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Happiness and Productivity – Why Being Happy Makes You Productive

happiness and productivity

Do you want to be productive, get more things done, and achieve all your milestones? If your answer is yes, what you need to do is simple, just be happy. Yes, happiness actually increases your level of productivity.

“Stop chasing the money, start chasing the passion,” quoted Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos who has brought the company to a billion dollars mark and then sold it to Amazon for a whopping $1.2 billion in 2009.

I strongly believe that when you’re happy, you become more productive and you tend to be able to get more things done.

According to this article from Forbes, there was a study conducted in Britain by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy.

The experiment involved 700 individuals chosen at random. They were shown a 10-minute comedy clip or provided with snacks and drinks.

And then the researchers followed up with a series of tests to ensure those individuals are happy.

Once the researchers confirmed that the individuals were happy, they gave them tasks to measure their level of productivity.

The result of the research?

Well, the researchers discovered that productivity increased by an average of 12% and went as high as 20% above the control group.

Now, imagine if you can perform 10% better each day because you are feeling happy. How does this going to change your life?

Answer: A lot!

If you are doing 10% better than your ordinary day, within a year, you can outdo most of your competitors and achieve astounding results in your life.

This is why it is extremely important to understand how happiness can affect your productivity.

In other words, when you are happy, you get can more things done and you perform better.

This is why Tony Hsieh said we should focus on the passion, not the money.

happy and productive life is made

How to Raise Your Happiness and Increase Your Productivity in the Workplace

So now that you understand how being happy can make you perform better, achieve more, and become more productive.

It is important to cultivate a positive and happy work environment. Regardless of whether you are a solo entrepreneur who works alone or you are running your own company with others, you need to create a positive and happy culture where you will feel happy when you go to work.

Here are 10 ways how you can raise your overall happiness to boost your productivity:

1. Smile more often

The easiest way to stay happy is to smile often. Do you know that your physiology can affect your emotion?

Your motion creates your emotion. Try to smile and make a big silly grin on your face, you will notice that the sad thoughts will automatically begone.

If you don’t believe me, watch this video from Tony Robbins. Watch how Tony explains how you can use your body to change your mood:

Science has proven that laughter is one of the best medicines. Think about it, when you’re down, smile and laugh a little, and you will feel less stressful and feeling much better.

So smile often. It doesn’t matter even if you’re not feeling happy, just pretend that you are and smile. The more you do it, the more it becomes real.

2. Be absolutely optimistic

“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

I love the above quote. It says a lot about being optimistic.

It is true that every day may not be good, but there is definitely something good every day. And you just need to focus on the good.

You don’t have the let the small little things spoil your day. Just focus on what goes right and the good things of each day.

That way, you will feel much better. You will become happy.

More importantly, the more you focus on the positive in life, the more positive you will experience. Like what Oprah Winfrey said:

“The more you celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”

Thus, always look for the positive.

You know why people give up on their dreams and goals? Well, one of the most common reasons is because they choose to focus on the failures, the rejections, and the setbacks that make them feel dejected.

You have to focus on the rewards, the goals, and always keep your eyes on the prize. If you constantly thinking about defeats, guess what, you will be defeated.

You become what you think about most of the time. So choose to think about the positive and be optimistic.

3. Make progress to a worthy goal

If you’re not feeling happy at work, most probably, it is because you don’t have a worthy goal.

Successful people have an emotional and strong vision that they desire to achieve. They want to change the world. And that is why they are always motivated and are productive in achieving what they want.

Elon Musk dreams about interstellar travel and he wants to put a man on Mars. That’s what drives him to hustle and strive each day.

What about you?

First, identify a worthy goal. A goal or a target that you truly want to achieve. You need to have a direction that will pull you there.

Steve Jobs said it wisely:

“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”

Once you have identified a goal that will pull you, the next thing you need to do is to make progress.

Do you know that you feel accomplished and happy whenever you make progress toward your ideal goal?

albert einstein goal quote

Here’s a short story I want to share with you…

Progress Makes You Feel Accomplished and Happy

There is a little monk asks his master about the secret to happiness. Being the wise master, he did not answer the little monk directly. Instead, the master gives the little monk a mission to take care of a pot of a plant.

The master says that when the plant blossom, he will disclose the secret to happiness to the little monk.

So each day, the little monk takes good care of the plant. He waters it and makes sure the soil is suitable.

And after 2 months, the plant blooms and grows into a beautiful flower. The little monk is so happy that he sings while he walks to his master, knowing that his master will finally tell him the secret of happiness.

When the little monk asks the question again, the master asks back the little monk, what makes him happy. The little monk says the plant has blossomed after he poured in the hard work.

And that, my friend, is the secret to happiness.

You will feel extremely fulfilled and satisfied when you work hard on a worthy ideal.

When you make progress and truly work for something that you care about, you will feel accomplished and happy.

And this is the secret to happiness.

Hence, if you want to be happy, identify a worthy goal, and then work tirelessly to achieve it.

Your progress will make you happy.

4. Be grateful

Life can be difficult at times, but that doesn’t mean that you should feel down all the time. Choose to be grateful.

Be appreciative and be grateful for what you already have. Rather than feeling sorrow for the goals that you missed, be grateful for the progress that you have made.

You don’t have to feel bad for one client who rejects you, instead, choose to focus on all the clients that you have touched.

Here’s an article from Greater Good Magazine and I think you should read:

10 Ways to Become More Grateful

5. Love what you do

Do I need to explain this further? When you’re passionate about your work, you will be happy and productive.

People find it difficult to feel happy and they are often dragged to get to work because they simply don’t love what they do.

If you truly love what you do, you will do it proactively. You will look forward to doing it. You will do it even if your boss doesn’t request it from you.

Are you unclear with your passion and have no idea what you want to do in life? Read my previous article:

7 Clear Signs That You Have Discovered Your Passion in Life

passion is energy

Remember, your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and you don’t want to waste your life doing something that you don’t like doing.

Plus, if you want to be truly satisfied, you must do great work. And to do great work, you must love what you do.

6. Be helpful and generous

Another way to make you feel happy is to always be helpful and generous.

Nothing will raise your spirits and happiness more quickly than being generous and helping someone who is in need.

This article from Becoming Minimalist explains it well why helping others succeed can be your greatest success. The author, Joshua Becker said that when you help others, here are the things that can happen:

  • The receiver has reached a far greater potential than they could have on their own.
  • The world has been bettered and has been given a life-giving model to emulate.
  • The giver is remembered fondly and is often publicly (and privately) thanked for their contribution.
  • A stranger is likely to be the recipient of the original receiver “paying it forward.”

And the cycle continues. Kevin Kruse, the successful entrepreneur and a New York Times Bestselling author once said:

“Life is about making an impact, not making an income.”

Thus, focus on making an impact, my friend. Help others to get what they want, solve their problems, and in return, they will make you successful.

7. Create meaningful connections with others

Do you know that one of the easiest ways to stay happy in your workplace is to encourage meaningful connections?

While it is true that social media and technology have transformed the way we connect with each other, it is still extremely important for you to make physical contact with others.

As human beings, we all crave to express our feelings, to share our emotions, and to have them received.

When you have a great relationship with the people around you, you can become more successful.

  • Your partner can help motivate and encourage you in your career.
  • Your friends can give you the support you need.
  • A good relationship with your loved ones can build your confidence.
  • Your team can grow you and put you back on the right track.
  • When your relationship with people is good, you’re happier. Hence, more productive.

Here’s what you can do to nurture a good relationship with others:

7 Key Habits For Building Better Relationships

8. Live an active lifestyle

Make exercise your habit. When you are healthy, you are happy. There is no way you can be happy when your health is at risk.

So live an active lifestyle. Workout and exercise regularly.

In fact, exercise increases your productivity. Studies have discovered that when you exercise, endorphins, the happiness hormones are released in your brain, which makes you happy.

And when you exercise, you increase your blood and oxygen flow. As a result, it makes your mind sharper, more creative, and have more energy to tackle your work at hand.

No matter how busy you are, make time to exercise. Here’s a great article on how you can do that:

25 Ways to Make Time for Fitness

9. Make your workplace fun

“Some 80% of your life is spent working. You want to have fun at home, why shouldn’t you have fun at work?”

The above quote was from Richard Branson, the billionaire who founded Virgin Group.

have fun quote

If you want to be productive, make your workplace a fun place to work at. Like what Branson said, you’re going to spend most of your time working, why shouldn’t you have fun at it?

Remember, you will have to work day-in and day-out. You’re going to spend 5 days out of 7 at your work. So make your work fun. Start by making your workplace a pleasant place to work at.

Here are my 13 tips for workplace happiness. Read the article.

10. Reward your progress

Regardless of whether it is going out with your team for a good dinner or enjoying a short retreat with your colleagues, these rewards will make you happier and want to work harder.

Therefore, find time to reward yourself from time to time. Celebrate your progress and reward yourself for the victories and achievements that you have created.

S.J. Scott from Develop Good Habits has compiled a superb list of 155 ways and ideas on how you can reward yourself for making progress. Check out the article here.

Hence, you have no excuse not to celebrate your victory. No matter it is a small win or a big one, put in the effort to celebrate and feel good for it.

Remember what Oprah Winfrey said? The more you celebrate your life, the more you have in life to celebrate.

Plus, with the article from Scott, there are 155 ideas how you can reward yourself for completing your tasks and goals.

So there is absolutely no excuse not to do so.


Happiness and productivity do go hand-in-hand. When you are happy, you are more productive. And when you are productive, your level of happiness will be higher.

And if you want to get rid of procrastination, get more things done, and become more successful, what you need to do is simple, just be happy.

Happiness expands your mood and help you achieve more in life and at work.

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About Shawn Lim

I'm a blogger, writer, and also an internet entrepreneur. If you want to learn more about me, kindly go to the About page. By the way, have you downloaded your FREE copy of Active Goal Setting? Don't forget to do so. :)

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