Did you have a good, happy and positive morning? Did you know that your answer to that question not only affects your mood for the rest of the day, but also has real and quantifiable effect on your work performance and productivity?

Positive Action starts with Positive Thoughts

These are the simple rules of life: negative thoughts lead to negative performance; and the reverse, positive thoughts lead to positive performance.

It seems almost trite to say so, but so many of us come into the office with a less than sunny disposition. We are not negative people, pessimists, or naysayers, but mere mortals who face both trials and jubilations on a daily basis.

Does your Morning Mood really matter? (The Answer is “Yes!”)

Mornings in particular are hard. There is often some combination of lack of sleep, spilled coffee, an annoying commute, possibly a cranky child that did not want to go to school, the realization that you have to stop for gas before work, and any unpleasant remnants from the night before that have already imposed on your morning before you even walked through those heavy glass and metal doors.

You may be nodding your head in familiarity or in recognition of a scene from your own life, but then wonder, “so what? We all have to face life’s daily challenges; we all have outside of work responsibilities; and Toronto traffic leaves no one untouched or on time.”

That is absolutely true, but our morning moods and the manner in which we walk into the office does matter. Our disposition not only affects every person that we come into contact with on our way to our desk, but also sets the tone for our entire day.

Quality Performance and Increase in Productivity

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article espousing specifically this point. Nancy Rothbard and Steffanie Wilk, an associate professor at the Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University, examined the real and tangible connection between an employee’s mood and work performance. Unsurprisingly, an employee’s mood at the start of the day was most indicative of his or her state of mind for the remainder of the employee’s time at work, which causally corresponded to better performance and higher productivity.

How to ameliorate your Morning Mood

It is no secret that quality performance and continual increases in productivity are the stepping-stones to a better position and more responsibility in your firm. Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of the importance of a happy and positive morning mood and what it can do for you, what can you do to ensure that you walk into the office on the right foot?

Three Easy Steps to a Happy and Positive You

  1. Take a Minute: Before starting your day, before you pick up your first file, open your first email, or check your messages, take a minute. Take a quiet and reflective minute for yourself to breathe, to settle in, and to envision a productive and positive day. You have the time for a minute, and the results are well worth it.

  2. Give yourself something to look forward to: Maybe there is a special snack you keep only in your desk drawer, or maybe there is a hot beverage you only get at the coffee shop near the office building; whatever it is, create a morning routine that makes you happy. Build in a reinforcement system for positive feelings.

  3. Smile: It’s easy and it’s free. Emotions are reinforced by their facial expressions; this is essentially the science between “fake it until you make it.” Even on the more dreary of mornings, make an effort to smile to people you encounter in the elevator and at the front desk. At the very least, it will boost someone else’s morning mood.