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How to Overcome a Bad Day


We will get thrown off schedule from time to time, and when life gets in the way of all the work we want to do, it can be challenging to get back up when you’re already down. Having a bad day can put you in a negative headspace; it can cause you to feel like you’re not doing enough or make you feel like all you’ve done is waste your time.

When I’m having a bad day, I find it challenging to open up my laptop, check my emails, or even write a few words. Though over time, I’ve gotten better at shifting my perspective on taking a step back and slowing down, so I don’t end the day feeling overwhelmed. You may take one look at your planner and feel like there’s no way you’re going to make it through all of those tasks, but that’s not what you should be aiming for.

Aim for finishing a single task, and when that task is complete, move onto the next. I’ve always been told that finishing the biggest tasks help you work through the rest of the day much easier, but I like to take a different approach. I will start my day with a task that isn’t too daunting, and I’ll feel good throughout the rest of my workday, knowing I got something done.

So, how do you overcome a bad day? I’ve got a few tips for you.

Clear Your Headspace

A clear headspace will allow you to get so much more done than you may realize. When my mind is clouded, worried that I don’t have enough time to get everything done, I find it far more difficult to begin. No matter what time I wake up in the morning (or sometimes afternoon), my routine stays virtually the same. I will drink my tea, calm my mind with a little reading, and tackle a single task that will get me ready to approach the rest of the day with a productive mindset.

This has made a considerable difference in how much work I get done throughout the day and how great I feel when I can finally switch off my laptop in the evening, feeling like I had a productive workday.

Plan and Prioritize

Have you ever woken up late and immediately panic knowing that you have so much work to do? That has been me for quite some time before I learned that by clearing my headspace and giving myself five minutes to plan, I could map out what needs to be done right away. Having a clear idea of where to begin and where to go next after you’ve finished your first task will help you immensely.

Planning isn’t meant to overwhelm you. Planning is supposed to give you the direction you need to get things done, so don’t spend too much time worrying about the blank space you have leftover wishing you woke up at 7 o’clock. Work with the time you have and make the most of your day.

Change How You Approach Your Workday

When you have a bad day, getting back into your routine can feel counterproductive. That routine was probably made for a day when you woke up early and felt like you had enough time to finish all of your work. You need to change how you approach your workday when you wake up not particularly feeling your best. You need to find that motivation to get started because once you do, you’ll find that you can get a lot more done than you initially realized.

I have a little thing called a bad-day routine, where I allow myself to take things slow, but give myself more room to get things done if I need it. The important thing is, the work is getting done, and I’m not spending half the time stressing about it. Even on the days where I wake up later than planned, I know that taking things slow is the best option, because the better you feel, the better quality of work you’re going to produce.

Don’t be afraid to switch things up, to tackle your work in a way that you might not be used to. Spend a few minutes at the start of your workday, clearing your mind, and prepare to make the best of the time that you have to get the work done.

I hope these tips help you overcome your bad days and get back to a healthy and productive work routine.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.

Follow me on Medium for more writing content or check out my website.

Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.


  1. I’ve totally squandered my day today on pointless social-media surfing and procrastinating. This article was a good reminder (I admit I was browsing blog posts as a form of procrastination) to get back on track. Thanks for sharing!

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