Coping with Pressure

Posted on Monday, February 18, 2019 by Maire GerrardNo comments


We are still mere weeks into the new year, which brings with it a whole host of new opportunities. While you will have heard much in the way of seizing the day and the prospects of a fresh start, this type of rhetoric can also bring with it a monumental amount of pressure.

If you had a particularly fruitful or enjoyable 2018 – whether in your personal or professional life, or better yet, both – then the bar is set high for 2019 to reach. If the opposite, then your hopes for this year to be better may become all consuming. While being driven to achieve is essential for success, putting too much pressure on yourself or others can be counter-productive.

There are a number of steps to finding the balance to thrive under pressure:


1.      Break it down

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the general feeling that you’re not doing enough, to the extent that you forget the objectives set for you, or that you set yourself, in the first place. Writing these down will make them seem more digestible, and you can then take methodical steps towards achieving them.


2.      Make the most of the time you have

If your pressure is work-related, try to be as organised as possible to maximise your efficiency. Similarly, recognise your working patterns and use this to your advantage. For example, if you find yourself more focussed first thing in the morning, where possible plan to do your bigger and more difficult tasks then. Understandably, in some fields this is not always doable, as the working day can be unpredictable. However, by planning whenever possible you equip yourself to remain reactive without your core workload dropping.


3.      Look after yourself

Simple enough, and a mantra no doubt repeated to you in your younger years, but the point still stands no matter how old you get. However, when the pressure is on, general wellbeing is the first thing to take the hit. Inexplicably, people will often put taking the time for sleep, eating and exercise at the bottom of their list of priorities. On the contrary, these life essentials are the foundations on which we build our daily performance and emotional wellbeing. Neglecting them could lead to a more significant problem later down the line.


4.      Don’t demonise failure

It is not possible, or desirable, to go through life reaching all goals with no obstacles. In fact, it is the intrinsic difficulty of something that separates it as an achievement as opposed to just a responsibility. By failing occasionally, or at least stumbling, you can learn from your mistakes and facilitate your future successes.


Fundamentally, pressure is a part of life and so dealing with it is of pivotal importance. Maintaining perspective ensures that you are equipped to thrive from it as opposed to succumb to it.

Venn Group partners with Lifeworks to support our employees with the demands of the everyday and there are many other organisations who can offer support. However, often just talking it out with a friend or colleague can provide the release and reset required to carry on and succeed.

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