It’s only Monday right? I was pretty sure it was but by about 1 this afternoon, I actually had to check my calendar because it felt like I had been through at least 4 days this week already. That’s how crazy my day had been up to that point. I am juggling a LOT of balls right now. Last night, before bed, I took stock of where I stood on the highest priority projects and I wrote out a plan of attack. Ohhhh I was proud of that plan! It was going to have my day running like a well-oiled machine.
This morning I jumped out of bed and dove right into that schedule. For the next hour and a half, it was ticking along beautifully. And then I received an email about a brand new high priority project that needed to be handled immediately. Two hours of meetings to discuss ensued. This was followed by a complication with another project, an hour of meetings to work out the details on that, and another hour and a half of work to straighten out those complications.
Of course by now, I was way behind on the tasks I had on my schedule. It’s not like they were just going to go away but it was also going to be impossible to complete the plan. Years ago my first reaction would have been, well, my plans have been blown apart now – I guess my day is ruined. Might as well toss the list out the window, right?
WRONG! When things like that happen, it’s not time to throw out the plan; it’s time to regroup and revise it. Instead of rushing through and trying to complete as much of what was left on the list as I could in as little time as possible OR throwing the plan out entirely, I took 10 minutes to sit down and regroup.
HOW TO REGROUP, REVISE, AND SALVAGE YOUR BAD DAY
This whole process to salvage your bad day should literally only take 10 minutes but those 10 minutes can refocus your day and make it productive once again.
- Take a minute to grab yourself a glass of water. You’re probably dehydrated by now and getting some fluids in will help relax and revive you.
- Take a few deep breaths. I’m serious – this is an important step! As you exhale, try to breathe out some of the tension that has formed in your muscles.
- Look over your plan. Cross out or check off the things you’ve completed. Haven’t finished (or even started) anything on the list? Write down a few things you HAVE done! Give yourself a pat on the back for those accomplishments.
- Write out a new plan. DON’T write down too much. DON’T try to cram in everything you already had planned. Make a reasonable, practical plan even if it only has one item on it that you KNOW you can complete in the time you have left.
- Take a few more deep breaths and smile. Yes, smile! Smiling reduces stress, lowers your blood pressure, and can even cause a physiological change that “tricks” your body into feeling happier. Now you’re ready to tackle your new plan and make the most of the rest of your day.