10 Simple Steps to Turn a Bad Business Day into a Good One

a bad business day

Some days we just feel off, or overwhelmed. These negative feelings can affect our work and the work of those around us.

Sometimes it’s best to just take a minute to turn lemons into lemonade. Here are a few quick tricks to turn a bad business day into a good one when your day seems like it’s going south.

Take a Deep Breath

When you’re feeling overwhelmed or just in a sour mood, take a moment to step back and breathe. Deep breathing can help reduce stress and center your mood, helping make a bad day just a bit better, if only for a moment. Take this moment to get your thoughts and feelings in check.


Simply watching a short funny video on YouTube or catching a few moments of your favorite sitcom to get a chuckle can do wonders for your mood and turn a bad business day around. Even just making yourself laugh can trick your mind into being happier.

One study at the University of Western Ontario even suggested that upbeat music and a bit of laughter can boost productivity as well as mood.

Create a Short List

Making a short list of things that make you feel grateful or happy can be a great way to take your state of mind from negative to positive. Creating a tangible list of the most important tasks you need to complete or simply writing down the five things that make you feel happiest can take a bit of weight off your shoulders.

Writing what’s bothering you, and then possible ways to fix it, can also be therapeutic.

Clean your Desk

Cleaning or organizing your desk is a great way to reduce physical and mental clutter, as well as providing you with a small task that can help your mind busy. Purging a drawer or desktop of things you don’t need is a great way to simplify your workspace, and doing so will give you time to gather your thoughts, as well as provide you with a clean workspace. It’s a win-win situation.

Organize your Inbox and Contacts

Going through your email inbox or that stack of snail mail you’ve been building is a great way to take a step away from it all. You’re getting some work done at the same time, too.

After you’ve gone through the mail, add those business contacts into your phone from the business cards you’ve collected. Or you could go back to your email and delete things you no longer need.

You’ll feel refreshed, have a bit of weight off your shoulders and stayed productive.

Take a Step Outside

If things seem like they’re getting too hot to handle, take a step outside and just take a few deep, slow breaths. Take a short walk around the block, just to get your head clear, or go to your favorite park.

If possible, take your computer and try to get some work done while you’re out. Sometimes, a change of scenery is enough to breathe fresh life into your day.

Listen to your Favorite Song

On rough days, try plugging in your headphones and blasting your favorite song. If you had a rough day at work, or you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, jam out in the car on your commute to take out some frustration.

Roll up your windows and sing your frustrations out, or roll them down and serenade the car next to you at the stop light. That could make their day, too.

Accept the Day for What it Is

Sometimes the best thing to do is step back and accept the problems you’ve got to deal with head-on. Instead of avoiding them, or trying to push them onto someone else’s lap, you will be able to address the issue and move on.

As Edberg suggests, “by accepting that you feel this way and that these thoughts are floating in your mind you stop feeding more energy into them and you stop making them strong.”

Think Everything Through

If something is bothering you, think about whether or not it will hold the same weight tomorrow, next week, or next month. If it’s an issue that will quickly fade or be forgotten about, perhaps it’s not the best thing to waste your energy on worrying.

Will you learn anything from this problem? Is there an opportunity or silver lining you could glean from what’s presenting itself as a negative situation?

Talk it Out

Picking up the phone and calling a good friend (one who’s a better listener than gossip is key) and talking your issues out is incredibly therapeutic and can turn a bad business day around. There are times when the best solution is to just talk it out and relieve some frustrations.

Frustration Photo via Shutterstock

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Aubrielle Billig Aubrielle Billig is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers business as it is impacted by pop culture, entrepreneurs in the arts, and other topics affecting creative businesses. She has a background as an illustrator and her design page can be found at AubrielleBillustrations.

One Reaction
  1. I agree with all of these. My current favorite song to get out of the doldrums is “Juke Box Hero.” I dare you to listen to that without getting pumped up.

    I would also add that taking a 20 minute power nap can be a great way to “reset” a bad day or even some minor calisthenics.

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