Productive ways to set yourself up for having bad days

I’m writing from the in-between. I’m not doing nice, positive, however I’m not doing bad. I’m not staring on the wall blankly, for instance, which is one thing I’ve not too long ago come to admire not doing. I’m sitting right here, typing these phrases . . . I’m functioning. Historical past means that in a few days I’ll be in a fairly good place.

That’s been the cycle since March 2020. The previous couple of years have been exhausting on all of us, in several ways. I’ve a variety of work to do on myself, and I intend to get assist and try this work. All of us ought to. However I wager various folks studying this text are touring alongside their very own private good/in-between/bad spectrum. And since we’re residing by way of a real-world catastrophe, and never a film catastrophe, all of us want to hold doing our jobs within the meantime.

Since we’re all going to be fluctuating wildly on the great/in-between/bad spectrum for the foreseeable future, we’d as properly plan round it.

Use your good days to plan for the bad ones

When I’ve an unproductive day, I really feel bad about myself. When I’ve a productive day, I persuade myself that on daily basis will likely be like that any more. Neither of these reactions is especially useful. So I attempt not to function that approach anymore.
One good day isn’t an indication that the bad days are over, however one good day is a possibility. So now I attempt to use the great days to set myself up to perform higher on the bad ones. What does that seem like? It’s going to rely in your job, after all, however listed below are just a few tough classes:

  • Planning. Nothing is worse on a bad day than having to resolve what to do—decision fatigue is real. Planning the week to come on good days provides me a greater probability of getting one thing achieved on the bad ones as a result of it means I don’t have to decide after I’m not feeling up to it.

  • Outlining and brainstorming. Precise writing, for me, is like working on autopilot. Considering of concepts, although? That’s exhausting. In the event you’re related, think about using your good days to brainstorm or define your initiatives, so you possibly can concentrate on the execution on the bad days.

  • Writing snippets. I wager a superb share of the emails and messages you write on daily basis are kind of similar. In the event you set up a snippet manager and spend a while writing snippets forward of time, you possibly can reply to routine messages with much less thought. It’s a small factor, however having the ability to simply reply to just a few routine messages on a bad day can actually assist construct momentum for different duties. Snippets make that easier.

  • Automating issues. Automation is a habit, and a superb day is a good time to work on it. Spend your good days constructing bots to allow them to work for you on the bad days. Listed below are just a few automation ideas to get you started, and my colleague Krystina even wrote about using automation to fight burnout.

You get the concept: Spend your good days setting stuff up in order that issues are simpler on the bad days. This takes a certain quantity of self-awareness. On the great days, you want to keep in mind that the bad days are most likely coming again, then commit to doing the work that can enable you get by way of them.

This isn’t going to pull you out of your good/in-between/bad cycle, however utilizing the great days to plan for the bad makes all of it lots simpler to hold the momentum going. It’s serving to me lots, and I hope it helps you.


This article initially appeared on Zapier’s blog and is reprinted with permission.