We’ve all had one of those mornings where we’ve found ourselves in the midst of a traffic jam, short-staffed, or without milk for our morning coffee. And all too often, we let these mornings set the tone for the rest of the day.
Bad days not only affect our productivity at work, but they also have a negative impact on relations with employees and on our health as well, with small business owners already placing too much pressure on themselves to be the best in their field.
Here are eight pointers that can help you turn a potentially bad day into one of your best:
1. Think about the big picture.
If your morning has been less than average, take a deep breath and remove yourself from your bubble of despair before you consider tackling the next task. Keep troublesome tasks in perspective and think about the big picture, because let’s face it – you’re probably not even going to remember them in a weeks’ time!
2. Give your body positive feedback.
Bad moods cause fatigue, and fatigue makes you moody. It’s a vicious circle! But fortunately it’s one that can be broken by simply sending positive messages to your body and brain. Why not talk a walk and soak up some Vitamin D, or grab a healthy snack to boost your energy levels? Your body and brain will thank you for it, and the results will show in the work that you do. Now that’s a circle that works!
3. Tick some easy wins off.
Because small business owners are perfectionists (and let’s face it – we have to be), we often focus on the one thing that’s gone wrong instead of the dozen things that we’ve done well. Try making a list of all the things that have gone right and cut yourself some slack! Or, take a break from the troublesome task you’ve been working on for the last few hours and accomplish some little tasks. Tidy your desk, reply to some emails or run an errand. The sense of accomplishment you will get from ticking off these little tasks will relieve some of your anxiety and motivate you to re-tackle ‘that’ task.
4. Focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.
Envisaging the end result will not only improve your attitude but it will also give you the courage to press on with your next challenge. The goal needn’t be work related, either. It might just be a weekend away or dinner with a friend. Whatever it is, use the anticipation to re-work your attitude!
5. Redefine the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
Decide that a good day is one where you make a customer happy, not one in which you make a million dollars in one transaction. Similarly, decide that a bad day is one where your business is engulfed in flames, not one in which you have to work back an hour.
6. Don’t expect a bad day.
If you think that the rest of your day is going to be as bad as your morning has been, chances are that you’ll end up saying or doing something that will make it so.
7. Don’t be afraid to start over.
If an idea does not seem to be working out, don’t be afraid to scrap it and start again. And, don’t think about all the time you’ve wasted – think about all the time you’ve saved by cutting your losses now instead of later!
And now for the icing on the cake:
8. Remember that you are your own boss.
You can wear whatever you like to work, even your pyjamas. You can paint the office hot pink (if that’s your thing) or replace all of the chairs with beanbags. You get to work to your own schedule. And above all, you get to do what you love.
Seriously, what more inspiration could you need? Now get back out there and turn that bad morning into one of your most productive days!
Have you ever turned a bad day on its head? How did you do it?