How many times have you had a morning so bad that you wrote off the entire rest of the day as a failure? It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a bad few hours ruins the whole rest of the day. It’s not your fault that you do this, though, and it doesn’t have to be like this.
To turn a bad day into a better one, practice dividing each day into four quarters and making a new plan for the rest of the quarters if one goes worse than you had hoped:
For instance, if your morning is full of distractions and laziness and you don’t get much done, reset at midday by making a new plan for the rest of your day.
On those days that you struggle to get much done clear into the afternoon, recognize that you still have two quarters left to recover.
And in those rare times that everything seems to go wrong all the way up until dinnertime, make a plan to do what you can with the rest of the day, forget about the past, and move ahead.
It’s Okay For Some Entire Days to Be Bad
Some days you’re going to have an entire day that goes wrong, and that’s okay. Don’t expect yourself to be 100% all the time. As we learn in The Four Agreements, you want to do your best all the time, but your best may change depending on your circumstances.
If you’re sick, have been through a lot, or have any other external pressures, your best is going to be less, and that’s totally okay.
But the principle of re-planning your day still helps a lot in these situations. By taking some time to assess what’s gone wrong, write it off, see what you can reasonably do with what you have left and the energy you’ve got, you can still make each day great even if it starts off awfully.
And sometimes, the best thing you can do with the rest of a tough day is to rest. You don’t always have to be going hard at your goals. And if you’re smart about resting when you need it you’ll be far more effective.
So go easy on yourself sometimes. But when you really need to get refocused, consider your day as if it were in four quarters, make yourself a new plan with the time you have left, and get back to work.