The Forgotten Emotional Aspects of Productivity

One of the most overlooked causes of being unproductive is emotions. Our productivity and performance are greatly influenced by how we feel about ourselves and what we are capable of.

According to research done by Atlassian, a team’s productivity and the expression of positive emotions are positively correlated, This means that teams are more productive when they are happy with the work they are doing together:[1]

High-performing teams tend to experience twice as many positive emotions compared to low-performing teams. Happy teams get work done.

One way to promote positive emotions is to have a clear direction. Why? As humans, we are wired to prefer things to be under our control because it makes us feel secure and safe.[2] Since we feel more certain about our lives when we have a clear direction, we are less likely to feel depressed.

At LifeHack, we always strive to help our team members set goals and milestones so they know how to move forward and can track their progress along the way. However, not every company would take this step.

A few years ago, my cousin who had just graduated from college began working for a large company. I was overjoyed for him, but then he told me that he was frustrated with the company after only a few months…

He was eager to make a good first impression and establish himself in his new position. However, after a few weeks on the job, he became lost and frustrated. He had no idea what his role entailed, what his goals and objectives were, or how his work fit into the company’s overall goals.

He struggled to focus his attention and energy on his work because he lacked clear direction. He found himself easily distracted, procrastinating, and unmotivated to get started.

He put in a lot of effort to understand the company’s structure and culture, but he didn’t feel like he was making much progress. He couldn’t find motivation to work toward his goals and felt he wasn’t making any significant contributions to the company or his team. He was unsure how to overcome his role’s challenges and improve his performance.

His lack of direction also made making decisions and taking action difficult. He began to question his judgment and feel unsure of what to do. He didn’t know what to prioritize or how to allocate his time and energy effectively.

As a result, his productivity suffered significantly….

How a Lack of Direction Affects Productivity

We can become significantly less productive when we lack direction. It can be difficult to focus our efforts and make progress when we don’t know what we want to achieve. This can lead to feelings of frustration, demotivation, and a sense of being stuck.

Let me go into more detail about this:

1. Loss of Motivation

It can be challenging for people to understand the value and purpose of their work when there is no clear direction. Imagine not knowing what you want to achieve; it can be difficult to find motivation to work towards your goals. This results in a loss of motivation to work hard and persevere in the face of obstacles and challenges.

2. Loss of Focus

Someone who does not have a clear goal in mind will struggle to prioritize their work and focus their attention on the most important tasks. They may struggle to decide which task to tackle first and how to allocate their time and energy. This can leave them feeling disorganized and unfocused, making it difficult to progress on any given task or goal.

3. Loss of Confidence

Insecurity and doubt about one’s choices and even abilities are other effects of a lack of direction. Imagine yourself getting lost in the sea without a compass; you’ll probably question every decision you make about where to find land or where to go next!

Similarly, people who don’t know what they want to accomplish will be plagued by self-doubt. They may be constantly doubting their decisions, the worth of their work, and the impact it will have. They may therefore choose to put things off simply to avoid failing or making any mistakes.

So, what can you do to overcome the difficulties associated with a lack of direction?

Keep reading the following chapters to learn how my cousin used these strategies to get his motivation and focus back to excel at work!

Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via


The post The Forgotten Emotional Aspects of Productivity appeared first on Lifehack.

, ,