Unpick your perfect day and your worst day - Phil Drinkwater Coach

Unpick your perfect day and your worst day

A surprisingly useful exercise in personal growth is to understand the attributes of your best and worst days. But why?
What we'll cover

We’ve all had great days at work and terrible days. But why are they so different? It turns out that the emotions we have on these two types of days, as well as how much they align with what we like to do, our values, and even our purpose in life make them very different experiences!

Read this blog post to find out more about understanding your best and worst work day.

What did your best day at work look like?

Here are some attributes of a best day at work:

  • You felt like you were making a difference in the world, and that your job was important. This is because it aligned with what we call our “purpose”.
  • You enjoyed some of the tasks that you were doing, and you felt like they were in line with your values.
  • You enjoyed the people that work there – this is because of how much they felt like “your tribe”, and there were no difficult or overbearing people.
  • You felt like you were in a good mood and that your energy was high
  • You created opportunities for your business and realised that you were doing something that will have a positive impact
  • You felt like you were in control of your day, and there was no pressure
  • You had enormous amounts of energy and enthusiasm for the work
  • You felt like you were making a difference in the world, and that your work was important.
  • You feel creative, and like you can accomplish anything.

What did your worst day at work look like?

Here are some attributes of a worst day at work:

  • You felt like your work was not important
  • The tasks you were doing did nothing to align with your “purpose”
  • There were awkward or difficult relationships with staff or customers
  • You felt like you were being “pushed” to do things
  • There was a lot of pressure and stress You didn’t feel in control of your day or the outcome of it.
  • You felt like you weren’t able to be yourself and were controlled somehow.
  • You felt like you didn’t accomplish anything and it seemed pointless to work
  • You felt low, tired or like you were struggling through the day
  • You felt like you were in a rut and couldn’t get out of it.

How dopamine affects our mood

If you want an ideal day at work, you need to ensure that your dopamine levels are high. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that affects our mood, and it can be stimulated by ensuring that you have enough sleep, as well as by taking exercise and eating healthy foods.

Dopamine is also called the motivation molecule because it is responsible for our drive to do things. Dopamine levels affect mood so if want a fantastic day at work ensure your dopamine levels are elevated.

How to build your perfect day at work

If we look at these, we can see that the perfect day at work would be a combination of tasks you enjoy, values or principles aligned with your purpose and relationships where there is mutual respect.

You have one shot at an amazing life and happiness … make the most of every fantastic moment. You weren’t meant to struggle – remember that.

The best way to create this environment for yourself in any given situation is by being mindful about what type(s) of people are around us during our idea day as well as how we treat them (ourselves included). If someone has different priorities than ours then it’s important not only to understand but also accept these differences so they don’t cause conflict between ourselves/themself-and others on staff who share similar goals.

Building yourself a happy day should be the goal of any executive

Sleep well is more than a saying

Before you even start your day, you can have enough sleep to be energised and ready to go. A good sleep routine is essential to a good day.

An amazing morning

The first element any person has control over is the morning, before starting their job. By beginning with nutrition, exercise, and some mindfulness , we can set ourselves up for a successful day.

If possible try having some time during our morning routine where one could meditate on how they want today/the rest of week to go.

Clear tasks

Next, we can build a clear and achievable list of tasks while allowing ourselves enough time to take a break and enjoy some time to ourselves and relax.


The third element is to be mindful of our relationships with others and how they might affect us, for better or worse – and vice versa. Relationships within the workplace can be challenging, but by being mindful of how we interact with others and what our goals are for the day can help us to be more productive.

Work-life balance

The fourth element is a healthy work-life balance that includes time spent outside or doing something you enjoy – whether it’s reading books on your lunch break at home in front of an open window while eating fresh fruit salad.


The fifth element is feeling we can achieve anything at all. We feel powerful and accomplished. We can feel more like this by setting goals and then achieving them – which swings back into the task setting element of the day. It may seem small but these little things add up over days weeks months years…and eventually decades.

Do something amazing for your coworkers

The sixth is about giving more than receiving. There are many different reasons why it is important to do something nice for your coworkers. Doing so can help you feel more connected to your team, make you enjoy coming into work more often, and even lead to higher productivity levels.

Time out

Finally, we can take a moment at some point during each workday (or even in between) just as an executive would do on their best days: by taking time out from it all so that when you come back your mind will feel refreshed again!

What should you do next?

Now you understand a little more about the attributes of a good and bad day, you will be in a better position to look back at your own best and worst days, and see what you can do to make the bad days better and improve on your best day. You can take small steps towards this every single day.

What does this mean to you?

Maybe make a list of your top 5 and worst 5 days in order that you can compare and contrast them.

So, what are your top five best days? What were the elements that made it so great for you on those particular occasions, when everything seemed to go right in a way which was perfect or near-perfect from start (or finish)?

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