How to Increase Productivity Using the Happiness Advantage

Which comes first: Employees feeling unhappy or a decrease in productivity? This question concerns a growth mindset and business owners’ challenge – significantly boosting productivity, elevating networking outcomes, and positively impacting various facets of business operations. A new psychology principle might offer a solution. The concept of the Happiness Advantage was pioneered by best-selling author Shawn Achor, who is renowned for his work in this field.

The book Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor explores the connection between success and happiness and why workers struggle to find satisfaction at work. However, more importantly, the conclusion is that happiness precedes success.

Although these lessons were meant to help individuals, business owners have found them helpful for their company. These principles make it easier to get employees excited and work together toward the company’s goals.

So, if you’re keen on unlocking strategies for enhancing productivity, well-being, and personal growth, then delve into the 7 principles of the Happiness Advantage and discover how they can transform your approach.

How To Increase Productivity Is Through Happiness

The 7 Principles of the Happiness Advantage

While Martin Seligman is often hailed as the founding figure of Positive Psychology, Shawn Achor has notably brought its principles as a psychology theory into the spotlight within business.

Achor’s seminal work, The Happiness Advantage, underscores the paramount importance of personal development and outlines 7 fundamental principles for fostering greater well-being. Moreover, research indicates that happy workers are more creative, productive, and better at solving problems than unhappy workers; this approach can benefit you as a business owner. Let’s explore the Happiness Advantage in more detail. 

The Happiness Advantage

As a first principle, Achor suggests that happiness leads to success rather than vice versa. When we feel positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, and resilient, leading to higher success levels in our daily lives. On the flip side, this principle might appear to conflict with the notion of hard work that will lead to success; however, it does not dismiss work ethic. Instead, this principle points out that work ethic can be optimized with a happier employee.

To be successful, focus on habits that make you happy. Try meditation—it rewires your brain, making you happier and less stressed. Exercise is great, too—it boosts mood, improves work performance, and reduces stress. Plus, it helps you get into a productive and engaged state.

The Fulcrum and the Lever

The Fulcrum and the Lever principle suggest that we can leverage our mindset for success by shifting our attitude. It’s like using a lever to lift a heavy object with minimal force at the right point. We empower ourselves to overcome challenges and seize opportunities by adopting a positive mindset. Practically, this means cultivating awareness and intentionality in choosing positivity over negativity, which can be reinforced through gratitude journaling and surrounding ourselves with supportive people. Overall, it’s about recognizing the power of our mindset in shaping our experiences and outcomes in life.

Forget About How To Increase Productivity This Is Happiness

The Tetris Effect

The Tetris Effect is a concept derived from the popular video game. It refers to the phenomenon where our brains get stuck in patterns based on repetitive thoughts and actions. For example, if you play Tetris for a long time, you might start seeing falling blocks even when you’re not playing. Achor applies this idea to our everyday lives, suggesting that our brains can become fixated on negative patterns if we focus too much on problems or stressors. However, by consciously training our brains to focus on positive patterns and opportunities, we can reshape our thought patterns and improve our overall happiness and success.

The key to overcoming the Tetris Effect lies in practicing positivity and gratitude. By intentionally seeking out and focusing on positive experiences and opportunities, we can train our brains to recognize and appreciate the good things in life. This can be as simple as keeping a gratitude journal or regularly reflecting on moments of joy and success. Over time, this positive reinforcement can help break the cycle of negativity and allow us to see the world more optimistically.

In practical terms, the Tetris Effect reminds us of the importance of mindfulness and awareness in shaping our experiences. By paying attention to our thoughts and consciously focusing on the positive, we can reprogram our brains to see opportunities for growth and happiness instead of getting stuck in negative patterns. Ultimately, we can cultivate a more positive and fulfilling life by harnessing the power of the Tetris Effect.

Falling Up

This principle focuses on resilience, which means being able to bounce back from tough times. Achor believes we can become more resilient and prosperous if we see failures as chances to learn and grow. So, instead of seeing failure as the end, see it as an opportunity to improve. To make your workplace more productive, it’s essential to handle failure and stress in healthy ways and keep track of how things are going over time.

Moreover, our perceptions shape our experiences, as our brains interpret the world based on our thoughts and experiences. This means that what we perceive as reality may differ from someone else’s perspective. Additionally, research indicates that kindness towards friends or strangers can boost our mental well-being by reducing stress levels. Being kind not only benefits others but also enhances our own happiness and overall well-being.

The Zorro Circle Strategy

This principle highlights how our environment influences our habits and behaviors. We can sustain positive behaviors over time by making positive habits easier to start and damaging habits harder to engage in. Starting with achievable goals helps us feel in control and sets the stage for real progress.

Establishing objectives is crucial. Visualizing future rewards activates pleasure centers in the brain, similar to the satisfaction of achieving those rewards. Beginning with modest goals is essential, too. Small victories can lead to significant accomplishments. When facing stress, tackling small tasks first gives us a sense of control and makes larger obstacles seem more manageable. This approach, known as the Zorro Circle strategy, involves solving multiple minor problems in succession to gain momentum and ultimately address more significant challenges.

The 20-Second Principle

This principle shows how our surroundings affect our habits and actions. If we make it easier to start good habits and more challenging to create bad ones, we can stick to positive behaviors. The 20-second rule helps us stick to our goals. It says we should remove obstacles that stop us from achieving something. I know I’d have difficulty getting things done without many distractions. Ideally, we set things up so it only takes 20 seconds to start working towards our goal. Our thoughts and actions shape our habits. Changing them starts a chain reaction that affects our habits. While breaking bad habits might take longer than 20 seconds, the idea still works: making it easier to do good things leads to meaningful change.

Setting goals is key. When we’re happy, we’re more likely to succeed—being positive boosts our intelligence and motivation, which are essential for success. Plus, increasing productivity is critical, too. You can gain three hours of productivity by spending just 20 extra seconds on my routine.

Social Investment

Achor’s research revealed a strong connection between happiness and social support, indicating that our interactions with friends and family significantly impact our well-being. When facing challenges or trying to change ingrained habits, having support from loved ones becomes crucial.

Understanding the importance of social connections is critical to unlocking the benefits of the Happiness Advantage for your business. Among the seven principles outlined, nurturing social bonds is essential for professional success and happiness. Collaborative relationships within teams lead to increased engagement, vitality, and sustained focus on tasks.

Social networks protect against depression and can even extend life expectancy due to releasing oxytocin, the ‘bonding hormone,’ during social interactions. Achor emphasizes the significance of investing in relationships with friends, family, and colleagues to enhance happiness, receive support, and find fulfillment.

Happiness Is This Way

The Bottom Line: How to Increase Productivity

Harnessing the power of the Happiness Advantage through its seven fundamental principles offers a comprehensive roadmap to significantly boost productivity in both professional and personal spheres. Individuals can unlock their full potential by cultivating a growth mindset, embracing the Happiness Advantage, and incorporating the principles of positivity, mindfulness, and social investment.

Starting with recognizing that happiness precedes success, we embark on a journey guided by principles such as finding meaning, redirecting thinking patterns, and initiating positive changes through small, manageable steps. By applying the 20-second rule, we reduce barriers to positive habits and pave the way for lasting transformation.

Furthermore, by acknowledging the importance of social connections and investing in strong relationships, we fortify our resilience, enhance engagement, and foster a supportive environment conducive to growth and achievement. By adhering to these principles, individuals can cultivate a thriving mindset that enhances productivity and contributes to overall well-being and fulfillment.

“Happiness raises an individual’s intelligence and success rate.” Shawn Achor