No one ever writes posts about shitty days at work. At least not in any of the blogs I follow. Sure people post status updates on Facebook and Twitter about how annoyed or frustrated they are, but typically no one cares enough to dedicate an entire blog post to it. And it's probably for good reason. Who cares, right?
Well today I had a shitty day. To start, it looks and feels like March and it's July. My work computer failed and I was unable to be productive at all. My boss didn't have time to go over work with me. Something I worked long and hard on was killed. An old man on the street looked at me wrong, a lady cut me off while I was on my bike... and the list goes on. Sure, it could have been worse. But, as my day got shittier and shittier, so did my attitude and I know that didn't help the morale in the office.
Which is why I'm writing about post about a shitty day. Yes, the weather could be nicer and yes I would like a new computer at work, blah blah blah.
But the truth about my shitty days is that most of the time, they start with me.
More or less than 18 months ago I was in my first real post-college job. I was idealistic about life, bright-eyed, energetic and full of fresh ideas. I couldn't understand why everyone around me was so cynical and negative all the time. Here I was in my first real job, still blown away by the fact that someone actually pays me to think and have ideas and be creative and make stuff!
Fast forward to today and I'm the cynical one. So what happened in that time? Between now and then, how did I become the person I loathed? The person I promised I'd never be? How do I get the old me back? We've heard it all before, negativity is a cancer to the work environment, for every positive there are ten negatives...
So why do we do it? Why do we give into negativity? It's a waste of time.
I'm turning it around. I'm going to make a conscious effort from today on.
Here is the advice I came up for myself. It's not meant to be self-righteous or preachy. I didn't make it up and I'm not taking credit, but it's my action plan and I'll share it. Because it's likely that if you're taking the time to read about a shitty day, you might just be having one yourself.
1. If something or someone is upsetting you, do something positive to change the situation.
But... but, what if I'll upset someone or what if I do it wrong or...
2. Don't ask for permission, ask for forgiveness.
If you're doing something with good intentions, chances are, all you'll have to do is explain that.
3. Stop giving in to negative conversation.
I'm not saying stop talking to people who are negative or need to have a good rant, just make sure the conversation is constructive or excuse yourself.
4. Pay a genuine compliment to someone or do something nice for someone else.
You'll feel better if you're nice. Simple as that. Remember those random acts of kindness books? We should do more of that.
5. Take your lunch break.
Ah, but you're too busy to take lunch? You'd be less stressed if you walked away from your work from time to time.
If this still doesn't work... try writing your own obituary. Maybe it's time to change direction.
As for me, I'm going to be making a better effort. I'm reminding myself that I'm paid to think and be creative and have ideas and make stuff.
Everyday isn't going to be the highlight of your career, and that's okay. But it's not okay to be a Debbie Downer.
Debbie Downer from Markusm86 on Vimeo.