Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How to handle pressure

A lot of people tend to overlook the effect of stress on one's career. Though a little pressure can be good for improved performance, an overdose of it can make people lose their head and give in to immediate impulses that lack judgment.

Some examples of pressure situations at workplace can be: meeting deadlines, handling peer pressure, handling disagreements and arguments, handling difficult co-workers to name just a few.

So how do you keep your cool under pressure at workplace and respond in a sensible manner? Here are just a few tips. You may add some more to these in the comments section.

1. Take time before you react. Study any give situation carefully, think about it and come up with a plan. This is better way to respond than being hasty.

2. Prioritize tasks, focus on tasks which are linked to your most immediate objective. Here is a superb article on improving your prioritizing skills and becoming a master at it.

3. Direct your energy toward situations where you can affect the outcome and don’t spend time worrying about what you cannot change. Successful people focus on tasks which they can control and let go of the rest.

Winners narrow their efforts only to what will help them win. So recognize what you can control and what you cant.

4. Take the help of others. You can seek the input of other people before reaching any decision. You may also delegate some tasks to others if you have a tight schedule. Decide which tasks can be delegated to other people and do so.

"Office Spa: Stress Relief for the Working Week", a book by relaxation expert Darrin Zeer, also offers some tips—everyday items to keep at your desk to make your working hours a little less stressful.

5. Learn how to deal with different kinds of people at work - complainers, aggressive people etc. Develop your listening skills in order to interact better with people and pay attention to improving your communication skills. Here is a useful article - How to be cool

6. Stop looking at the clock. When you have to meet a tight deadline, then instead of constantly looking at the clock, focus on the task at hand. Do the task with full concentration. Break bigger tasks down into smaller ones, try to finish the most urgent tasks first and then the low-priority ones. Assign time frames dedicated solely for each particular task.

7. Think positively at all times. Maintain mental discipline by not allowing thoughts of failure into your head.

8. Keep Your Mind In The Present. Winners maintain mental focus in the present. The here and now is where you perform, not the regrets of the past or the uncertainty of the future. Focus on what you are doing, when you do it.

You can keep your mind in the present by concentrating fully on the task at hand while you are performing it. In order to improve your concentration while performing tasks, check out my articles:
a) Improve concentration
b) How to produce excellent work

If you are focused on the present, you can avoid fears and doubts.

9. Focus on the task and not the outcome. Achievers keep their eye on the journey and not the goal. Having objectives is helpful, but when you execute, stay focused on the process. You cannot completely control the outcome as it can depend on many other factors, some of which may not be in your hands. (Remember tip#3).

10. Enjoy yourself: Relaxation is important if you want to perform any task well. If you are stressed out, then you may not be able to give your 100%. So enjoy the task you are doing, and you will feel relaxed and enthusiastic about it. See my article : How to produce excellent work, for more information on how relaxation can improve quality of work.

11. Water bottle. Eight glasses of water a day are recommended by experts. Keep a bottle at your desk to stay hydrated and avoid fatigue and sluggishness—two major signs of dehydration.

12. Tea. The most consumed beverage in the world, tea can increase energy, stimulate brain activity and increase information retention.

13. Healthy snacks. Keep some healthy food at your desk for days when you can’t dash out for lunch. Some good snacks include: cereal bars, dried fruit,pudding.

14. Learn tips to manage stress. We all have to face stressful situations at one time or the other. People who can nicely manage stress levels, do what is needed to be done while staying calm and composed under pressure will most likely overcome obstacles in their way to achieve worthwhile success. Check out some useful articles for some help in this regard:
a) 22 tips to manage stress,
b) Managing stress at the workplace.
c) Being calm in stressful situations

Are bad habits ruining your career, relationships etc?
Finally learn how to eliminate bad habits from your life so that they don't hinder your success. Bad habits like procrastination, smoking, laziness, poor self-image etc. can stand in the way of your dreams. Check out this helpful resource - End Bad Habits in 21 Days

A few helpful links:
1. Stress at workplace,
2. Dealing with difficult audience while giving public speech,
3. Secrets of successful job interview
4. How to stay cool under pressure

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Anonymous said...

I have found that taking small breaks throughout the day is beneficial. I also like to play relaxation videos at sometimes.

Paul said...

I find myself getting up from my desk and talking to people. I try to make myself ask for help or go to the gym when the pressure's on. I just posted about handling stress, and how it's a lot like playing Tetris:

johnyloufudolin said...

good idea

Anonymous said...

hope it improves me