How to Work Well Under Pressure
We reward Olympic athletes with gold medals for setting records. We value the person who is able to compete and win on their own terms. But athletes don’t win races on their own: these exceptional people train every day and work with coaches who teach them how to perform under pressure.
Think of yourself as an athlete in your own life. When you’re entering a time of increased pressure you need to continue to train. You also need to share what’s going on with your team at work and your family and friends.
As we take on more assignments we begin to feel pressure, and that pressure brings on stress that’s bad for your health, destructive to your productivity, and complicates your personal life. Here are some strategies for handling pressure at work and at home from Cydcor. Experiment with these tips, and over time, you will develop your ability to achieve success under pressure.
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Be a Good Communicator
Alert your supervisor when you’re entering a stressful time. If you decide that you’ll have a problem completing your assignments you must inform your supervisor. If you’re unsure about getting something done you need to be responsible and professional enough to ask for help. Be proactive and raise a red flag when you see trouble on the horizon—not when your ship has started to sink.
Control Your Emotions
Problems will arise and pressure will grow depending on time, resources, and the difficulty of the assignment. We often react emotionally when we start to experience pressure at work. Some of us perceive pressure as a challenge while others might experience it as a threat. While emotions make it hard to think clearly and limit your ability to solve problems, know that it’s okay to feel the emotions. Transform them into the energy required to complete the task.
Make a Plan
Climbing a mountain seems impossible, but taking one-step forward is a much more manageable goal. Get the pressure you’re feeling out of your head and onto paper. Break it down into smaller tasks. Be specific. Assign a time frame for each of the steps. If possible, delegate tasks. Make notes about the process once the task is complete so you’ll have an even better plan the next time a similar situation occurs.
Sometimes, pressure appears seemingly out of nowhere. When something goes wrong you need to be brave. It’s time to change your thinking. Instead of choosing panic, recognize the problem and then tell yourself, “Well, that’s inconvenient, so it’s a good thing I have my notes and I’ve practiced for this situation.” Bravery comes from practice and experience. Imagine what could go wrong and develop some possible responses. Write them down. Visualize yourself completing the tasks in a calm and relaxed manner.
Take Care of Yourself
During times of high pressure it’s easy to get distracted and forget to take care of yourself. It’s at these times that you need to be most aware of your health. Avoid fast foods or unhealthy comfort foods. Eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water, schedule short breaks during the day, get plenty of sleep, and try to get some type of exercise everyday. It relieves stress, lowers your blood pressure, and improves your mood.
Check out other blogs full of business advice from Cydcor, including Building and Maintaing Customer Relationships.