3 min read

How to stay focused and positive after a bad day at work.

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We've all had those days or weeks when work feels like an uphill battle. Your to-do list is as long as your arm; unexpected challenges arise, and everything that can go wrong, does. It's easy to let a bad day/week at work bring us down, but it's important to remember that setbacks are temporary. 

Positivity, resilience, and not dwelling on things I can’t control are all areas I’ve been trying to work on this year and feel I am getting better at (slowly but surely). 

So, in this blog post, I’m going to be sharing some strategies that I use and find helpful to stay focused and maintain a positive mindset after a challenging day.

Hopefully, these will help anyone who’s had ‘one of those days’ and enable you to bounce back stronger than ever.

Acknowledge, accept and move on!

After a tough day, it's important to acknowledge and accept your emotions. Don't suppress or ignore them. Allow yourself to feel the frustration, disappointment, or stress. Remember, it's normal to feel this way (it shows you care!), and we all have bad days. However, it’s important to understand that these days don't define your abilities or worth as a professional, and they don’t mean you are bad at your job! 

Look after yourself.

Factor in self-care. Do things you enjoy, and that help you recharge, refresh and de-stress. Whether going for a walk, listening to music and dancing like a maniac in your living room, practicing mindfulness or meditation, or attending a gym class. Whatever it is, find what works for you. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is essential for maintaining focus and a positive outlook.

Reflect and learn from these days.

Rather than dwelling on the negatives, take time to reflect on what went wrong and identify potential areas for improvement in the future. Use the setbacks as opportunities to grow and develop. Ask yourself what you can do differently in similar situations in the future. Cultivate a growth mindset that embraces challenges and values personal and professional growth.

Reprogramme your thinking.

Why not choose to see setbacks as temporary hurdles rather than permanent roadblocks? Reframe the situation by focusing on the lessons learned, the skills you've developed, and the resilience you've demonstrated. 

Share your frustrations.

I’m very lucky to have a wonderful team of colleagues that I can call on when I’m having one of those days or weeks. I often find that sharing my frustrations and emotions with someone who understands and can give a fresh perspective or outlook on the situation. They may even be able to offer you words of advice on how to deal with a situation that you may not have thought of yourself. Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved, and a quick chat might just give you that boost you need to regain focus, feel more positive, and go again! 

Set yourself targets.

We have all experienced it when your to-do list is never ending and you feel like you aren’t getting anything done! This might be because the number of tasks you are giving yourself daily is unachievable. Break down your workload into manageable tasks and set realistic goals for the next day. Concentrate on what you can control and prioritise accordingly. By focusing on achievable objectives, you regain a sense of control and accomplishment, which I find helps my motivation and mindset. You can’t beat the feeling of ticking things off your list. 

Celebrate the small wins.

Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how big or small. Recognising your progress boosts your morale and renews your motivation. Don’t forget how far you’ve come and what you have achieved! 

A bad day or week at work doesn't define your abilities or future success. By acknowledging your emotions, practicing self-care, taking time to reflect, reprogramming your thinking, sharing your feelings, setting targets, and celebrating small wins, you can stay focused and maintain a positive mindset even after the toughest of days. Remember that you are resilient and have bounced back before, and sometimes these challenges can be beneficial in the long term to your professional and personal development!