When you feel annoyed or offended, it is customary not to act on those feelings with aggression. In relationships, it’s critical not to sever any bonds with a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction or comment in the heat of the moment. Whether it is a family member, friend, or significant other, giving yourself space, taking deep breaths, and returning to the issue at another time is always advantageous. When you have one chance at making things right, you do not want to put yourself in a position to make things worse.

Our friends at The Muse took the time to connect this sentiment to our responsibilities and tasks in the workplace. When a function needs to be taken seriously, you must illustrate the proper mindset to tackle it. When you enter a momentary rut or negative headspace, here are five things Alyse Kalish recommends you shelve for the time being:

1. Take an Important Call

If you’ve had a rough or busy morning and are dreading an upcoming phone call with a client, you are well within your rights to postpone the meeting a few hours. The key is to not cancel on them, but instead offer a ‘white lie’ to make way for more focused, productive conversation later on.

2. Have a Difficult Conversation

If you have an employee or co-worker that you need to deliver some harsh feedback to, proceeding while in a recusant state of mind will induce the individual unreceptive to your observation or criticism. It’s best to hold off on the meeting until you are mentally prepared.

3. Respond to an Email That Gets on Your Nerves

When you are not feeling like your typical self, even a subtle annoyance can send you into a tailspin. Maybe a co-worker just sent you a notice that they have not made any progress on their assignments for a big project. Perhaps it is your boss or manager responding to your question with “Figure it out.” 

When you receive an email that strikes a nerve, don’t jab back with a frustration-fueled response. If someone required an immediate reply, the message likely would’ve been delivered through a phone call or in-office meeting. Take time to unwind, collect your thoughts, and come back later with a professional response.

4. Make a Decision

If someone in your organization requires your input for a direction to take for a new project, now is not the time. Here’s why: Your ‘bad day’ may consist of feelings of recklessness or hastiness, which can lead to a bold decision that takes you off-track. While it may feel productive and as if you are removing a burden, it’s not wise to justify making that decision in an impulsive state. Instead, ensure your team you are dealing with it and offer a timeline for your answer.

5. Submit a Key Assignment

Days will come where you are not exhibiting an apt mentality to meet an approaching deadline for a research write-up, analytics spreadsheet, or outreach plan. Do not risk pitching a lackluster product when a few extra hours or days can provide a winning result. If you are comfortable requesting a deadline extension, offer a promise for desirable outcomes, set a new timetable, and ensure it won’t happen again. 

Wrap Up

Take care of your mental health. Pushing through a difficult day is never easy, notably when conditions like these occur. Still, with a little time and inward thinking, you can quickly return to the reliable professional you know yourself to be. 

For written-out examples on how to express reasons for the delay or push through when the task cannot wait, visit Alyse’s full article here.

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