Everyone is subject to good days and bad days. It is a fact of life. In business the same thing is true for anyone in a leadership role. For those responsible for workforce management, the bad days may be a bit more frequent lately given the upheaval and uncertainty injected into daily operations by the pandemic which has had an outsized impact on labor. But don’t fret. Remember that when the going gets tough, the tough go pro. This post will provide you with some steps you can take to turn a bad work week into a good work week and remain effective in your struggle to navigate these unsettling times.

Set Daily Goals

Although the goal posts seem to be moving given the rapid pace of change, there is great benefit to setting modest, incremental goals – even just for the day at hand. Providing yourself and your team with a simple objective for the day helps build confidence and generates momentum, one small step at a time.

Prepare a Plan of Action

Goals are important, but a plan for execution provides a framework for achievement. Think of the goal as the “what” and the action plan as the “how”. Devise a simple strategy to divide the workload and delegate pieces of the whole amongst your team. This fosters teamwork and unit cohesion.

Curb Bad Habits

Everyone has them. Unless you can identify the damaging habits and own responsibility for them, they will persist and that will undermine your ability to achieve each day’s simple goal. There is something liberating about acknowledging one’s less-than admirable habits and taking action to improve.

Avoid Distractions and Procrastination

Whether it is Facebook, the water cooler or even a window with a view, there are always convenient diversions from work – particularly if the tasks at hand are challenging or difficult. Resolve to stay off of social media, bring a water bottle to your desk or close the blinds. Whatever it takes to avoid the things you know will derail your efforts, the payoff will be felt at the end of a productive day when the goals are accomplished. Accomplishment, even at the smallest level, is addictive.

Focus on Time Management

This one is kind of a subset of Preparing a Plan of Action. It helps to allocate times for each task necessary to achieve the daily goal. They need not be hard and fast, as we all know sometimes circumstances and unplanned interruptions can push you off course. But the act of allocating a specific amount of time to your activities helps provide structure and cadence to the day’s work.

Embrace Failures

Wise man once said, “whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right”. Don’t look at failures along the path to your goal as a reflection of your ability. Humans learn far more from their failures than they do from their successes. Every time you try at something and do not succeed, look for the ways you could have done it different and you’ll find greater success in your subsequent attempts at the same task. Explore reasons for failures as a team. Make it a teachable/learning experience and it won’t be reason to feel badly.

Invite Constructive Criticism

No one has all the answers to any challenge. The best part of working on a team is the diversity of ideas and perspectives. Many hands/minds lighten the load. Take every opportunity to seek constructive criticism from your colleagues, supervisors and even your subordinates. There is strength in sharing.

Measure Measure Measure

Last but not least, establish metrics for your longer-term goals and then capture your progress in pursuit of them. You cannot manage what you cannot measure. Ensuring you’re taking stock of your progress helps guide your activities towards fruitful completion.

Applying these simple steps to your weekly routine will help improve your results overall. Don’t let a bad week get you down. Work this process and turn bad days around quickly so that when Mondays start out rough you’re able to smooth things out and achieve good productivity by week’s end.