Most people don’t wake up ready to start the day like Snow White singing to her helpful little birds. Most days you get caught up in the hustle and bustle and have to push through, and then, there are the bad days when you’re just not feeling it.
The alarm goes off late. Your forehead is pounding, and your body feels like a semi-truck has hit it. Your computer crashes and destroys your assignment hours before the deadline. Your supervisor has taken micromanagement to the next level. You have to work through lunch, and it’s not even the afternoon yet.
Everyone has one of those days. You may feel like it’s your fault, but it’s not. Most of the time, these stressful situations are outside of your control, but you can monitor, accept and reset your reactions. To get started, try these five tips for how to handle a bad work day:
Want to know what the number one stressor is for Americans? Job stress. Today, 65 percent of Americans experience work-related stress, while one-third of people deal with chronic work-related stress.
Cut off the stress. What’s important? What’s not important? Start with the simplest tasks to get back your confidence and into a groove of productivity. Create new deadlines that are realistic for you to accomplish. And if you’re stretching it too thin, consider talking to management about reducing your workload.
Your boss may carry the most pressure of all and lets that stress trickle down the work pipe to employees. Your boss’ lousy day could be every day, or your communication styles clash to the detriment of your work relationship. To improve your relationship with your supervisor, try to communicate through their communication style — there are four types:
Train yourself to speak in your boss’ communication style. Don’t change your personality and style entirely because your style gives you unique strengths, but talking in another communication style is like perfecting a second language and comes in handy.
On terrible days, it’s best to get out of your boss’ way, no matter who’s having the worst day. Stay cordial, punctual and keep verbal communication brief and professional. Email may be best if you have to update them.
Co-worker drama and office politics also affect your productivity. When drama takes its toll, it may be time to contact your company’s human resources team about your concerns and how it’s affecting your ability to do your job.
Otherwise, do your best to stay out of it because you’re not in high school anymore, even though your co-workers didn’t get that memo. If they do try to drag you into their drama, don’t let them. If you feel tempted, keep these tips in mind:
Keeping out of co-worker drama also lets you focus on doing your job, which makes you look good.
Work-life balance is all about being able to keep your professional and personal lives separate, right? Not exactly. Lousy news easily upsets the balance, and it’s hard to stay focused when it feels like everything’s been turned upside down.
Ask yourself if you can press on with your duties or if you need a day to reset. You don’t have to spill all the beans to your boss or human resources team, but ask if you can shift some of your duties or take a half day because of the bad news you’ve received.
In the colder season, illness strikes and gets passed around like a puppy. If you don’t take care of yourself or take time off, your recovery time will be longer.
If you have to work, come with your healthcare kit and keep a distance from co-workers. Tell them you may be coming down with something. Communicating by phone or email is another helpful tactic. Don’t assume that your boss won’t let you take a half day or work from home. Ask.
When you’re feeling awful, just take a sick day. It’s better for your health and everyone else’s.
Remember, most circumstances that contribute to terrible days are outside of your control, and everyone has an off day. Let yourself accept it. Take a step back, breathe and focus on resetting. The next moment is a new one. You’ve got this.
This article was originally published at The Personal Branding Blog.