Being Pessimistic Can Unlock Your Productivity

© Anthony Maragou - Fotolia.com A 'glass half-empty' outlook may be the key to unlocking your productivity. Adam Grant, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, says optimistic employees who do not worry about their work do not perform as well as those who do worry. On the flip side, it is those optimistic businesspeople that take more risks, but also find themselves in more debt.

Optimism does have it's place in the workplace -- those with a positive outlook are more resilient. If, for example, a presentation does not go as well as planned, a pessimist will blame it on their skills and will believe that they will never improve. Whereas an optimist believes in growth and will work on their flaws with practice.

"Ultimately, both styles are deadly at their extremes," Grant says. "Pessimism becomes fatalistic, and optimism becomes toxic. The key is to find the sweet spot, the more moderate ranges that combine the benefits of both approaches."

The answer, then, is to adopt both styles of thinking. Embrace your inner pessimist to give you the motivation to complete your tasks efficiently and with the highest performance. Then, take on the role of an optimist to continuously better yourself and learn new skills.