Whether you're a small-business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur hoping to turn your side hustle into a startup, having a bad start to the workday can take a toll.
As simple as it may sound, there are ways to overcome a bad day (or bad series of days) and maintain your productivity. While a bad day is sometimes a response to something out of your control, the good news is you do have control over what you can do about it.
Here are a few ways to have a good and positive day, regardless of what is going on in the world around you.
1. Put your phone aside.
Instead of checking your phone first thing in the morning, try breathing exercises, journaling, or meditation. If you use your phone as an alarm clock, keep it away from your bed so that you'll have to get up to turn it off. Once it's off, resist the urge to check for a few minutes.
Giving yourself a few moments to welcome the morning can make a major difference in how you approach your day. Even better, open your curtains to let some sunlight in. I'll even stick my head out the window during the early morning. It makes a difference.
2. Give your morning structure.
You shouldn't be stressing or rushing due to little things taking up your time. Plan out your morning the night before by laying out your clothes, making your lunch (even when working from home), leaving the coffee machine ready to brew, etc.
3. Create a positive morning routine.
Aim to watch or listen to something uplifting or energetic as you get ready to start your day. If you like to listen to the news, try to limit how much you are taking in. Set limits.
I like to start my day by drinking a glass of water, stretching, showering, and then putting on a meditation podcast as I make coffee and get dressed. Then I'll check the news for a few minutes (any longer and it feels overwhelming).
4. Use your body to boost your energy.
Use body language to help you feel more confident and ready for the day. For instance, standing or sitting tall with your chin up can help you feel more assertive and powerful. And even if you're smiling to yourself, a friendly smile (especially when you don't feel like smiling) can help keep your spirits up.
Also, when working remotely, try to avoid working from your bed or the couch, if you can. It's easy to have bad posture and less concentration when working away from a traditional table and chair.
5. Give yourself goals.
Sometimes your day gets so busy that you get overwhelmed with all of the tasks left to complete. To help stay on track, write out three goals for the day. Try to keep them simple, but necessary and achievable.
Perhaps you can work on two small things and one big thing. While getting the most important task done is the goal, if you can't get to it, at least crossing off small tasks can feel like a relief.
Knocking out those three goals by lunchtime is ideal, but if you haven't gotten to them by noon, you can at least prioritize and plan for the rest of your day. Overall, the goal is to have checked off something on that list before clocking out.
6. Take a break.
Take breaks and eat your lunch away from your desk, preferably near a window, or outside if you can. Try to give yourself designated spaces that are meant for specific purposes. If you can eat near a window and get some sunshine for a few minutes, you can help avoid that midday slump.
If you're ordering food, note that are are credit card benefits for eating at home that include free delivery.
7. Do something nice for someone.
Volunteering to help someone can boost your energy and help you feel connected--so long as you don't have a self-serving ulterior motive. Something as simple as sharing positive feedback and checking in with employees to see how they're doing can make a difference.
8. Set office hours.
It can be easy to keep working until late when working remotely. Just as you would in an office, put your work away when it's closing time. Put your computer to the side for another day. I also find it helpful to reflect on what I accomplished that day.