Bad work days. We all have them, but what if your bad work day spirals into something more serious, like quitting without another job to go to? While this might seem like the answer in the heat of the moment, in the long run it can be damaging to your career.
We look at 5 strategies to make a bad work day tolerable, and even turn it around into a positive experience.
1. Avoid team politics
Office drama can really be a downer, and unlike your boss, colleagues can be more difficult to avoid as they’re working alongside you. If you find your blood boiling over an incident with a co-worker now’s a good time to step outside and take a breather.
Don’t try and discuss issues when you’re feeling all heated up. Leave it until you feel better and talk to the person about it in a mature, professional way. If you can, work off-site every now and again, to keep out of team politics.
2. Stay clear of the boss
While conversing with your boss is not something you can avoid forever, on a bad work day try to keep interactions to a minimum. This will hopefully lessen the chance of irritation or provocation, and you saying something you’ll regret later.
If your boss frequently causes you to have bad work days then it could be time to try new ways of communication, apply to be moved to a different department or think about a new job.
3. Be proactive about stress
An unmanageable workload is the cause of many a bad day and, if it carries on, can cause work-related stress and illness. So take steps to address this asap, by prioritising the most important tasks first and aim to complete these in a realistic timeframe. Tick each item off when it’s done and feel the stress ease.
If your workload continues to be more than you can manage, have a word with your boss about delegating some of your tasks. By actively seeking a solution to the problem your bad day mood should lift.
4. Look for positives
If you’ve been hoping for a pay rise or promotion and you don’t get it, it can be the cause of a really bad work day. Rather than taking it personally, get curious and find out why. Perhaps there was some aspect of the process you’re not aware of or there’s not enough money in the coffers this year.
By your willingness to discuss the issue calmly and maturely, you could learn some constructive feedback that may help you to grow.
5. Pace yourself
Sometimes a bad work day can be simply because you had a terrible night’s sleep. Not everyone functions well on only a few hours kip and feeling tired can make you more vulnerable to petty annoyances and grievances from co-workers.
Rather than turning to coffee or a sugar fix, go for a walk around the block during your break time and have a nutritious lunch. Only take on tasks that you know you can handle and make plans to have an early night. By next morning, you’ll be ready to start afresh and your bad day will be a distant memory.