How to handle work pressure
Pressure entails a sense of urgency to complete a certain amount of tasks within the specified timeline.
So deadline of the tasks is a pressure for you. You also experience pressure to complete the tasks correctly per your client requirement or per your boss expectation.
For example, you have to complete the project by tomorrow, you stretched and stayed whole night working on it. You are under pressure.
Similarly, let's say you have to negotiate the price with the customer or you have to attend a meeting and give a presentation, you feel pressure.
So pressure can come from any situation. It depends on the external factors and behaviors. It's the part and parcel of today's fast-paced working lives.
A Misconception about Pressure and Stress
Most of us feel pressure and stress at work is the same thing, but they are quite different. So be careful and not get confuse pressure with stress.
- Pressure is the result of lack of resources to meet objectives. Whereas stress is a state which results from too much pressure.
- Pressure is what you get. Whereas stress is what you take.
- Pressure comes automatically when we have some goal and try to achieve it. Whereas stress is the adverse reaction to the excessive pressure in a particular situation.
- Pressure puts you in stress but not all the time and mostly comes from external behaviors. Whereas stress can be pressure converted which you deal internally that affects your feelings as demotivation.
- Pressure can be of positive quality. Whereas stress has a negative impact.
- Pressure can be controlled. Whereas stress can be prevented.
- When demand increases and you try to meet others expectations beyond your capability, you feel pressure. Whereas when demand or expectation increases beyond your coping ability, you feel stress.
- When someone has resigned from your department that will give you pressure but when management didn't make any reaction on it. It will be converted to stress.
You have seen both pressure and stress are not interchangeable. Too much pressure can tip the balance the other way. The best trick to make the pressure work for you, and not against you, is to find the "sweet spot" between too much to do and too little time to do it in.
The biggest challenge is what can you do to cope with pressure. In order to cope under pressure you not only have to manage your reaction to pressure but you need to handle the pressure more effectively.
Follow these 13 sure-fire tips to effectively handle pressure at work
1. Make a plan and organize
Planning is the key step of turning your mind map into an outline. So don't waste your time worrying or feeling overwhelmed by the situation.
Prioritize the tasks and prepare the to-do list by the order of importance. Either mark the tasks or categorize them in your list as per priority by A-B-C method.
A- Put those tasks which are urgent and important,
B- Put those tasks which are important but not urgent and
C- Put those tasks which are not important. It has to be done without time binding.
once you do the above, start following the to-do list everyday and devote time to the tasks accordingly. This way you will never miss the delivery of the urgent tasks.
Evaluate the tasks and break it down into smaller step so that it would be easy to track and complete each step. Focus on the items on your to-do list and check the progress intermittently to be confident and keep going.
2. Change the situation
The deadline is something that creates pressure. Consider the deadline as make or break situation that could end your career.
Take it as an opportunity and let go of the threatening aspect of the situation. When you do this, you put your skills to win the challenge.
Before starting the work itself, if you're worried about the situation then you won't put your best to the work. This negative thought drains out your energy and makes the task more challenging and difficult.
Be focused and change your thoughts so you can tackle the things easily.
3. Step back and slow down
Whenever you feel too much pressure, the best way is to take a step back and slow down. It helps you to analyze and decide the best approach to the situation.
If you rush into the project to complete it fast, you may end up making a blunder mistake which couldn't be rectified.
Stepping back helps us to formulate the plan to get rid of the pressure at work.
During this time you can realize that the situation is not as challenging as you think.
4. Use stress relief strategies
Strategies to manage the stress at work are very helpful to maintain our calm and can make it easier to handle pressure at work.
Though you know that project needs most of your time and presence but make out some time and take a break.
Make a daily habit to walk for 5~10 minutes after lunch. Exercise, meditate or breathe deeply to reduce your stress level and improve your efficiency at work.
Think about "what changes you want within you" and look for that kind of music to help you achieve your goal.
5. Look for help
When you feel too much pressure seek for help. Discuss with someone who has already undergone through the similar situation.
Maybe his advice will help you to change your outlook.
Try to delegate the tasks to your team members which can be done by them with your less monitoring.
So you aren't overwhelmed and pay attention to other high priority tasks.
6. Think about the worst-case scenarios
When we work on a project we always take pressure thinking our output or outcome.
Think about a scenario where you did your job but your file contains a lot of errors. Error fixing can't be done in a shorter span of time.
What would be the worst case scenario here? At the very least we couldn't be able to deliver the file to the customer.
But we will update the progress and communicate the actual reason to the customer.
He would be more happy knowing that we are concerned more about quality and accept the new delivery schedule.
Someone has rightly said "Hope for the best and ready for the worst".
7. Stay on top
Be bold and confident in the workplace. Don't hesitate and talk to your superior upfront if any issues are there. This way you have a positive influence on your boss.
Finally, you are responsible for your own success so position yourself in the workplace in such a way so that no one can pinpoint you.
Develop an internal locus of control to boost your ability to monitor and deal with rising pressure.
8. Manage your response
Your response in a particular situation matters a lot. The real challenge is to manage your response in a pressured situation at work. Consider pressured situations as an opportunity to learn, explore and develop.
Those who deal well with pressure can shine and be in the limelight. Use this situation as your motivation and develop a healthy response.
Try to tackle pressure because it's difficult to go away by itself.
9. Boost your self-belief and self-control
If you are not confident then due to pressure you start doubting your own abilities and go into suspicion mode.
It's your self-belief which keeps you motivated to achieve your goals and dreams. No matter what happens on the outside world, it's your self-belief which brings happiness, and calm in your life and work as well.
When your plate is full of tasks, your emotions can run high. Develop your ability to cope in the pressured situation.
Read the complete article 13 Sure-fire Tips to Handle Pressure at Work that Guarantees no Stress - Harish Saras