The PHOX Planner blog

Improve Productivity & Banish Stress

How happiness can improve productivity and banish stress..

As small business owners, we do so much more than just take photographs – we’re in charge of everything!  While this can feel overwhelming, understanding how your own happiness can improve productivity, is the key to building resilience and banishing stress.

By raising your positivity in the present, you create a happiness advantage which means you perform better and become more resilient.  Your brain in a positive state is 31% more productive than at neutral or when stressed.

Psychologist Shawn Achor argues that happiness inspires us to be more productive and build resilience – listen to his TED Talk here.  Be warned, he talks very fast but is very funny too!

Here are our top tips for keeping stress in perspective.

 Be Grateful – Practise gratitude

If you journal things you are grateful for you start to scan the world for the positive not the negative first. Writing about a positive experience allows your brain to relive it. In the PHOX planner, at the start of each week we set a positive intention, and at the end we make a note of our biggest win, what we learned, and what we are happy or most proud of. 

Stay focused –

Focus on the task at hand. What many people perceive as stress is often just the overwhelm of trying to do too much at once. The stress response is actually designed to focus us.  Used productively, positive stress is a performance enhancer. Focusing on only one thing at a time is crucial for getting the most done. Think of this focus as your new superpower!

Seek happiness –

Build mental and emotional fitness. Managing stress comes down to having the right mindset. Exercise teaches your brain that behaviour matters – and training our brain like we train our bodies matters too.  Being positive fuels success.  Shawn Achor’s book defines how a positive brain and happiness is the key to fuelling success in work and life, not the other way round.

Stick to a schedule –

Sticking to a clear schedule allows you to balance working hours with a personal life. Setting clear boundaries and planning each week in advance, reduces overwhelm and gives you back control.  In the PHOX planner we maximise our working hours by planning ahead and scheduling in regular tasks. We can enjoy our free time without the fear we’re forgetting something!

Most of us believe we should work hard in order to be successful and therefore happy, but could we be thinking about things backwards?  Apparently happiness can inspire us to be more productive, and this in turn reduces our stress and builds our success.  

We encourage you to try this out with 2 simple actions this week.  Firstly, set a positive intention for the week ahead, and secondly at the end of the week make a note of three  things that went well or that you are grateful for.  We will be sharing ours at @phoxplanner and we’d love to hear yours!

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