This new article will show you everything you need to know about how to get better at working under pressure.
Everyone, sooner or later, learns what it is to work under the pressure of time. It is in our workplace that we are particularly exposed to constant rush. We have a lot of tasks and projects to complete, all for now, all at once, all at the same time, all immediately. And although we often boast of our excellent ability to work in stressful conditions when writing a cover letter, in reality it is not so colourful anymore.
How to prove to the employer that we are able to perform our duties masterfully, especially when this pressure manifests itself in the form of tight deadlines or requirements on the part of the superior. In addition to all this, we also need to ensure the quality of our work, efficiency and productivity.
Living under pressure is everyday life
There’s no way to avoid stress. We all succumb to it to a greater or lesser degree. That is why it is so important to learn how to manage it, while taking care of our health and maintaining productivity. If you feel that your work is overwhelming, you are in panic, experiencing tensions, communication problems, or more and more often you do not meet the deadline, this can mean that stressful work is not your strong suit. Not everything is lost!
The following tips can help you to harness such a difficult phenomenon as time pressure.
How To Get Better At Working Under Pressure
1. Anticipate the unpredictable and work under time pressure will become less painful
Working for a specific company for some time already, you have knowledge about the way it operates, the nature of your work and the goals of your organization. You also know yourself, your capabilities and limitations. Therefore, instead of repeating over and over again: “I can’t work under time pressure”, take a few minutes to forecast potential failures.
Think about what you can do beforehand to better prepare for crisis situations and deal with them beforehand. Then you will solve the problem more efficiently or you will not even let it appear. This method definitely reduces stress and allows you to act in case of difficulties, because none of us likes unpleasant surprises. When you prepare for them better and in time, you will return to the right tasks faster.
2. Combat procrastination and reduce the need to work under time pressure
Don’t delay with your work! If you know what you have to do, do it as soon as possible. Many times, people feel pressured because they’re dealing with things that are important to the department or the company, and they don’t have as much time as they need to. Procrastination is not the same as laziness.
If you delay, you focus on another task at the expense of the right one. Laziness, on the other hand, is total inaction, apathy, caused by reluctance to act. To avoid procrastination, make a list of the most important tasks you need to do on a given day and deal with them first.
Investigate carefully how much time you can waste by postponing things to a later time. All you need is a regular notebook, pen, and you can keep track of all your work activities for the next few days. I know, I know! This requires extra time, which you already don’t have enough of. The point is to build up an accurate picture of what takes up your time and eliminate these factors.
3. Decide which task is a priority and do not work under time pressure
Once you have a list of tasks for today, judge if each of them is equally important. Will this task reduce the pressure in your company? Will this e-mail lead the whole project forward? If you identify less important tasks, see if you can delegate them to someone else, post them back in time or even remove them from the list. This will contribute to better organization of activities and maintaining order at work.
What’s more, have the courage to refuse occasionally a new assignment, especially one that does not meet the prioritisation criteria. Assertiveness towards the boss or team members is not an easy skill, but very desirable in the workplace. Say yes to better tasks that will improve your performance, your team and the whole project.
4. Don’t put extra time pressure on yourself by treating your task as a whole
Exactly! Anything can seem overwhelming when you look at it as a whole. It is good to divide the task into milestones or steps that can be easily achieved. With a division into specific stages before your eyes, you will focus more calmly on achieving smaller goals and reduce the feeling of overload.
Dividing the tasks into parts helps to assess the big ones as accessible and feasible, reduce our tendency to delay and better define where to start. This is because the human brain is a bit limited. No offense!
Dr. Melissa Gratias points out that: “By relying on our memory, we stop at every stage of the task and think about what we should do next. These breaks are a chance for distraction, to get out of rhythm, or to miss an important step. To avoid being intimidated by big and daunting projects right from the start, the idea of splitting this giant into smaller parts is a good one.
5. Do it slowly and accurately and work under time pressure will become more enjoyable
When you feel compelled to work, it seems much more difficult, strenuous and tedious. This perception of duty is effectively discouraged from the very beginning. This is disastrous. Instead of throwing yourself into the vortex of work and putting yourself under extra strain, take the opposite action. Create a habit of moving away from work by spending 15 minutes or more on “planned clearance”. Go around the office for a while, go outside, breathe deeply, meditate and rest.
It’s not about postponing tasks on purpose, i.e. the above mentioned procrastination. By letting yourself rest, you gain both physical and emotional freedom from the pressure you are under. Your body – especially your mind – will benefit from this, and after a well-organized break, you will return to work with new energy and new ideas. Artificially turning up the pace only increases stress, negatively affects the tasks, which will certainly contribute to the quality of activities.
6. Refer to your experience of working under time pressure
Since you work so much in this company, you’ve already had a lot of stressful and demanding projects. This also applies to people who are just starting their professional career. The pressure of time also affects students, is constantly present in private life. Based on these practices, well known from the autopsy.
Notice that you have managed to overcome the previous, so difficult life or professional projects. What were the methods to solve the problems, what should be improved, what did you learn from? Think about what was achieved in the past, under as much pressure as now. Use these examples in your head to go more smoothly through what is ahead of you. Then the vision of future tasks will become less frightening.
7. Change the perception of work under time pressure
I would like to say that there is nothing to be afraid of, but surely changing attitudes to time pressure is the most difficult task here. Developing a positive attitude to stress can help you regain your enthusiasm for work and cope well with an exceptionally demanding day.
Define your own emotions. If you think of this task as a threat to your own position in the company or to your health or well-being, then you subconsciously try to avoid it. Consider this project a challenge you can manage. Let it be an opportunity to develop and learn new skills.
Squeeze out of this task for yourself as much as you can! This will result in a positive belief in what is so much sleep deprivation. You will notice the positive aspects of your workload and it will be much easier for you to complete the project or get promoted. Isn’t that a tempting prospect?
You can’t avoid stress. This is the brutal truth of life. Time rushes inexorably, and in the crowd of cases it seems to reach the speed of light. You have no influence on it. What you can change is your own attitude and technique, so that working under time pressure becomes something positive.
I hope that the above advice will contribute to a better understanding of your tasks, allow you to see them as an opportunity, gain personal benefit from them, and also facilitate the achievement of goals, without compromising efficiency at work.