Well This Day Just Keeps Getting Better and Better

4 Steps to Tackle the ‘Off-Day’ at Work


So you’re having an off-day. Maybe you overslept, which may or may not have been caused by an ill-advised night before at the pub. Maybe you burnt your hand on the crappy toaster you inherited from your nan or discovered that you’re out of precious, life-giving coffee. Maybe there was a delay on the tube and it meant that even more tossers in suits tried to cram themselves into your carriage than usual. Maybe you sat down at your desk only to find out you accidentally switched off your client’s entire digital advertising activity before the weekend (NB: this actually happened to me.). Maybe Tina on reception said something about your jacket that was complimentary on first hearing but later you realise was a bit of a swipe, but now you’re already in the lift and can’t defend your jacket – damn you Tina. Maybe it’s all of the above. Either way, we’ve all been there brother/sister. Thankfully, I have devised a four-step plan to help combat the blues. I hereby present to you, dear reader, my C.R.A.P. plan.


Step 1) – CALM


When you recognise that you are having an absolute howling crudbucket of a day, at the next opportunity you get, take a breather. Get up from your desk and get a coffee and/or have a cigarette, if you’re that way inclined. A personal tactic was also to go and take a few minutes in the nearest available “water closet” and peruse my phone while savouring the satisfaction of bodily functions- if you know what I mean. If you can, even go for a five-minute walk (and throw some serious shade at Tina on the way past- what does she even know about fashion?). Just get away from your funk for a short while to rally yourself and assess what’s going on. Once you’re away from your desk or feeling removed from the situation, move on to step 2).


Step 2) – REASON


What, really, is it that’s caused your off-day? Was it really the lack of coffee or the oversleeping? Was the oversleeping caused by not getting enough sleep generally? There might be all sorts of things flying around your head that you may not have realised are causing upset – arguments with partners, work-related stress or even just general dissatisfaction with your current lot in life can niggle away at you, underlying problems that are tucked away somewhere deep in your brain but subconsciously make you see the world through some distinctly beige-tinted glasses. If there’s nothing like that, though, it may well just be that the world has conspired against you for the day and you’ll just have to ride it out.


Regardless, once you’ve identified the causes of your off-day, however important or menial they are, first try to turn your mood from “I want to watch everyone burn to death in a tyre fire” to “My life is actually surprisingly great.” It can be so easy when you’re in a stinker of a mood to not be able to see the wood for the trees – you’re a twenty-something chap/chappette in the prime of your life, living the dream after all! Take a step back and have a look at the bigger picture and try to be more positive about it – you might be having a turdfest of a day but, chances are, there’s someone out there who’s having a worse day than you. You could be Theresa May on the early hours of the 9th of June, for example.


Finally, try to find a solution to whatever is causing your off-day. Vow to buy a better toaster, find a new route to work that isn’t as squashed or resolve to tell Tina that your nan also wears that blouse she’s wearing. More short-term, try to think about the best way of getting through your day in the most painless manner possible. Whether that’s trying to get through your task-list in the most efficient way possible, putting some bigger problems on hold to deal with some easier ones or just grinning and bearing it, accept that it’s just not going to be your best day at the office and vow to fight another day. Feeling empowered? Ready to slog it out? Go to step 3).


Step 3) – APPLY


Put what you’ve just realised into practice. Stick on some good music, get your head down and power through. To make the day seem like less of a total train-wreck, try to do something to make yourself feel virtuous. Walk part of the journey home or go to the gym; plan to see a friend in the evening in town to vent about your crappy day; recruit someone to go and see that new film you wanted to see; rather than just having a pizza or a microwave meal, cook some proper food and save some for lunch tomorrow. Either way, just try to do something that gives you a little spring in your step – you might have had a crap day, but at least you got something out of it.


You’ve done it – you’ve made it through your off-day, which means only one thing. You can move on to step 4).


Step 4) – PROSPER

You made that off-day your bitch – now go do the same for the other days this week. And every day next week. And the next week! AND THE WEEK AFTER THAT, GODDAMNIT.


Go make every day your bitch. Just remember – some days are going to be C.R.A.P. And that’s ok.