5 ways to feel productive again when you’re having ‘one of those days’

You can’t work at your best all the time. Feeling fragile, a bit sad, tired, bored? It happens, but your business still needs your time and attention, even if it feels like everything you touch goes wrong.

If you’re having one of those rubbish days, here are 5 ways to get the most out of it and feel better.


1. Go and do something else

Even though we’re all big and grown up, we’re still children inside. Forcing yourself to sit and do something that isn’t working will make a bad mood even worse. Take an hour out, and you’ll come back to it feeling completely different. It’s definitely more productive than staring at the same paragraph for half an hour...

Read, go for a walk, call someone, organise your inbox, or work on something you know is straightforward and easily ticked off.


2. Reach for comfort if you need it

You’ll get far more done if you make your day gentler and easier. If working somewhere more relaxing (or making hot chocolate with marshmallows a priority) is what it takes, do it. Who says you have to sit at a serious, sensible desk for 8 hours a day…?

If you’ve got a busy day planned, and don’t have time to grab that much-needed hot chocolate, make a promise to yourself that tomorrow will include a bit of self care instead.


3. Have a positive playlist ready to go

Music has a difficult-to-explain effect on our mood. It can make us weepy with no warning, and turn running on the same old treadmill into Mission Impossible. Choosing happy, cheery, or just plain motivating music is exactly the soundtrack your down day needs.

There’s even some science to prove it. A big 2015 study found that “people who listened to music before, during, or after surgery experienced less pain and anxiety”, compared to people who didn’t. The people who needed the least pain medication where the ones who choose their own tunes. If it can help someone get through surgery, it can help you get through the day!


4. Work with your personality

Love having a neat, colour-coded schedule? Or feel at your best when you’re free to be spontaneous? We’ve all got our preferences, and the traditional working day doesn’t always suit them. You’re your own boss though, so you get to decide how you get stuff done.

Instead of powering on through and ignoring your mood, focus on what’s going to help you work better today. It might mean getting a little bit more organised, or it might mean loosening the schedule a bit. Find the right balance and you’ll get more done.


5. Reward yourself

Work can become exhausting without a bit of play. Business owners sometimes don’t get that Friday feeling, because their business is a priority beyond the usual 9-5. You should still be able to put your feet up, or do something totally non-work related when you’re done for the day or the week.

Choose your reward now and you’ll have something to focus on, no matter how much boring admin you’ve got to do.


And if you can’t cheer yourself up and get on with it, there’s always tomorrow, right?


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