As usual, I said goodbye to my wife this morning who bid me a good day at work. “have a good day at work darling”. Lovely! It got me thinking…. What is my definition of a good day at work?

A dictionary definition of work is “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result”. Work diaries tend to be filled with certain categories of work. There’s Reactive; Proactive; Planning; Administrative; Problem Solving; Insecurity and Checking type work. Coping with toxic company cultures can be stressful and distracting (I couldn’t work in an environment where I had to battle against my own team…. horrid!)

The drive to work generally involves a mental balance sheet of what I have tasked myself to achieve. What I might be tasked to do; risks; opportunities; KPI’s. Will it be a mega busy day, and does it look like it will be full of enjoyable stuff or stuff that is going to stress me out. Is my diary and “to do” list up to date. Am I on track for my weekly/monthly plan? Am I being too tactical? Am I in the right gear?

To achieve my desired results for the day will I have conflict, will I have cooperation. How well do I need my team to work with me? Am I delivering great service to my customers? How do I feel? Did I have enough sleep to fuel the fire for the day? Generally, in my life do I have a clear horizon? If I simply drove to work and listened to the radio, I would not feel sufficiently mentally prepared. This is how I am anyway.

I then make a concerted effort to put myself in the right frame of mind to attack my day. Approach the day positively and with a desire not to procrastinate. Getting things done is what motivates me. Achieving progress and results are key drivers.

So, when my wife says have a good day at work, my reply is “I Will “. I will make it a good day. Ok, not every day is a good day, but my intention is always to try and make a good day happen!

Having a good day is generally made easy for me because I work with a great team with a great positive, can do culture. I can prioritise tasks that add value, ones that allow me to be engaged. I am challenged to raise the bar and hit targets. Also, working with likeable and respected colleagues makes things much easier. Common goals.

So, when I get home at night and my wife asks me how my day went, my reply will be “great” if I feel I have achieved my objectives and I have had a day where I have been engaged with colleagues adding value to our common goal. Feedback from customers has been great.

My response to my wife will be “ok” if

  • I have been busy all day, but not adding real value and properly moving plans forward
  • Sods Law has been in operation and it felt like things “happened to me, rather than me making things happen”. My agenda was highjacked by issues, problems, poor communication etc
  • The day could have been better.

My response will be “crap” if

  • Nothing went right!!!

Obviously, the lack of results on a bad day will occupy my thoughts for how I position myself to put things right the next day. This is where positive psychology comes in. Don’t doubt oneself. Keep trying to do the right thing. Good practice WILL produce the right results. Sometimes this might need a coach to guide performance. Self- motivation and appraisal are also very important to me. Also, remember variety can be the spice of life. Plus, I like and need to balance work and home life. I always ensure I invest in great holidays with my wife. We both then share the benefits of the “great” days at work. The rewards of a positive attitude to each day at work. A focus on a good day, each day produces an aggregation of marginal gain. It all adds up to the benefits of a “cup, half full “.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the grey area of daily “emotional sludge”. All my career I have made a conscious effort to avoid negativity and the “pity party” with the logo of “its everyone else’s fault”.

What one invests one’s energy in grows stronger”. I choose fun, positivity, integrity, and great teamwork. Great relationships and recognising and developing talent are very uplifting.

On the way home from work in my car, I will congratulate myself on a great day with great music. I may have played my favourite tracks in the morning to elevate my thoughts and/or chill before the day ahead. (To supplement the radio).  Driving home is generally Elvis time!! On a bad day, it is probably still Elvis…” Lord, you gave me a Mountain “or “If I Can Dream”.

A simplistic blog, but an insight of what works for me folks….

Have a great day!