Pivoting on Difficult Days: An essential part of your daily recharge

I don’t know about you but some of these days are EXHAUSTING! And while I maintain a balanced diet of COVID news interspersed with human interest stories and humour, some days still leave me feeling weary from incessant negativity and the dumb things people say…including me.

Here is a routine I have found extremely helpful to close out challenging days so I am set to recharge and tackle the next day with the right attitude. I used OneNote to set it up, but Evernote, Trello, or your notebook can work just as well.

The Checklist

At the end of the day, when I’m ready to shut down, I go through each item on the checklist:

1. Verbalize all the good. I begin by capturing some of the highlights of my day below the checklist. It’s easy to forget what went well. Writing it out reinforces your sense of contribution and satisfaction.

2. Reframe the bad. No day is perfect. Put the mistakes and bad experiences in their place. They are temporary and can be overcome. They do not define you. It can help to visualize burying those incidents or how you will come back stronger. I may journal it or just think it through.

3. Review the day’s tasks and update list. I keep my action items in Trello. Reviewing the list to check off completed items and add new ones keep me organized.

4. Check next 2 days’ meetings. Arriving unprepared is the worst, especially if you are leading. Looking ahead ensures we prioritize the right work so we are ready.. This is important in managing stress.

5. Block tasks and prep time. Based on upcoming meetings and my action list, I select the critical tasks for tomorrow and block time in my calendar to complete them. Calendar blocks protect your time and help with focus.

6. Say ‘it is finished’. Verbalizing the end of the day is an important marker to help me shift gears and leave work behind. Use a phrase that works for you.

Boundaries are important. A daily shutdown practice is a critical element for maintaining positive mental health. It can also be very beneficial for individuals struggling through a difficult period of change.

Did this help you? Do you do something similar? I’d love to hear from you.

Thoughtfully yours,
Jeff

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Skipper
Jeff Skipper is an expert in accelerating change. Clients such as Shell, Goldman Sachs and The Salvation Army have engaged him to achieve dramatic results during strategic transformation by wrapping complex change in motivating mission. He has been quoted in Fast Company, Forbes and HP’s enterprise.nxt. Jeff holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and is a Certified Change Management Professional.