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No matter how much you enjoy your job, you’re going to have one of those days where it seems like everything is going wrong.

What do you do when even the simplest of tasks seem insurmountable and you are just a wreck? Most conventional LOA teachers say encouraging things like, “think positive thoughts,” “meditate,” or my favorite, “take a nap.” These are all great suggestions, but there are some of us who cannot just take a nap at work. But, that does not mean there aren’t some basic techniques you can implement in order to make it through the day.

About a month ago, I was having a really rough day. I slept about 4 hours the night before and had a busy day ahead of me. First thing that morning, I made a mistake on something and immediately went into a spiral of self-doubt and anxiety. I didn’t know where it was coming from but it was that feeling of “I don’t belong here, I’m a fraud, I’m not good enough, why did they trust me with this case…” etc. I had plenty of work to do but had absolutely no motivation to do any of it.

Usually when I’ m having a bad day at work, I try to do quick things that typically improve my mood but on that particular day, those weren’t working at all. I turned on some music and that pissed me off. Then, I tried to turn on some positive Abraham recordings on youtube and those pissed me off even more. I tried to just force myself to work, but I couldn’t even figure out what work to do first because I had so much to do. I just sat there angry with a disorganized pile of papers on my desk reminding me how much work I had to get done and how useless I was at that moment.

Clean Up Your Desk

Then, I thought about a simple technique I learned while reading “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie where he suggested cleaning off your desk of everything except for what you are working on. I immediately though: I don’t have time to clean, I need to BILL!!! But, in a moment of clarity, I thought: I cannot put “Panicked and felt bad for myself for 2 hours while staring at random papers on my desk” on a time sheet.

So, I picked up one piece of paper at a time and filed away what I did not need. After about 20 minutes, I could see my actual desk for the first time in months. I think I found every pen, highlighter and paper clip I had ever owned after removing all the clutter. I also found some documents I had been looking for but had been too overwhelmed to clean my desk to find. After my desk was organized, I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Make a List

Now that my office was organized, I decided to make a list of everything that I needed to get done that day. When I started the day, I was overwhelmed by the thought that I had a lot to get done and no time to do it. Now, I had some anxiety building from the fact that I had wasted 20 minutes cleaning up my office. However, once I had the list written out, I looked at it and thought, “that’s it?!” When you write down everything you need to do, your duties for that day go from infinite to manageable and the anxiety melts away.

Let it Go

I made a mistake first thing in the morning which threw my day off immediately. When it was all said and done, the mistake was fixable and didn’t warrant such a strong negative emotional response from me. I’m not suggesting that you should have a cavalier attitude and not attempt to do your best at your work. I am just saying that the pursuit of perfection will only disappoint you and attract more mistakes into your reality. Focus on doing your best and let go of the rest.

What do you do to put yourself back on track when you are having a rough day at work? Please share in the comments!