Have you ever had a bad day, when everything went wrong from the moment the alarm didn't go off, your ten-minute commute grew to thirty minutes due to a freak accident, you couldn't find the notes you needed for a meeting? On those days you are also likely to collect traffic tickets, insults and stray dogs.

"Getting out on the wrong side of the bed" means you begin the day feeling stressed. Stressed-out people lose their keys and misinterpret situations. They are ruled by their emotions.

Every society creates laws and customs to protect their most vulnerable citizens. Mandatory "cooling off" periods for marriage and shotgun licenses are designed to protect you from the consequences of your own emotions. Recovering alcoholics are encouraged to wait a year before making major commitments. And when you get up on the wrong side of the bed, sometimes your smartest move will involve crawling back under the covers. Take the cat with you.

Unexpected layoffs, transfers, policy changes and even promotions create emotions that dominate your actions and drive away insight. When you're frustrated, marginalized or isolated in your career, you are stockpiling stress. You may be determined to hang on and tough it out

Symptoms: You ponder a trivial question as if it were a zen koan. You hear a mild suggestion as guidance from a guru. Someone says, "Why don't you just quit your job?" and you're out the door on the fast track to disaster.

Best tactic: Time for a cooling off period! If you're a smart achiever with a track record, you'll want to tear up the road as you race to your new life. In fact, now's the time to stop. Take time to ponder major commitments. Do whatever you can to restore calm to your life and your emotions. Feel powerful. Get comfortable with your intuition. Then, and only then, can you move forward.

Author's Bio: 

For tips on incorporating downtime and cooling-off sabbaticals into your career plan, begin your 21-Day Extreme Career Makeover. Immediate download. From Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., career consultant, author and speaker.