How To Stop Bad Moods Ruining Your Productivity

Published: March 10, 2015
By: Faye Hollands

Have you ever noticed how your productivity can come to a grinding halt when you’re in a bad mood?  Your emotions can have a significant impact on how much you get done on a daily basis, and ultimately how successful you are.  It’s therefore important to know how to manage your day so that you don’t fall victim to a tainted frame of mind or a negative disposition…

In his book ‘Why People Fail’ Australian advertising entrepreneur Siimon Reynolds talks about the importance of rituals and how they can make the difference between success and failure.

Significantly, Reynolds points out that we can’t rely on our moods and emotions to dictate our productivity.  If you’re having a great day then, yes, your productivity is likely to be higher and things will probably be going well for you.  But on the other hand,  if you’re in a bad mood, didn’t sleep well or are simply fed up, then you’re not likely to be firing on all cylinders and as a result your productivity will falter.

Put simply, there is too much risk associated with managing your time in line with your emotions because sometimes you just won’t feel like doing the important things on your to-do list which help move you closer to your goals.  And when you don’t do the important stuff, your results and level of success will suffer.

So what’s the solution? Just like habits, Reynolds recommends introducing rituals into your day so that you don’t let your mood dictate your results.   By definition, a ritual is any practice or pattern of behavior that’s regularly performed in a set manner, and just like habits, there are good and bad rituals.

Take Stephen King for example.  Apparently his daily ritual is to write 10 pages per day and he does this everyday without fail, even on his birthday and at Christmas!  Now I’m a big advocate for balance so I’m not suggesting that you need to start giving up your holidays to bow down to rituals, but Stephen King is definitely onto a good thing so we can all learn from his methods.

You see, when you do something at a set time and on a set day, without fail, you start to establish a  habit.  Before long, your neurological pathways become hard-wired to that way of thinking, and you start to behave on autopilot.  This almost robotic approach has the ability to take away the risk that emotions and moods can present, and in turn you will be taking action on a consistent basis to achieve your goals despite how you’re feeling at that given time.

So what rituals do you currently have? Take a moment now to write down the good and bad rituals that you perform regularly.  Cleaning your teeth, going to work, walking the dog, reading your emails, checking Facebook …. they’re all rituals.

Now consider what rituals would increase your productivity and help you achieve your goals?  Write down all the little things you could do that, when performed regularly, would help move you closer to achieving your personal and professional aspirations.

Finally, it’s important to write down and schedule your rituals into your diary.  If you want to lose weight for example, saying that you’ll exercise three times a week is not enough to form a ritual.  You need to specify the days and times you are going to exercise so that you reduce the risk of letting your mood dictate your behavior when the actual time comes along.  So for example….

If you want to find a new job, your daily rituals might be:-

  • 9am – Check on-line job boards
  • 10am – make 5 networking calls
  • 12pm – Send out job applications
  • 2pm – call recruiters
  • 5pm – update Linkedin status.

If you want to grow your business your rituals might be:-

  • 8am – check email
  • 9am – make 5 business development calls
  • 11am – update social media
  • 2pm – organise 2 networking meetings
  • 5pm – write article/blog

As Reynolds says “habits are what help you achieve where others fail’ so if you want to get ahead make the choice today to put some new rituals into place that will help you consistently progress.

Let me know what rituals work for you – post a comment below!

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email

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