We have all been there – despite all your best efforts and planning some days are just plain tough when you are running a business.  Whether you are an
executive at a Fortune 500 company or just starting your own company from a home office, these simple rules still apply:

Cut yourself some slack – There are incredible demands on your time and energy and you simply can’t get to it all some days. You are going to make mistakes. Whatever is causing your tough day, you are probably beating yourself up about something you should have done sooner/differently/etc. 
Stop doing that… just move forward. 
Remember what you are trying to accomplish – Remembering to look at the big picture can be helpful on those not-so-great days.  When was the last time you read your company’s mission statement?  Or looked at the strategic goals you set for the year?  Tough days are a good opportunity to take 5 minutes to review your bigger plans to put things in perspective and keep you focused on your

Make your to-do list, and do one thing at a time – Task lists can really help keep you on track, but can also be a bit overwhelming when you start to write down a very long list of everything you have to do that day. Prioritize your list; I like to put the things I MUST get done that day and some things that I know I can do quickly at the top of my list. That way I stay focused on the time sensitive items and also give myself some ‘quick wins’ so I can feel good crossing off some of those tasks.  
Do something good for yourself – Sometimes the best thing to do on a bad day is to get away from your desk and regroup.  Take a walk.  Go to the gym.  Get an afternoon pick-me-up at Starbucks or have an ice cream for lunch.  It really doesn’t matter what it is, but do something that will make you feel good.  You would do something nice for your spouse or best friend if they were having a bad day – why not do something for yourself?  

Keep things in perspective and find a way to get yourself back on track.  Tomorrow is a new day.

Debbie Millin is President/CEO of UpperLevel Solutions - a Boston-based firm offering part-time and interim COO services, operational assessments and executive project leadership.


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