How to Manage Yourself When You’re Under Pressure
Do you ever get really busy and feel under a lot of pressure?
Maybe it’s deadline pressure, and then all of a sudden something unexpected gets thrown into the mix and you’re completely thrown off your stride.
It can be overwhelming and upsetting. I know because this exact situation happened to me recently.
Pressure, Deadlines & Unexpected Twists
My team and I had a lot of deadlines coming up, but we still had everything under control. Then unexpectedly, I got an email saying that the economics of a particular project weren’t going to be as positive as we thought.
Not long after, I received another message that we had a new deadline that involved a huge amount of work when my team was already totally stretched.
To make things worse, when I received these updates, I had just come back from a full day of meetings in London and was jet-lagged, having just flown in from California the night before. I was exhausted!
When all of these things came flying at me all of a sudden, I got upset and was unable to focus on doing the important things that I still needed to get done.
What do you do when you're in the thick of a situation like this? Especially when you know you need to get a grip, prioritize, and stay productive, which are all easier said than done!
5 Things I Did in a Stressful Situation to Manage Myself
1. Be Aware
The first thing was about awareness. I stepped back and recognized that I was in this situation, which helped me to realize I needed to do some self-managing.
2. Change of Scenery
The second thing was changing my physical environment. I got up from my desk and walked out to the kitchen where I did some stretching, focused on regular breathing, and appreciated the change of scenery.
3. Seek Human Interaction
The third thing I did was to seek out some human interaction. Unless human interaction is what got you into this stressful position in the first place, talking things out with somebody is really helpful.
This really calmed me down and stopped me from sitting and stewing all by myself and continuously running through these issues in my mind.
4. Assess the Situation
The fourth thing I did once I was a bit calmer was an assessment of the situation. I looked at the numbers behind the project in question and realized, “You know what? These economics aren't going to be as bad as I initially thought. Maybe we can even offset them.”
5. Take Action
Then, the fifth thing was to take some action. I delegated these urgent new tasks to an outside group. By outsourcing the work, we could meet the new deadline and also protect my team in the process.
You have to know yourself in these stressful situations because we're all different.
One thing I do know is this: no matter who we are, when work or life throws us a curve ball (and you know that's going to happen!), the key is to figure out how you're going to be aware of the situation.
Then, it's about taking actions and learning to manage yourself from a physical, mental, and emotional standpoint, and choosing actions that will help you in all three of those areas.
What do you do when you get thrown off track?
Leave me a comment and let me know.