I read a story last week about workplace productivity in decline after the election. Employees are struggling to stay focused on their work. Why?
Anxiety. The American Psychological Association conducts regular polls to track stress levels and causes. The most recent poll found a majority of us are worried about the future of the country.
This post isn’t about politics. It’s about productivity.
When we’re anxious and stressed, we become vigilant. When it comes to current events, that means checking the news and social media constantly. But instead of allaying our fears, we find more information to feed our anxiety.
The good news is that you don’t have to get trapped in this vicious distraction cycle. One way to keep anxiety from sabotaging your work is to defuse the worry bomb.
I used to be a news junkie. Nowadays I never watch TV news, and I only read online news about once a week. Why? Instead of keeping me informed, I find the news media distorts my perspective and creates false worries.
Financial media is especially prone to this. It seems like whatever’s happening in the economy, somebody will find reason for panic.
That’s why I was excited to see Tony Robbins’ new book, Unshakeable. The subtitle gets right to the heart of the issue: “Creating Peace of Mind in a World of Volatility.”
One of Tony’s key messages is that possessing long-term perspective frees us from uncertainty and worry. He offers several facts about the market that let us focus on what positive action. I’ll mention three of them here:
- The stock market corrects every year on average. News comes with a negativity bias. So when the market dips, the pundits stoke the fear. But, looking at the historical trends, Tony says,
Corrections are just a routine part of the game. … Historically, the average correction has lasted only 54 days—less than two months! In other words, most corrections are over almost before you know it. Not that scary, right?
Only two in every ten corrections turns into a bear market.
Negative predictions are mostly wrong. Market doomsayers “are clever and articulate, and their arguments are often compelling,” says Tony. “But they thrive by scaring the living daylights out of you—and they’ve been wrong again and again and again.”
To drive the point home, he lists 33 failed predictions. “The common pattern is they’re all predicting that the market will go down when it’s actually going up.”
The market always rebounds. And when it does, it gains. “Every single bear market in US history has been followed by a bull market,” says Tony, “without exception.” The trend is toward greater worth and wealth, not less.
What does this mean in practical terms? It means that you and I should always remember that the long-term trajectory is likely to be good, even when the short-term news is dismal and the market is getting smacked.
We can control not only the news we consume, but also the perspective we bring to it. And if we keep the long view in mind, there’s far less to worry about. That means we can confidently tune out most of the drama and get back to the things that matter most.
Unshakeable is a concentrated dose of financial perspective. The book releases tomorrow. Order now and you can get additional bonus resources worth over $200 totally free. Tony is one of the most compelling communicators I’ve ever encountered, and Unshakeable is a book you don’t want to miss.
Question: What would your life look like if you were able to dial down the drama and stay focused on the work that matters most?