This is a conversation I recently overheard in the company cafeteria one Friday afternoon.

Old Timer: “Glad it’s Friday! Did you know that some people get angry on Fridays?”
Youngster: “Really?”
Old Timer: “Yeah, guess they’re not excited about being off work. Me? I’m always glad it’s Friday!”
Youngster: “I hear you about Friday. Wanna know my favorite day?”
Old Timer: “Um hmm.”
Youngster: “Monday!”
Old Timer: “Monday!?!?”
Youngster: “Yep Monday. Because if I wake up on Monday and I have a job? I’m a happy man!”

What a refreshing take on “Blue Monday“.  For this young man Monday represents opportunity, not drudgery. He chooses not to get stuck on what’s negative. Their conversation brought to mind two other areas where people get stuck.

The Seasons

The Winter of 2013-2014 was particularly brutal on the East Coast. The cold weather seemed to stretch on and on. We even had a snow storm in April! The longer it lasted the more people complained.  The cordial early morning “hello” turned into the grumpy “Snow again!” New Yorkers were just miserable.

How quickly we forgot the Summer of 2013. Last September, Summer was still hitting us with week long temperatures in the 90’s. People complained back then too. “Boy, this heat is too much. Is it gonna cool off?”

Mother Nature is always fielding complaints.

The Commute

Have you been in a crowded NYC subway car lately during rush hour? People, packed in like sardines, pushing and shoving, not a seat to be had, train traffic ahead, subway cars barely moving… It’s almost 9 o’clock and you’re still six stops away. I’ve heard people complain about their commute all the way to work.

Side note… What the heck is “train traffic”? Did a bunch of trains wake up one morning and decide to travel into the city? Did this last minute decision create a “train traffic jam”? And nobody saw this coming? I so confused.

There’s a long list of things that can sabotage your productivity. No use trying to avoid them all. You’re better off bringing to light the underlying culprit and addressing it; “complaining”.

Face it, constant complaining negatively affects productivity. It puts you in a bad mood. And a bad mood destroys your focus. You’re so caught up with being upset that you’re not motivated to work on your goals. You do the things that you have to do but you never get to the things you want to do. A tough commute home creates more complaining. Complaining has sabotaged your day.

The solution is to put complaining in check. I’m not suggesting we go around with clown faces painted on, ignoring the things that annoy us. What I am suggesting is that we keep things in perspective. Sometimes events, like “train traffic”, are beyond our control. Nothing we do will move that train faster. In those moments why not work on changing your mood? Create a positive atmosphere inside yourself. Close your eyes for a moment, count to 10 and try to slow your breathing.  Meditate on your goals and  how you can move them forward. Get clarity on the steps you will take to bring about success. Marelisa Fabrega wrote in Pick The Brain; “… one of the most important things you can do to increase your productivity is learning how to self-regulate your moods”. In her post she offers tips to help you produce externally by managing what’s going on internally.  Read her full post HERE. Try out her suggestions the next time life’s petty annoyances come your way.