Sometimes emotions have this nagging way of getting between our goals and us. If you’ve ever sat down at your desk in the morning with a list of achievable tasks and a fistful of ambition, only to have your game thrown out of sync by an unpredictable hindrance, you’ll probably identify with the crippling gloom of bad day syndrome. Simply put, your talents are inextricably linked to your character, to what makes you unique, and when this is compromised by a clash with a colleague or an unexpected setback, your perspective on the day can shift in such a manner as to make your goals seem impossible.
Regardless of what remains achievable once that setback strikes, you will get a lot more done—and done better—if you can get back on top of things. We’re 31 percent more productive when we’re positive, which indicates that it’s worthless to dwell on the damage that’s been done. This is easier said than done, though, and it takes a combination of self-knowledge and solid discipline to regain ownership of the day.
For a start, you can try to manage the initial symptoms of a stressful situation by breathing slowly and deeply. Now you have a chance to objectively assess the turn of events, and sum up how serious they truly are and how you need to reschedule things to make up for it. If you’ve a colleague you can discuss things with, it will help you find some perspective while also getting you out of your own head; between the two of you, you should be able to find a calm from which you can also identify how to learn from the situation so you can prevent or master it in future.
Your body is also implicated in all this, so if it’s possible try to get to the gym for an hour, or at least go for a 20-minute walk. You already know how good those endorphins feel, and the change of scene won’t hurt either. By now things should be looking a lot better, but be sure to check out this infographic that summarizes the key steps to take along with some handy alternatives for when that bad day just refuses to budge.