Sometimes forces outside of your control conspire to derail your day. Those well thought out plans and allocations for deploying your time and attention? All for naught–someone started a fire and you’re on deck to put it out (and clear off everything else from your plate).
Sometimes the fire is fun to deal with. It requires you to flex creative problem-solving muscles, work with fun people, play with innovative ideas, think long term, make significant impact, cut through red tape like a hot knife through butter…and sometimes putting out the fire means doing repetitive scut work.
If your ambitions are frustrated, if you feel as though your attention and brainpower have been wasted, if you are having a shitty day, DO SOMETHING to reset your mood.
Go outside for a walk. Look up at the sky. Smell some flowers. Pet a dog. Make tea or espresso. Lift heavy weights. Sprint until you have trouble breathing.
Guaranteed, if you do a heavy lifting session and do some intense interval training, you’ll feel like a champion afterwards, and you’ll have salvaged the day. No matter what happened before, you have pushed your body to its limits and you’ve gotten stronger. You’ve worshiped in the iron temple and if that’s the only productive good thing you’ve done all day, it’s enough.
(And now that you’ve recovered your mood, time to brainstorm a more efficient way to finish that scut work, or find a higher impact/value task that is also more fun to do in its stead.)