How Your Mood Affects Productivity

There are a large number of things that affect your level of productivity throughout the day. One of the biggest is your mood. A person’s mood has a large impact on almost every aspect of their day. While one’s mood may not have been focused on previously, it’s now known that it plays a large role in staying productive and getting work done. Keep reading for information on how each mood can affect productivity and some tips on staying productive.

Mood’s effect on productivity

The connection between one’s mood and productivity is strong. A bad mood can lead to a number of other mental issues, such as depression and anxiety. While it may seem that a bad mood is temporary, it can be indicative of a deeper issue that’s rooted in your subconscious.

Whether you’re feeling off at work, stressed out about family issues, buying a home, or just about life itself, it’s important to understand how each mood can affect your focus and productivity.

mood productivity


Having a happy mood positively affects your productivity. A person that is in a generally happy mood will work harder and be more energetic. A study by the University of Warwick found that a happy mood makes people around 12% more productive at work.

In the study, one group of participants was shown a movie clip or given free snacks and drinks. Conversely, another group of participants was asked uncomfortable questions, such as family tragedies to lower their moods. Those that had their mood improved were more productive afterward.

This is why a number of companies have invested more heavily in keeping their workers satisfied and ready to work. As a result, employee satisfaction has increased and productivity along with it.


Sadness or a more serious case of depression can be detrimental to one’s productivity. People that are sad or facing depression usually still show up to work but experience a large drop in their productivity levels.

One of the most common symptoms of depression is fatigue. The decreased energy levels from fatigue can make it difficult to complete work and focus on your tasks. This fatigue usually happens earlier in the day, before any work has been completed.

Sadness and depression can also lead to a breakdown of workplace relationships. Someone that’s facing depression may lash out at others, not being able to express their feelings in a healthy manner.


Everyone faces some level of fear in their lives. Whether it be a fear of a new job, an interview, or just getting out of bed and getting the day started. Fear can take grip and be overwhelming, so it’s no surprise that it can negatively affect your productivity as well.

There are a number of fears that you may be facing that affect your productivity, fear of success, fear of the unknown, or just fear of failure itself. Fear of success or failure could lead to you taking fewer risks, or just refusing opportunities when they present themselves.

Fear of the unknown could result in you sticking to a predetermined path or course of action, limiting yourself creatively, and preventing out-of-the-box thinking.

All of these can negatively impact your productivity by limiting your options and ability to accomplish certain tasks. If you’re too scared to use everything at your disposal, it’s likely that you aren’t working as efficiently as you could be.


Work can be a place that evokes feelings of anger and frustration, which is completely natural. Workplaces can be stressful environments, and a lot of people aren’t equipped to deal with high levels of stress.

These high levels of stress can lead to a number of reactions, whether it be a violent outburst or a shouting match. Anger can cause people to go to the extreme, which is one of the least productive things a person can do.

Anger increases one’s impulsiveness and harms their ability to reason, which is essential for productivity.

Tips for staying productive

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to better handle your changes in mood and stay productive no matter what challenges you find yourself facing.

 1. Structure your day

Planning and structuring your day can help your productivity immensely. A lot of people just find themselves floating throughout their day not accomplishing the tasks they have at hand.

Having some structure, even if it’s something as simple as waking up and going to bed at the same time every day, can help you stay focused and productive when you have to be.

 2. Lay out the tasks you need to complete

Laying out everything that you need to get done at the beginning of the day can keep you focused and ready to finish your tasks. It can also help keep stress at bay, since you know exactly what you need to do and won’t be worrying about forgetting anything.

3. Remember to take breaks

It may seem counterproductive, but taking the occasional break can help keep you focused and on track. Some people just can’t focus on one thing for hours at a time, and taking a break can help their minds reset and get them ready to get back to work.

Some people work best when they take breaks after every hour, some after every half hour. Everyone is different, and finding out how you work best will help you be as productive as you can be.

4. Don’t get distracted

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t let yourself get distracted when you have other things to focus on. Set up in an environment with as few distractions as possible.

If you find yourself constantly looking at your phone for new messages or scrolling through social media, put it somewhere that you can’t immediately get to. Too distracted by a TV playing in the background? Turn it off or move away from it.

You know what proves too tempting for you, make sure that you’re avoiding these objects and distractions to remain as productive as possible.

5. Slow down and breathe

Work can be overwhelming. It can be demanding and your work environment may seem too fast-paced for you. If you find yourself being overwhelmed with your work, remember to take the time to just slow down and breathe.

There are a number of breathing exercises that you can do to improve your mood and get yourself ready to work again.

Diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing, is a technique in which you pull your diaphragm down with each breath. Breathe in through your nose, letting your stomach expand out as you breathe in as much as you physically can handle. Feel the air moving into your body and lungs, then exhale the air slowly through your mouth and feel your stomach contract.

Following a breathing technique such as this will help you clear your mind and get ready to get back to work.

6. Stay positive

As stated above, happiness will make you more productive and ready to work. Having a positive mindset even if you’re struggling can keep negative thoughts at bay and help you maintain your motivation.

7. Get enough sleep

Sleep is one of the biggest factors when it comes to your mood. Lack of sleep has negative effects, both physical and mental. You’ll feel tired throughout the day, just focusing on going home and getting more rest.

Not getting enough sleep also has a large impact on your mood. Less than adequate sleep can result in stress or irritability. You’re more prone to sadness, anger, and fear when you haven’t slept enough. Usually, these sleep-related changes in mood will go away when you finally get enough sleep.

A large number of people that suffer from depression or anxiety also experience issues with sleeping. In fact, difficulty sleeping can be one of the first symptoms of depression. A study showed that 15 to 20 percent of people that were diagnosed with insomnia will develop major depression at some point in their lives.

8. Stay hydrated and fed

Just as sleep affects mood and productivity, so does hydration and nutrition. Even slight levels of dehydration can increase moodiness, issues with focus, and levels of fatigue.

The same goes for hunger. Staying concentrated when your body needs food is incredibly difficult, if not impossible. You need to listen to your body’s processes and give it what it needs to be healthy.

If you have problems staying hydrated, one of the best things you can do is to start off your day with a glass or two of water. When it comes to hydration, you don’t want to be playing catch-up the entire day.

These are just a few of the ways that your mood affects your productivity, and just a few of the things you can do to help stay focused and working when you need to be. For more information and help with staying focused throughout life’s stresses, check out this infographic from Homebuyer.



This article was created by Skylar Schmidt on behalf of

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