Ever stop to think about how negativity impedes on productivity?
Sure, we all say we don’t care about people we’ve deemed as enemies or haters- but most of us aren’t exactly being truthful with ourselves.
We let disagreements infiltrate our thoughts, causing us to spend a great deal of our time thinking about the people or things that shouldn’t matter.
Now, before you decide that this message is totally not for you and discard it, I challenge you to walk through the following assessment with me.
- How many times over the last week have you had a negative conversation?
- Review each of your social media accounts. How many posts have been directly or indirectly pointed toward a particular audience as shade, a clap back, or a read of some sort?
- Throughout the course of your day, how many posts do you like which carry an underlying message you’d love to tag an enemy or person you disagree with in?
- Count the number of screenshots you’ve collected and passed along to others. Did you pass these pictures along for positive or negative reasons?
- If you had to estimate the number of clicks you’ve made on profiles for purposes of verifying information, getting in on a joke, or lurking the posts of someone else for “tea,” what would that number be?
I’d venture to say that no less than 90% of us have participated in at least one of these actions over the last 2 weeks. And although I’m sure you are guessing that my next call to action is to encourage you to stop, it is not. Instead, I’ll admonish you to take the negativity challenge.
Step 1: Goal Drafting
First, I’d like you to write out three short term goals you have for yourself.
These goals might look something like this:
- Consistently work out at least three times per week
- finish a self help book by the end of the month
- pass my class with an A
Step 2: Negativity Journaling
Next, increase your awareness of negative actions and try estimating the time you spend participating in these actions.
For example, if you choose to upload a negative post, keep an estimate of the time used from the point that you choose a picture, add a caption, and respond to comments on the post.
You can keep these estimates in the notes section of your phone, in your journal, or on your computer. Either way, each time you participate in a negative action, you should note it.
An example would be:
- 5 min on Sally Sue’s page
- 30 minutes talking to Brit about Dani
- 20 minutes liking shady posts
Your journal is for your personal use only, so be honest with yourself. Abbreviate and use code words if you must, but do not slack on entering this information.
Do this for an entire week.
Step 3: Negativity Reflection
At the end of your week, tally the total amount of energy exerted for negative actions.
Once you have a total, go back to your list of short term goals. Spend some time noting the effort you put toward those goals throughout the week. Did you go full out toward achieving your goals? Did you fall short? Did you find your mind wondering to other things when you attempted to do them? Were you too tired at the end of your day to get to them?
When you compare the time spent on negative actions versus the time spent toward goal attainment, what percentage could be transferred to goal attainment?
If your weekly review indicates that you knocked everything out of the park and still had time for negative actions then great!
If like me, you find that the hour or two used for negativity could’ve been used to fuel your goals then make a change.
Step 4: Converting Negativity to Productivity
In the grand scheme of things, goals propel success not clap backs.
Spend more time on goals and less time worried about getting your point across to people who don’t really matter.
I get it. It sometimes feels better to vent or let your feelings be known – but at what cost? What is your post, your conversation, your negative energy really changing?
We could always stand to be further along, but we inhibit our progress by focusing too much on distracters. You can train yourself to use negativity to fuel success through one simple method.
The Method: block out negativity through increasing productivity.
It takes one heck of a person to fully concentrate on two things at once. For instance, it is really hard to focus on running faster and being tired of running at one time. One thought ultimately supercedes the other. When I fully focus on running faster, I forget to think about how tired I am. This concept is the same when it comes down to negativity.
When something upsetting happens, I focus on something productive. That something can be small or big. It can be as small as reorganizing my closet or something as big as drafting three blog posts in a day. Either way, I try hard to use my time in a way that produces positive outcomes even when I am tempted to display a negative reaction.
After all, isn’t success the best “revenge?”