routine. But your to-do list doesn’t have to include only big-ticket items. Simply getting up and getting dressed can be a great place to start. You might not have the mental strength to finish a 30-page report, but you can respond to emails, make lunch, and cross off some smaller items.  

As you create your new schedule and adapt to shifting expectations, it’s important to be a strong communicator. Keeping in touch keeps the air clear and is key to a good mental attitude. Set regular check-ins with a buddy, coworker, or manager. Give them a heads up when you’ll be logging off for a break or sending a document for review.

Helpers bring light to the darkness, and during a crisis you may find yourself looking for ways to help others. Bring a positive attitude when you can. Simply sharing good news or taking the time to say hello makes a difference.

But, as you think about how you can be a good citizen and a good coworker, remember it’s okay to put yourself first. Take a break. Go easy on yourself. Additionally, if you’re a manager, encourage your employees to take the time they need to be well and be upfront about expectations. Your strengths and limitations may change during this time, so stay in touch so others know when you need space or assistance.

When you focus on positivity over productivity, you focus on what’s really important.


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