Pressure is a part of every day, whether it is a small, ordinary inconvenience or an overwhelming personal or professional burden that stretches over weeks, months and perhaps years. But only a small part of life is dictated by what happens to you, the vast majority of life is dictated by how you handle what happens to you. This principle also applies to pressure; it is inevitable, so its impact is dictated by how you react to it. Here are five healthy, productive ways to respond to pressure:
Work pressure is an unavoidable aspect of the modern-day work experience. With the right stress management tools and techniques, you can overcome the experience of feeling overwhelmed at work. Knowing how to manage stress and work pressure can help enhance your work-life balance and improve your well-being. In this article, we discuss how to handle pressure from work and share some tips to help you manage your professional life.
Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming—and harmful to both physical and emotional health.
Common sources of work stress
- Low salaries
- Excessive workloads
- Few opportunities for growth or advancement
- Work that isn’t engaging or challenging
- Lack of social support
- Not having enough control over job-related decisions
- Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations
Is your job demanding?
Being able to deal with pressure in the workplace is a highly sought-after skill. If pressure at work is part of your everyday life, you will be pleased to learn that there are things you can do to both lower the pressure and prove to others that you can handle pressure effectively.
Here are some ideas to put into action to impress your supervisors and work colleagues with how great you handle on-the-job pressure:
1. Remain calm, always. Maintain a calm demeanor no matter what happens. This takes some practice, but the more you practice, the better you will get. Staying calm demonstrates that you have the ability to take things in stride and complete your tasks even in the face of difficult circumstances.
2. Stay focused on what needs to be accomplished. Even though the day may be stressful, keep your mind firmly focused on completing your regular responsibilities.
3. Help others to get through their taxing day. If you notice your co-workers are struggling with their tasks, help them finish and become the leader you know you are!
4. Sidestep the drama and stay positive. Refuse to engage in arguments or other disagreements with your colleagues. Keep busy to enable your thoughts to remain positive and focused. We all get sucked into drama periodically. But, if you are getting really wound up, stop and think what you feel the final resolution should be. Stop, breathe, take a step back, and the proceed with a clear mind.
5. Get help if you need it. Part of your job as an employee is to protect your employer. Notice if there is something out of line and get the help that you need immediately. Assessing the situation and taking care of issues right away demonstrates that you can think clearly under pressure.
6. Steer clear of too much caffeine. Coffee is a good stimulant, and while it can be a good thing for you in small amounts, too much of it can actually cause you undue stress. Limit your coffee intake and space them out throughout your work time. Chocolate is also a stimulant, so go easy on the chocolate snacks.
7. Take your breaks. Taking short breaks helps you release pent-up stress, rejuvenates you, and actually enables you to be more productive. Take a walk to the restroom or just get up and move about your office space.
8. Utilize your vacation time wisely. Plan your vacation during slow times at your job. Staying during the busy times shows your employer your dedication.
9. Join in with big projects. From time to time, your company may need help with a large or complex project. Take on the responsibility willingly. Showing your ability to be flexible demonstrates your willingness to step out of your comfort zone, openness to learning something new, as well as your ability to handle added pressure.
10. If you are feeling stressed, avoid letting it show too much. Carry on with your responsibilities, no matter what is going on. Consciously bringing your mind back to your current action in completing your important tasks will help you let go of worrying and other stress.
11. Set rules. The modern-day work culture and competition can make it challenging to keep your personal and professional life separate. This is why setting clear rules is crucial to your overall well-being, as it can help you follow a fixed daily routine and know exactly what to do or not do at a given time. For instance, you may want to block certain websites during your work hours, check emails once a day or keep your phone in silent mode during work.
These practices can also enable a healthy work-life balance by allowing you time for other essential things, such as personal hobbies and relaxation or spending time with loved ones.
12. Priorities urgent tasks
Mismanagement, delays and work pressure can also arise from poor organisational and prioritisation practices. Assessing your work responsibilities and prioritising them according to their order of importance and urgency can help you work more efficiently. Following this approach, you can give your undivided attention to the current task without worrying about the deadline for an upcoming project.
For example, if you think you are more focused and efficient in the first half of the day, try to complete all critical tasks within that period. You can perform other tasks like replying to emails or participating in meetings during the second half after completing the most pressing work responsibilities.
Tips for handling work pressure
Here are some more practical tips for handling work pressure:
- Avoid morning stress: Starting your day right can positively affect your mood and workflow for the entire day, so ensure that you start well and avoid morning stress. One way to do this is by not checking your work emails or picking up calls until you reach your workplace or not scheduling long meetings very early in the morning.
- Understand expectations: You can become highly stressed if you do not know the job requirements or work expectations that the employer has from you. Knowing and understanding expectations in a transparent manner can help you perform tasks timely and avoid unnecessary stress.
- Avoid conflict: Workplaces conflicts are usually unavoidable, as disagreements can be common when working in a team. Controlling your responses during a conflict and navigating such situations peacefully while consciously avoiding conflict can help you have a more fulfilling work experience.
- Stay organised: Organising your tasks and allocating sufficient time for each job can help you get more productive and avoid workplace stress. One way to do so is through thorough planning, as it can also ensure that you efficiently perform the tasks allocated to you.
- Be comfortable: Sometimes the stress you experience may not be emotional but physical, as the environment or your work setup may not be comfortable for you to perform your best. Ensure that you have a comfortable space to work and fix anything that is not comfortable, such as a broken chair or inadequate lighting.
- Focus on one task at a time: Focusing on one assignment can also boost your efficiency. To improve your productivity and focus, avoid multi-tasking and do one thing at a time.
- Stay active during breaks: Go for short walks during lunch or evening breaks and try to stay active. Walking can help reduce your stress levels and give you a break from your work environment.
- Regulate perfectionist tendencies: Some people take avoidable stress in the pursuit of perfectionism. If you are one of them, be aware of your behaviour and personality and allow yourself to make mistakes.
- Listen to music: Many professionals choose to listen to music while working, as it helps them reduce distractions and increase focus. Listening to pleasant and soothing music can also reduce your overall stress levels and help you relax and recover after a long workday.
- Eat on time and stay hydrated: Eat healthy meals and snacks on time, even when you have work pressure. Also, stay hydrated and keep drinking water throughout the day.