3 Tips to Help You Get Through a Bad Week at Work (Because it Happens)
The past few weeks have been tougher than normal for me at work. And in full transparency, as I’m writing this article, I want nothing more than to go to bed for 36 hours. It’s not because I hate my job. In fact, I happen to like what I do. And yet, I still can’t help but look at my laptop screen with glazed-over eyes and see nothing but a blurry Word document.
If there’s one thing that everyone who goes to work will ever have in common, it’s that some weeks will be tougher than others. While that’s not necessarily the easiest thing to accept, it is important to know. If you’re currently in a rough patch, I’ve compiled my three best tips for helping you cope.
1. Identify What’s Making it So Tough
“Bad week at work” often goes hand-in-hand with “I can’t get anything right this week.” And many times that’s because you’re currently struggling with something—whether that’s a stressful project, a micromanaging colleague, or a computer that keeps crashing.
While identifying exactly what’s upsetting you won’t resolve it immediately, just pinpointing it can make you feel a little bit better. Because you can then decide if there’s a fix for the situation. If so, go after it!
And if not there’s not a fix, then you can hopefully at least put an end date on it—like when your project’s finally over or a new computer arriving. Or at the very least, Friday almost being here.
2. Confide in Your Boss
OK, sometimes this just isn’t possible because your boss is the worst. But if you don’t work for a complete monster, your manager’s probably aware of the fact that part of her job is to make sure you have everything you need to succeed. If that happens to be a venting session about how the week has gone down, so be it.
You might be surprised to see what happens after you open up. Maybe nothing, but maybe deadlines can be moved, or tasks can be delegated elsewhere, or you’ll find an extra slice of leftover birthday cake at your desk.
I know—you want to do such a good job that everyone you work with knows that you can be trusted with anything. And that’s really admirable. However, the reality is that even the most talented people need a helping hand occasionally. And that includes you.
3. Avoid Being Too Hard on Yourself
There’s probably at least a small part of you who wants to harp on all the things you did to make this week difficult. After all, you have all the control in this situation, right? Well, not always. Sometimes you just have a packed calendar with meetings on meeting. And other times, work is just tough.
Sure, if you make a mistake, you should fess up and take the appropriate steps. But on weeks when it feels like you just can’t catch a break, it’s important to take a step back and remind yourself that there are things you simply cannot control.
Sometimes even the best jobs can feel like, well, work. And some weeks are going to be harder than others. You can’t control everything, but you can rethink the way you cope with a particularly difficult stretch. And if nothing else, you’re only getting closer to Friday.
Photo of person stressed courtesy of Georgijevic/Getty Images.
Richard Moy is a Content Marketing Writer at Stack Overflow. He has spent the majority of his career in talent management, including a stint as a full-cycle recruiter and hiring manager. In addition to the career advice he contributes to The Muse, he also writes test prep and higher education marketing content for The Economist. Say hi on Twitter @rich_moy.More from this Author