The ability to cope with pressure in the workplace is a much needed skill. Pressure is an integral part of every day, whether that pressure is a minor, routine inconvenience, or a huge burden that lasts for a long time. No matter what your job is, at some point you will definitely experience some level of pressure at work. This can happen occasionally, such as when a company is going through a significant transition, or it can be a part of your daily job. Nevertheless, pressure control is of great importance – otherwise you could burn out!
Only a small part of life is determined by what happens to you, with the major part being determined by how you deal with circumstances and events. This principle also applies to pressure; it is inescapable, so its effect is dictated by how you react to it. Learn to manage pressure in your workplace by changing your work habits. A few improvements can change your attitude towards pressure and how you handle it, making this inescapable burden seem a bit more bearable.
What you need to know about work pressure
What work pressure often means is that you have to complete a certain number of tasks over a certain period of time. Moreover, people also experience pressure because tasks need to be done correctly. You cannot just deliver anything; it must be exactly as your client/boss expects. This can put a lot of pressure on you.
There are two types of pressure – internal and external. Internal pressure arises from pushing yourself too hard or worrying about your ability to meet both the expectations of others and those you have of yourself. External pressure is caused by circumstances or the people around you, such as a manager who forces you to work in a certain way or gives you a heavy workload that exceeds your ability to cope.
There is a common misconception about pressure, because it is sometimes thought to be the same as stress, but they are completely different. Pressure is what you get, and stress is what you take on. Pressure comes on automatically when we have a goal that we attempt to attain. Stress is a negative reaction to excessive pressure in a given situation.
Pressure can be a very positive quality. By facing it, but feeling calm and controlled, can encourage people to accomplish great things. Stress occurs and has a completely negative effect only when it intensifies, and the feeling of peace and control is replaced by a feeling of no longer being in control.
We have a great article about dealing with stress at work here.
Signs that you’re under too much pressure
Unexplained Aches and Pains: Work pressure and stress cause far more physical symptoms than we realize. Unexplained pain can be a signal to the body that you are overworking yourself.
Altered appetite: If you miss lunch often because you do not feel hungry, it could be a sign that you are feeling tense. When faced with pressures, your priorities change, and eating may seem less important to your body than coping with current work stressors.
Sleep issues: Changes in sleep patterns are one more of those things that can determine that you are under too much pressure. Your body may feel that it needs more rest to gather energy to fight the strain, or you may be kept awake by your thoughts.
Recurring illnesses: When you are under too much pressure, your immune system can be weakened. When all your resources need to be applied to your work, your body does not have enough energy to protect itself from illnesses.
Procrastination: Sometimes a lot of pressure can cause a “freeze response”, which means you just do not know exactly what to do next, so staying still seems like the smartest option. If you find that you have a lot of tasks at work, but you cannot seem to start them, you may be “freezing” because of pressure.
Agitation: If you have an unusually short temper, you are probably suffering from too much pressure. Agitation can accumulate inside without us even realizing it, and we suddenly notice that we have snapped at coworkers for no good reason.
Coping with work pressure
The biggest challenge is what you can do to handle the pressure. To cope with pressure, you need to not only manage the response to it, but handle this difficulty more effectively. Here are some tips for dealing with work pressure.
Prioritize: If you are facing a major source of pressure, such as a project, instead of thinking about the whole situation and being overwhelmed, immediately start breaking things down into steps and decide what needs to be done now and what can wait. Then determine what to do first, second and third. By breaking down a larger situation into smaller tasks, it will make it easier to deal with the situation, and by ticking items off your to-do list, you will gain peace of mind and become more organized.
Foster healthy responses: With positive thinking, pressured situations can become opportunities to learn and improve. Use these occurrences as motivation to succeed. Pressure is a positive force when you are able to guide a situation. However, if you lose your sense of control, you will quickly feel overwhelmed and anxious. So, if you cannot change the terms, change the way you react to them.
Take breaks: Taking your job seriously is the only way to improve and make progress in your career. However, this does not mean that you should overburden yourself with work and never take breaks. The bottom line is that you need to make sure you refrain from exhaustion by taking occasional breaks to refocus and control your emotions. When exposed to work pressure, take a deep breath. Approach the problem in a relaxed, rational way and do not be afraid to ask for help.
Drink plenty of water: When you find yourself in a high-pressure situation, you will feel a mixture of emotions. A glass of water soothes your senses and also replenishes your brain with oxygen to make it work productively. In addition, water keeps you relaxed throughout the day, and this helps maintain a rational perspective in stressful situations.
Ask for help: Do not be afraid to ask for help if you feel too much pressure. Determine where the pressure is coming from and ask for advice or help from your boss, colleagues, friends, family, or anyone in your support network.
Working under pressure is never easy, no matter how resilient or experienced you may be. But if you master the skill of staying focused under pressure, it will help you survive back-breaking situations. Stress and pressure at work will always be there, and how you manage them is what really matters. We have mentioned just a few tips in this post, but there are plenty more options out there to help you.