It’s frustrating. It’s overwhelming. You’re angry. Why can’t anything go right?! You think today may be the day you break your rule. Work Rule #1 “Thy shalt not cry at work.” It’s safe to say this is not shaping up to be the best day ever. You started out by not paying attention in a meeting because you were thinking of everything you needed to do today and now you’re ending the day, earlier than you’d planned, sitting in the parking lot at the school, sick kid in the backseat, head back, eyes closed. You are thinking: Worst. Day. Ever.
We’ve all been there. You’ve got something to do. You can’t do it because you need approval, you need someone’s help or you’re waiting on someone else to do their part so you can do yours. Everywhere you turn there is a roadblock, jamming up your day. The system is running sooooo sloooooowwww and you proclaim your frustration, you wish you knew just what fool was running a 12 million paged report bogging down the whole works. You find a request in your spam with a deadline of 3 minutes ago. You were promised an answer before the end of the day and it’s two days later and you’ve got nothing. The phone is crazy, you’ve got voicemails and emails and texts to answer. You’re doing your job plus covering another position, filling the gap or gaps. In your frustration you’ve sent a snippy letter to accounting and spoke harshly to the shipping clerk, you were even nasty to the cashier at the salad bar at lunchtime. You’re sighing and complaining to the girl who sits next to you.
All that extra effort it was taking to complain about everything kept you from getting absolutely anything productive accomplished, not to mention the 4 meetings you attended physically. Mentally, however, you spent the time focused on what was wrong with this day. Then… The Showstopper – The school called, Jr is sick. All you can think of is that people are counting on you! You have to get this done and that answered and it goes on, and on. This cannot be happening. But. It is. And you are failing. Miserably.
Why has this been the worst day ever? You made it that way! Why are you failing? Because you are focusing on all the wrong things! The best thing that happened today, unfortunately, was that your sick child forced you and your negativity out of the office! All that energy you used on the negativity and complaining was the worst part of what went on today. What waste! It is so easy to get caught up and pulled under, sucked down that hole of bad attitude. My Dad, who has never tolerated complaining (and I really liked to complain) told me something about 10 years ago that changed my life. He said: “Change your focus.” What you don’t realize and you are not considering is that your “worst day ever” has just affected 12 of your co workers. Bad attitudes are like poison, worse than any infectious disease and more contagious than a virus.
We all have bad days. We all have days that are less productive than we would like them to be. That in itself is not what makes it a failure. The way you choose to respond to your “worst day ever” is the difference. Take a moment. Take a breath. Change your focus. Your family and your coworkers are counting on you! Be the difference!