Oh No! Half my day’s gone and I haven’t done anything productive!
Have you ever been in a similar situation? You had high intention for your work day but somehow the day just “got away” from you?
If you’ve had such an experience, you’re not alone. We’ve all had days, where due to unforeseen events or circumstances, we weren’t able to do what we had intended to.
Today, it’s become extremely important that we eliminate distractions and improve our ability to focus on what needs to be done if we want to progress towards our goals.
Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, we may get sidetracked and lose focus, so it’s valuable to have strategies or tactics to be able to turn around a bad or unproductive day.
Most days, I will identify at least five big things I want to get done, related to a particular goal or project I’m working on. Usually by the middle of the afternoon, I will have three or fours things done, which will leave me the rest of the afternoon to finish off the last thing.
Recently I had a day, where by the middle of the afternoon, I had just managed to complete one out of my five tasks because the first task took much longer than planned.
That left me about three hours to complete the final four tasks. I noticed myself getting a little agitated for taking so long on the first task so I had a choice to make.
Do I refocus and do what needs to be done to complete the final four tasks or do I move some of them to the next day?
I knew I wasn’t having the best day so I had to turn things around, otherwise I would add more things to my next day.
Thankfully I was able to apply some of the things suggested below, which took very little time, and I was able to complete the final four tasks within the next three hours.
5 Things You Can Do When You Are Having a Bad Work Day
- Accept what’s happened up till now and set a new intention. This is like starting fresh again and switching our mindset on our day so far. A couple of things that will support this are taking a short break and re-energising ourselves through deeper breathing and hydration.
- Laugh out loud. It helps to have a laugh at ourselves for being in such a situation. Becoming tense or stressed is not going to help our situation so we might as well find something positive.
If it’s possible, making ourselves laugh by watching or listening to something funny will help relieve some of the tension we may be experiencing.
- Move your body. Our energy follows our bodies. The more we engage our bodies, the better energy will flow through us. Going for a short walk, getting some sunlight or doing some stretches are simple ways to re-engage our bodies.
- Eliminate things to do. Any stress or tension we experience is often self-created because of our expectations. Sometimes we attempt to do too much.
If time is limited, one question we can ask is, “How can I make the best use of the time I have available?” That way, we can decide what we can eliminate and what we can complete in the time we have available to us.
- Do something that’s unrelated to anything you’re working on. Sometimes if we’re doing the same things over and over again, our motivation and concentration levels can drop.
Having variety in what we’re doing is a simple way to give our minds a break from what we have been doing, which will help us get energised again. Most times, doing something different does not need to be for a long period of time. It should be just enough to get a mental break then refocus on what needs to be done.
The better we’re able to turn around a bad or unproductive day, the better we’ll be able to refocus on what we want to get done. Our objective should always be to avoid being in such situations in the first place by developing better habits and daily rituals.
It’s always helpful to be able to do things to reset a bad start to our work day and still be satisfied with what we’ve accomplished by the end of the day.
Question: What are other things we can do to turn around a bad start to our work day?
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