Working under pressure these days? In this fast-paced world, being able to handle the stress that accompanies deadlines is crucial. Working under pressure involves being able to deal with constraints that are often outside of your control.
According to Bizfluent.com,c ommon manifestations of pressure include sleeplessness, a short temper and difficulty concentrating. Lack of patience with others is common. Some people “forget” to eat, and others eat too much. Excessive exercise is another indicator.
Here are some tips to get better at handling and performing well under pressure in the workplace.
1. Change your mindset.
Think of high pressure situations as challenges and opportunities to learn and thrive and not as a threat. “Seeing pressure as a threat undermines your self-confidence; elicits fear of failure; impairs your short-term memory, attention, and judgment; and spurs impulsive behavior. It also saps your energy” according to Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry.
“When you see the pressure as a challenge, you are stimulated to give the attention and energy needed to make your best effort,” according to Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry.
2. Don’t worry about what-ifs
Focus on the present and don’t worry about the future. This will allow you to focus on the tasks at hand and not the what-ifs. When you focus on the what-ifs, you are subjecting yourself to unnecessary worrying about things that you can’t control.
When multiple tasks demand your attention, prioritize according to urgency and importance. Take a look at the image below that depicts how to prioritize according to urgency and importance. Prioritize tasks that have high importance and high urgency such as a meeting where you will have to present the sales report. Then move on to tasks that have high importance but low urgency such as completing a weekly report that is due tomorrow.
Tasks with low importance but high urgency such as responding to emails can come next. Lastly, don’t focus your attention on those tasks that have low importance and low urgency such as office gossip.
4. Execute and track
Once you’ve planned and prioritized, it’s time to execute! Implement planned tasks and make sure that once you’ve started executing, track progress and celebrate small wins as well!
5. Don’t panic
When you feel overwhelmed, it’s easy to let the pressure get to you and panic. When that happens, negative thoughts start creeping in and affect your ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand. Avoid this by eliminating distractions, whether it be office gossip or an after office event that might add to the tasks that you have to pay attention to.
Physical, mental and emotional relaxation are important in developing your ability to work well under pressure. Take care of your physical, mental and emotional health by getting regular exercise, enough sleep, eating the right food, taking breaks as needed, and not taking things personally.