Some of us, in spite of spending a lot of time planning our days and weeks, know that with one phone call at 8:00am, our entire schedule can be thrown off and all the things meticulously planned can be put on the back burner.

But before we let the backlog of our to-do list become stressful and frustrating, here are four simple things we can do to manage these setbacks and have a better day.

1. Calm down and smile – Just like a collector who has come off the phone after having a tense conversation with a customer or debtor, take a moment to rebalance yourself. As I always encourage our collectors to keep a small mirror at their desks, keep one at yours, take a look at your expression, and try to smile. A happy face will make you feel better and can actually be contagious to others.

2. Make a short list of what you can do – So even though you know you won’t get to all one hundred and twenty to-do’s that day, really scrutinize the list and prioritize what you can reasonably expect to do by the end of the day. Any pending credit applications that can be approved quickly will certainly help your sales department.

3. Acknowledge when you’ve finished something – Even if it’s only one small to-do, check it off! Every little step forward helps to tackle the next item on the list.

4. Give someone a compliment – The act of thinking about another person in a positive way and expressing it genuinely aloud will definitely help to improve your mood.

Enjoy your great day ahead!

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This article was edited by Steven Gan.

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