Working Under Pressure!

Pressure is defined as urgency in one’s personal and professional affairs or business.  Working under pressure is the reality of many people’s professional lives. Some people have to deal with very high pressure every minute of their lives while others have to deal with it as the project deadline approaches.

People working with the bomb squad, the President of United States’ bodyguards or neurosurgeons are examples of high pressure jobs where pressure is an omnipresent factor. Meeting sales targets or financial targets, or project delivery are the kinds of work where pressure increases as the deadline approaches closer.

Generally, very high pressure jobs are the ones that are highly paid, purely because you need exemplary mental and physical resilience to simply go through a work day and emerge unscathed. One also has to be ready to go through this kind of pressure, day after day, year after year. It’s good for somebody who looks forward to it with enthusiasm enough to last a lifetime or one who has the courage to carve a career out of it. However, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea.

Pressure can be utilized in various ways, sometimes to better your team’s performance and productivity. There are a great number of people who work only under pressure and are unable to perform satisfactorily in the absence of pressure.

There are a few prerequisites to be able to work well under pressure. They are:

  • Mental Resilience is Extremely Important. This refers to the strength to not lose your emotional balance when faced with high pressure situations. Only people who are mentally resilient can stay motivated under high pressure and keep at their task without giving up. This quality alone can prevent early burnouts and help keep you in shape health-wise while meeting deadlines.
  • Planning is Indispensible. Situations or actions that can be anticipated will help you tackle them better under pressure and give you the results that you want. Planning ahead definitely gives you an upper hand.
  • Focus is Vital. This ultimately helps you achieve what you want—whether under pressure or not. So, it can be the deciding factor in the race to meet your goal.
  • Delegate Work. It’s impossible to do everything under the sun—instead delegate work. This is a worthwhile exercise and can help meet professional deadlines. Breaking the project into bits and working to meet the “bit” deadline is far easier. By meeting these “bit” deadlines, you will complete the entire project well in time.
  • Be Composed. Composure is a valuable asset for people with high pressure jobs. The ability to remain calm and collected is helpful in many ways. It helps you stay focused, think rationally and take correct decisions. When calm, you are in control of the situation and can respond to it appropriately.
  • Be Adaptable and Flexible. These two qualities are useful weapons in your artillery to deal with high pressure situations that can sometimes change your world upside down in a matter of minutes.

These are the qualities that will help you move on in life, instead of being bogged down by analytical rhetoric over what happened.

Do share your thoughts in the same.

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Written By

Asma Zaineb is a Marketing Manager at CommLab India. She is responsible for generating quality leads for sales via inbound marketing.

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7 comments on “Working Under Pressure!
  1. Marco Monfils says:

    I have dealt with pressure many times, i think that is the right description, it happens to us all, and we somehow have to deal with it. The recommendations you make are excellent. I would highlight the importance of focus, as this will help determine what matters and what does not, what to delegate and what not, etc.

  2. I’ve always lived a simple life with very few pressures and responsibilities. On those occasions where certain pressures were involved, I handled them as practically and disinterestedly as possible.

  3. I think of pressure as being either external or internal. External pressures are created when you do not have control over the situation. Internal pressures are those we create ourselves. Expectations, hopes, personal goals… these create internal pressures.

    Planning and preparation prevent poor performance in pressure situations, especially external pressure situations. Presenting at a prestigious academic conference is stressful. Expectations in terms fo your own expectations and those of the attendees can be difficult to handle.

    Being ready. Practicing relentlessly, experience in similar situations, and an honest, achievable goal help alleviate the stress. The pressure is still there, but the emotional fallout or effects are mitigated by experience, preparedness, and realistic performance goals.

  4. Pressure is finally necessary for each one of us to give our best. It is the catalyst to success. the question is …. “is the pressure from outside?” or from within? Pressure from within is the driving force, it is the way we think.
    Either way, the only way to be able to “Work under pressure” is to build yourself to handle the pressure, which is Building & developing yourself to handle the situations better. the ways to do it are:
    1. Physical fitness
    2. Mental Toughness
    3. Social/Emotional support

  5. Jan Watrous-McCabe says:

    Great tips! I must work well under pressure since I so regularly over commit and then work to meet my commitments. In great part, pressure can drive performance. The level of pressure, however, can also affect performance negatively. I once heard a wise person say “There may be a lot on my plate, but I wouldn’t trade plates with anyone else.”

  6. Mukesh says:

    People by nature are prone to comfort in their life. Fair amount of work pressure is always desirable. Since this keep momentum on and people don’t get time to think anything which deviate them from organisation goal

  7. Jim Velos says:

    Few people really are pressured from the outside. We think we are important, therefore any mistakes we make have tremendous impact on the project or other people. Pressure is really lack of confidence in ourselves. If you are always under pressure, either you are in the wrong job or you are unable to focus on the job at hand without thinking of failure.

    Remember, you are not paid to work under pressure; you are paid to add value to the organization. If you are good, just be good and do not let external forces get in your head. If you are not sure, get advise or training so that you can have fun doing your job.

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