How to Turn a Frustrating Day into a Great One

Do you have days when you are rushing around, getting loads done and you finish tired but happy?

How about busy days where you are rushing around but by the end of it you feel nothing productive has been accomplished, you just feel tired and frustrated with lots of unfinished things to do? On those frustrating days your motivation and mojo have left the building.

Frustrating days happen to all of us now and again.  It might be the energy around us on that particular day, it might be there is so much to get done it is too much for any 24-hour period or it could just be one of those inexplicable things.

So when you are having one of those frustrating days how can you turn it around and have a great one instead?

Managing frustrating days

I’ve found the following works even when things are pretty messy and complicated:

  • Firstly, when you get an inkling it is going to be one of those frustrating days stop, sit down and break down what you wanted to get done into small individual tasks. List or write them down physically and prioritise them from 1,2,3…etc.
  • Secondly lower your expectations for that particular day. I don’t suggest this often but for these frustrating days stop thinking towards your end goal.  Even better forget that you have any specific goal in mind and just look at your prioritised list of tasks dispassionately and without seeing how they link into each other.
  • Take your priority you have labelled number 1 and put on your desk/screen anything you need for that task alone. Close anything else down or move it out of your eye line and hide the rest of your prioritised list in a drawer somewhere.
  • Refuse to be distracted by anything else while you concentrate and tackle this one and only task. Short of a bomb being dropped on your head work within the parameters needed to finish the task.  Push down any emotions or worries about anything else or the next task/stage of work and if a colleague or call comes in that has nothing to do with the task in hand say you’ll get back to them later.
  • When you have finished this 1 thing put it to one side either completed or ready for the next phase.

Get your list back out of your drawer, cross off the task you have finished and, without scanning down the rest of the list, take priority number 2 and begin the process again.

Focus for frustrating days

Narrow your focus on frustrating days

Be singled minded and make your actions deliberate, step by step ones.  Keep it up until either it is the end of the day, you’ve got to the end of your list or you feel your flow returning and you know you can carry on happily accomplishing things without getting overwhelmed or frustrated again.

Before you finish for the day have a look at your list again.  Notice how many items are crossed off.  You should be able to see proof of how much you have managed to accomplish on that day and can enjoy your evening feeling satisfied with a job well done. And don’t forget to congratulate yourself so you end the day on a positive note.

The next day you will either be back in your flow and whizzing along again or you will just have to repeat the above process.  Whichever it is you will have headed off that tired, fed up feeling.

You do not need to let frustrating days overwhelm you if you shift and narrow your focus in this way.  After all tomorrow is another day and anything can happen.