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7 Quick ways to turn a bad day around

7 Quick ways to turn a bad day around

    Have you had a bad day recently? This is me raising my hand alongside you. My most recent “bad day,” like most days, wasn’t wholly bad. It just had some bad parts that I allowed to spread across my entire day and sour the entire mix.

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    That doesn’t need to happen! While I’ve yet to reach the point where I avoid bad days entirely, here are some things I’ve found help turn what could be a bad day into something better.

    1. Make a list of things you’re grateful for

    This one is so simple! If you’re having a rotten day, grab a piece of paper and start listing things you’d be grateful for if you were in a grateful mood. As expected, you’ll soon find that the growing list of things to be grateful for in your life dwarfs whatever is ruining your day and you can move on with your life. Read more about the qualities of grateful people here.

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    2. Clear out your inbox

    If you don’t work at a job that requires you to spend time around the corporate email monster, this might not resonate with you as much. But if you do, know that your perspective can be changed dramatically just by selecting all your emails and placing them into an archive folder. If it needs to be done today, move that email back into your inbox and knock the task off. Setting aside the conversations that can wait in favor of earning a productive finish to your day will always prove worthwhile.

    3. Phone a good friend

    Call a friend who won’t allow you to gripe about your problems for more than a few minutes before turning the conversation to something far more interesting than what’s making you sad. Talking to somebody you trust who cares enough to guide you toward positive thinking has tremendous value. It’s basic, sure. But so are most things that work really well yet are so often forgotten early on.

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    4. Help out a stranger

    Doing something for others has the dual benefit of making the world a better place while at the same time taking your focus off your own problems as you work to solve another’s. If you’re having what’s shaping up to be a bad day you may find it very helpful to go out of your way to help somebody you don’t know at all or might not know very well. I always do!

    5. Drop something from your schedule

    If you’re overwhelmed by a day gone awry one very quick solution is to drop something of lesser importance from your schedule and take some time for yourself. This is terribly simple and quite easy to do but the part of your brain that tries to convince you your work won’t survive without you will get in the way. Don’t listen to it!

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    6. Take some time just for you

    Most of us don’t schedule time alone and away from others. Whether its so we can listen to music, go for a walk, a run, or grab a cup of tea in a quiet corner, taking the time you may have freed up by clearing your schedule (see above) and investing it back into yourself will render dividends galore.

    7. Start laughing

    Laughter, even if you really have to work at it to begin with, truly is the best medicine to cure any ailment that threatens to wreck your day. You can find jokes online, watch silly youtube videos, hang out with a hysterical friend, or whatever gets you giggling. The big point here is that if you are aware of what makes you laugh you’re in a great position to set yourself up to laugh even when your day tries to get you down. We can learn a lot from kids about having fun and being goofballs. That sort of childlike whimsy, if carried into your day, will help you cut off the bad days before they get out of control and help maximize the days each week you look back on and say, wow, that was a great day!

    If you’d like to chime in with additional tips or a link to something that really makes you laugh, I’d love to read your thoughts!

    Stay blessed.

    Image: PhotoRita

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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