I Want to Whistle-I am Under too Much Pressure
Pressure, pressure and more pressure. If there is one thing in the corporate world which is common from New York to New Delhi and from Accra to Buenos Aires, it is ever increasing work pressure in the corporate world.
There is one lesson which we corporate guys can learn from the pressure cooker. When there is too much pressure, just whistle, what I mean is just release the pressure before you reach the BLASTING POINT.
Probably the most important quality in the corporate world today is to have the ability to exert pressure on subordinates and handle pressure of superiors. I also believe that if pressure is taken in a positive spirit, it can bring out the best in a person, as it pushes us beyond our pre-conceived limits. But the tough part is how do we release the pressure and how do we increase our capacity to handle pressure?
Increasing our capacity for pressure
• Emotional strength and pressure-To increase our capacity for pressure, we need to become mentally and emotionally stronger. If one has emotional strength, one may not be laughing one’s way through difficulties, but one will have the ability to withstand stress and get through whatever life throws at the person. Like they say, "If life throws a lemon at you, use it to make lemonade."
• Believe in yourself-Believe deeply in yourself. But even when you don't feel so confident, at least do your best to portray confidence. Even showing confidence or giving a first good impression puts pressure on you to continue acting confident.
• Power of right and positive thinking-The main difference between an emotionally weak person and an emotionally strong person is what one thinks when things go wrong. When troubles come along, the weak one is in the habit of thinking: “This is more than I can stand.” A tough one thinks: “I can take it, everything is going to work out, I’ll get through it, maybe there’s a lesson in it for me.”
• Take life as it comes-Deal with each problem as it comes. One cannot deal with unseen problems though one can learn to troubleshoot. Remember what cannot be cured, must be endured.
• Make strong thinking a habit-Keep thinking stronger consciously, and after a while it will become a habit. Eventually, you’ll be surprised at your new thought patterns.
• Mental blocks and Commando training-The fundamental training that is given to National Security Guard (NSG) commandos is that our limits are decided by mental blocks. So if you have a mental block that you can do a long jump of 5 feet, you cannot break the limit without first breaking your mental barrier.
• Observe strong people-Watch how strong people act and learn from them. Just take a little bit from everyone.
• Meditation can also improve our capacity for stress.
Techniques for handling pressure
Tips and tricks-Before reacting to any situation, take time to assess it and plan your response. Respond and not react. Focus on things which you can control instead of worrying about things which you have no power over. Some people drink black tea or coffee as it can energise you temporarily. This is good especially in a high pressure situation wherein you might feel your energy being drained away physically or mentally (however too much reliance on tea and caffeine could be habit forming and addictive.) Go for a quiet walk. Moderate physical exercise should act as a good stress buster. If you have a tight deadline to meet, then stop looking at the clock. Instead focus on the task at hand. Focus on the interesting aspects of your work. If you enjoy your work, you will feel less stressed.
Releasing pressure-Different people find different techniques useful for releasing pressure. Exercise, Yoga, snacking, a dose of humour, stress balls or deep breathing-what works for one may not work for another.
Task management-The art of prioritization is the key to multi-tasking. Use the urgent/importance matrix of time management. Divide all your tasks. Delegate, Delay, Dump or Do as need be. Do only those tasks which cannot be delegated, delayed or dumped.
Concentration and compartmentalization- When it's time to work, put all your efforts and concentrate on work. But once you reach home, forget about office. A healthy life calls for achieving balance between various aspects and hence it is very crucial to compartmentalise your personal and professional life.
Becoming crisis proof-Three C's or attitudes can make you crisis proof. The first "C" in the three C's is "Challenge" implying, viewing the change and disruption as a challenge rather than a threat. The second "C" is "Commitment", which is, making a commitment to deal with the crisis, instead of pretending it doesn't exist. The third "C" is "Control" attitude that is, taking control of the situation instead of situation controlling you. These attitudes will lead you to actions and actions will lead you to the best possible place in tough times.
So become a captain of your soul and get ready for the high pressure zone;
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul
(From William E. Henley, Captain of my soul)
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